Yadkin Cord Marked

from David Anderson's type description


The Yadkin series was defined by Coe (1964: 30-32) based on a sample of 619 sherds recovered from the Doerschuk site on the lower River in Montgomery County, North Carolina. Three finishes were reported within the sample, cord marked (n=285, 46.0%), fabric marked (n=270, 43.7), and linear check stamped 10.3%). The distinctive temper was described as "large angular fragments of quartz that appeared to have been broken especially for tempering material" (Coe 1964: 30); this temper was reported to account for up to 40 percent of the paste by volume. Within the type sample, cord impressions ranged from 0.5 to 2.0 mm in diameter and were typically applied at oblique or right angles to the rim, and parallel to one another; cross stamping was not observed. Vessel forms include both bowls and conoidal jars.

The Yadkin series appears related to the (Loftfield 1976: 166-168) and Mount Pleasant (Phelps series in the central and northern North Carolina coastal plain, respectively; the former is tempered with crushed quartz and the latter with sand and small quartz pebbles. All three wares appear to occupy a Middle Woodland time level, succeeding earlier New River, Carteret, and Deep Creek types. The presence of clay/grog inclusions with the crushed quartz in some of the fabric marked sherds at Doerschuk (Coe 32; see also background discussion of Yadkin Fabric Marked), suggests the large quartz inclusions may be a substitute for the sherd or clay/grog tempering noted in the Hanover and Wilmington series.

A large sample of Yadkin Cord Marked sherds with subangular or unmodified quartz temper were reported at in Sumter County, South Carolina (Blanton et al. Three radiocarbon dates were obtained from that date the Yadkin assemblage, 180BC +/-70, 380 BC +/- 80, and 520BC +/- 70 (Blanton et 1986: 146-147). The latest date was from a feature with a Yadkin Cord Marked vessel, while the middle date was from a feature with both Yadkin Linear Check Stamped and Yadkin Simple Stamped sherds. The earliest date came from a smudge pit from the Yadkin level, and also appears to date the occupation. The sample resembled materials from the type site in that overstamping was uncommon, and cord size ranged between 0.5 and 2.0 mm. Most sherds were well smoothed, and S-twist was reported as dominating the assemblage (73 %) the remainder Z-twist. Four sherds of Yadkin Cord Marked were also observed at Mattassee Lake along the lower Santee (Anderson et al. 18).

Sorting Criteria

Cord impressions applied over the exterior surface while the paste was plastic; occasionally smoothed somewhat after stamping. Paste characterized by large amounts of rounded and sub-rounded or crushed white and clear quartz gravel (1.0-8.0 mm; average about 3.0 mm). At the type site lips were rounded and undecorated while rims were straight. In South Carolina samples rims tend to be typically excurvate with flattened and decorated lips with simple stamped, cord marked, or fabric impressing).


The ware is most commonly reported in the inner Coastal Plain and lower Piedmont of North and South Carolina in the vicinity of the boundary between the two states, from roughly the Santee-Wateree to the Cape Fear rivers. The ware does not appear to be common in the lower Coastal Plain of either state.

Chronological Position

Early-Middle Woodland (ca. 500 BC -AD 500). At 38SU83 a date of 380 BC +/- 80 ). was obtained from a feature with a Yadkin Cord Marked vessel present (Blanton et al. 1986: 146-147)

Primary References

Coe 1964: 30-31; Anderson et al. 1982: 318; Blanton et al. 1986:70.