About the Website

This site was initially constructed by Carl Steen in 2009 for Beaufort County government as a creative mitigation project spurred by highway construction. The support of the people of Beaufort County, the South Carolina Department of Transportation, and the South Carolina Department of Archives and History is greatly appreciated. Thanks also to the many colleagues who contributed to this effort.
In 2014, the site was revised and republished by Carl Steen and Karen Smith with funding from the National Park Service through the South Carolina Department of Archives and History. The site is maintained by the South Carolina Institute of Archaeology and Anthropology at the University of South Carolina. Much of the original content is unchanged, but corrections and updates have been made where time permitted.
The purpose of the site is to introduce users to the pottery we find across the state of South Carolina, and to link users to the literature that defines this pottery. In preparing the content, Steen read numerous site reports and papers, both published and unpublished, on pottery analysis, use, and manufacture. This effort has shown that the questions involving pottery are more complex than they might seem because change in pottery making occurs locally and regionally on both synchronic and diachronic levels. So a sherd of cord marked pottery tempered with coarse sand found at a site on the Pee Dee may date hundreds of years earlier or later than a sherd of the same description found on the Savannah. The data that is needed to track all of these changes has simply not been recovered and applied. We still have much to learn.

The bulk of the formal type descriptions are from the 1995 COSCAPA symposium published in draft form as Indian Pottery of the Carolinas by David Anderson, Chris Judge, and Niels Taylor (1996). These descriptions were mostly written by David Anderson. Pertinent formal descriptions from other individuals are included, but Steen also asked a group of contributing scholars to add their comments, and have summarized pertinent discussions as well. Photo galleries are included on the type pages. An alphabetical list of the type names is available under the Introduction.