Deptford Incised


The type Deptford Incised was originally defined by Anderson et al. (1982:286-287) based on a sample of 50 sherds from the Mattassee Lake sites along the lower Santee River. Incising has been occasionally noted within the Deptford series, typically as an unusual interior finish, or as the zoning on Brewton Hill Zoned Stamped and Brewton Hill Zoned Punctate (Waring and Holder 1968: 141, 145; these types are here described under the type Deptford Zoned-Incised Punctate). The Deptford Incised material from Mattassee Lake closely resembled the Cal Smoak material (save for an absence of punctations), suggesting that the two types are related in some way. 

The Mattassee Lake specimens appear to be from a single small slightly conoidal bowl about 20 cm in diameter, no basal or rim sherds were recovered, however, so precise estimates of vessel form cannot be made. The exterior incising is invariably fine, rarely exceeding 1.0 mm in width or depth. The incisions are typically quite short, rarely more than two or three centimeters long, and haphazardly applied (roughly) parallel to one another, with considerable overlap/intersection. The surface appears to have been repeatedly scratched with a fine instrument while the paste was still somewhat plastic, possibly with the edge of a flake. The paste itself contains a moderate quantity of small (0.5-2.0 mm), rounded clear or white quartz inclusions, like that typical of many Deptford Linear Check Stamped assemblages. Both the interior and exterior surfaces were highly smoothed or "floated," giving them a smooth, waxy texture. Most of the sherds are very light colored (very pale brown), with some faint fire-clouding. The re is quite thin, and the paste is hard and compact. Incising occurs infrequently in coastal South Carolina ceramic assemblage over several periods (see Background discussion for Thom's Creek Incised). 

Sorting Criteria

Numerous fine, shallow straight incisions haphazardly applied over the exterior vessel surface. Hard, compact paste (similar to that for Deptford Linear Check Stamped), with very thin, highly smoothed vessel walls.


Poorly documented. Probably similar to that for other Deptford types, occurring in the coastal plain and fall line areas of eastern Georgia and South Carolina, and into extreme southeastern North Carolina.

Chronological Position

Poorly documented. Probable Middle Woodland (ca. AD 200 - 500). An occurrence later in the Deptford Phase has been suggested for Deptford Zoned Punctated, which may be related. At Mattassee Lake the Deptford Incised assemblage appears to stratigraphically slightly postdate the other Deptford types, and slightly predates the Cape Fear series material in the 38BK226 excavation block; this distribution suggests an appearance or greatest occurrence towards the end of the Deptford Phase.

Primary References

Anderson et al. 1982:286-287.