Savannah Check Stamped

from David Anderson's type description


The Savannah Check Stamped type was originally defined by Joseph R. Caldwell and Antonio J. Waring, Jr. in 1939 based on material recovered from excavations in and around the city of Savannah, Georgia (Caldwell and Waring The ware was recognized as stratigraphically intermediate between the Wilmington and Irene ceramic complexes, and an occurrence in the Georgia Sea Island area and along the Savannah River to the Fall Line was suggested (Caldwell and Waring Since its original definition the type, characterized by a lattice of evenly raised lands that intersect to form square, rectangular, or diamond-shaped checks, has been widely reported in the eastern Coastal Plain and Piedmont of Georgia. The occurrence of the ware in the South Carolina area is less well documented, although it is apparently fairly common in the sea-island area south of Charleston Harbor, and elsewhere in the coastal plain check stamping is reported as a minority finish on a number of late prehistoric sites sites characterized by the presence of Savannah or Pee Dee complicated stamped ceramics). The temporal placement of check stamping is not well documented in the South Carolina area, and an occurrence throughout the late prehistoric may be possible (Reid 1967; South 1976; Figure 12; Trinkley 1980a: 415, 420).

Sorting Criteria

Check stamping over the exterior vessel surface; occasionally smoothed somewhat after stamping. The checks are typically small (from 2.0 to 5.0 mm) and faint, with overstamping common. Paste and interior surface finish are similar or identical to that noted for Savannah Complicated Stamped.


Poorly documented in the South Carolina area. Common throughout eastern Georgia in the Sea Islands, Coastal Plain, and Piedmont. An occurrence in the Sea Island area south of Charleston Harbor, and as a minority ware on sites with Mississippian period complicated stamped pottery is indicated.

Chronological Position

Initial and Middle Mississippian period (AD 1200- 1300). Temporal placement of the ware is drawn largely from its position in the mouth of the Savannah sequence and along the Georgia coast (Caldwell 1971; DePratter 1979).


Caldwell and Waring (1939a, 1939b); Caldwell and (1941); Caldwell (1952, 1958, 1); Fairbanks (1950); Wauchope (1948, 1966); Sears Williams (1968); Stoltman (1 74); DePratter (1991: 186-187).