by Jane Eastman


The series was first described by Wilson (1983: 616) following his analysis of small samples of the pottery from Upper Saratown. He did not define individual ceramic types at that time because he felt his analysis incorporated too small a portion of the Saratown assemblages. Following his study of pottery collections from excavations at Lower Saratown and the William site, Davis defined several pottery types based on differences in exterior surface treatment including plain, brushed, burnished, simple stamped, check stamped, complicated stamped, and net impressed (Ward and Davis 1993). Both researchers agree that the series developed out of the Dan River series.

Sorting Criteria

The series is characterized by a well-kneaded paste that was usually tempered with fine to very fine sand and feels smooth to the touch. Interior surfaces were nearly always smoothed, but vessels with burnished exteriors were often burnished on the interior as well. More than 90 percent of all sherds from Upper Saratown were between 4 and 8 thick. the most common vessel type was a restricted neck jar with an everted rim. Other vessel forms included small cups, jars with rims, hemispherical bowls, and restricted bowls with inverted or carinated rims, and very small hand-modeled pots.


The ceramic series is associated with the Sara Indians who occupied the upper Dan drainage of the northern North Carolina and southern Virginia Piedmont from the protohistoric through the contact period. The largest and best known ceramic collections are from the Upper and Lower Saratown site localities.

Chronological Position

AD 1450 -1710 The series was manufactured from the protohistoric through the beginning of the eighteenth century in the Dan River drainage. Some exterior surface treatments and decorative techniques were popular for only a limited period of time within the series duration. These will be indicated in the individual type descriptions.


Wilson 1983; Ward and Davis 1993 


[Why include a Northern North Carolina type here? Because the Sara moved to South Carolina. The town of Cheraw was named for them.)