Stallings Incised


from David Anderson's Stallings Type Descriptions


The type Stallings Incised was first defined by Sears and Griffin (1950). A related type, St. Simons Incised, was briefly described by Waring (1968a:160), based on his work at the Bilbo site in Chatham County, Georgia, where 36 sherds with the finish were reported. The type St. Simons Incised was first formally defined by DePratter (1979:115), based on collections from the mouth of the Savannah. DePratter (1979:113), echoing earlier arguments raised by Waring, urged that coastal fiber tempered pottery be differentiated from Stallings through the use of St. Simons terminology, “because of major differences between coastal and inland ceramics (Waring 1968a, p. 160).” Waring’s cited argument is as follows:

Despite Griffin’s plea [1943] for the type-designate name of “Stallings” for the coastal fiber-tempered pottery, we are loath to do so. There are several important differences between the coastal ware and the ware upstream, despite a marked similarity. The Stallings Island wares differ from the Bilbo and other coastal wares in (1) thinner and more uniform vessel walls, (2) smaller, neater, and more varied forms of punctation, (3) the presence of a crude form of “simple stamping” on the bases of many of the vessels, and (4) the presence of the flanged, carinated bowl (by which we refer to a fiber tempered form, not the later Lamar Incised which was also present at that site. For these reasons we prefer to use the site name, “St. Simons,” in referring to these types until further work reveals whether or not these minor variations are of any particular importance.

These four attributes are all duplicated in interior fiber tempered materials, however, and are impossible to differentiate on a sherd by sherd basis. Waring notes, in fact, that the differences are actually “minor variations.” His “marked similarity” between coastal and interior fiber tempered wares has been what has been emphasized by most subsequent researchers (e.g., Stoltman 1974:19-20; Sassaman 1993). No one besides Waring has, in fact, published reasons for keeping separate series names and, probably as a result, use of St. Simons terminology has not been widely adopted by coastal researchers, at least in South Carolina. For these reasons the taxa should be considered at best a variety of Stallings, something Stephen Williams, Waring’s posthumous compiler, himself suggested (1968:103-105).

Incising appears to be a minority finish during the Late Archaic fiber tempered pottery tradition. The finish is rare in the Coastal Plain of South Carolina; an examination of ceramics from 313 sites (Anderson 1975b; sample = 18,961 sherds) recorded 14 Stallings Incised sherds. See also discussion for Stallings Plain.

Sorting Criteria

Fine incised lines typically arranged in rows parallel or at low angles to the rim; curvilinear and geometric designs, and incising perpendicular to the rim less common. Fiber vesicules throughout the paste, typically visible on both the interior and exterior vessel surface regardless of the extent of smoothing. May be confused with Stallings Reed Drag and Jab Punctate (if individual punctations are run together) and Thom's Creek Incised, which may have incidental fiber inclusions, or exterior fiber-like impressions resulting from placement of the wet vessel on plant materials prior to firing.


Poorly documented. Found throughout the Coastal Plain, Fall Line, and lower Piedmont of eastern Georgia, and western South Carolina to the Santee River. Very little decorated Stallings pottery has been reported to the northeast of the Santee drainage, and it is uncommon even along this drainage. Greatest incidence from the Ogeechee to Edisto Rivers.

Chronological Position

Late Archaic period (ca. 2500BC-1000BC).

Primary References

Sears and Griffin (1950); DePratter (1979:115) (St. Simons variant); Waring (1968a:160).


Is this the Stallings incised puntated from your image folder?