St. Catherines Sand Tempered Cord Marked

from David Anderson's type description


The difference between the inland and coastal early Late Woodland assemblages lies in the type of temper employed in each area. Wilmington and St. Catherines series ceramics along the lower Savannah are characterized by clay / grog while assemblages in the interior are sand-tempered. The later Late Woodland in the middle Savannah River ceramic sequence dates from AD 800-1100, and is characterized by assemblages dominated by fine cross cordmarked sand-tempered pottery. The ware appears to be an inland equivalent of St. Catherines Cord Marked. Folded rims are sometimes observed, and there is a suggestion that later assemblages have a higher incidence of folds, sometimes with incised lines on or below the rim. Other cord marked finishes characterized by heavy or narrow parallel stamping, or heavy cross stamping, are present as minority wares. Other minority finishes that occur include cross V-shaped simple stamping (Santee Simple Stamped) and fabric impressed (Cape Fear Fabric Impressed). Toward the end of the period Savannah Check Stamped appears.

The later Late Woodland in the Middle Savannah thus falls within what is locally described as the Savannah I phase (ca. AD 800-1100), an inland equivalent of the St. Catherines and Savannah I phases from the mouth of the drainage (Anderson 1994: 369-370). Fine cross cordmarked sand-tempered pottery is common, characterized by closely spaced and carefully applied narrow (ca. 0.5 -2.0 mm) impressions; stamped and folded rims are sometimes observed, and appear to become more common later in the period. Separation of St. Catherines equivalents from Savannah Fine Cord Marked material is currently impossible in the middle Savannah, and for this reason all of the Late Woodland and Early Mississippian fine cross cord marked pottery in the area is tentatively typed St. Catherines (Sand-Tempered) Cord Marked. Cord marked vessels found with Mississippian assemblages typically have highly smoothed or burnished interiors, but this is an unreliable criteria to use with small samples.  

Sorting Criteria

Cross cord marked impressions, with cord widths averaging 1.0 to 2.0 mm. Care in application of the cord impressions varies considerably, from closely to irregularly spaced, with the former more common. Paste characterized by varying amounts of small (0.5-2.0 mm), rounded clear or white quartz inclusions. Interior finish typically slightly sandy or gritty in texture.


Observed primarily along Savannah River below the Fall Line, and along the Edisto River.

Chronological Position

Late Woodland period (AD 800-1200. Equivalent to St. Catherines Fine Cord Marked and Savannah Fine Cord Marked on the coast.

Primary References

Caldwell and Waring (1 939a, 1939b); Waring (1 Williams (1 968); and Anderson (1990).