Late Mississippian Lamar Pottery from Georgia, ca. 1600-1650

Lamar to Creek transitional pottery from Shinholser Mound site

This large piece of Lamar pottery exemplifies the transition from Lamar to Historic Creek, which occurred during the 17th century in Middle Georgia. It’s potter, presumably a female living at what is thought to have been the mound site known to Spanish explorers as Tama, was just not as skilled as her predecessors. Lamar Bold Incised pottery (AD 1350-1650) was executed flawlessly only a generation or two before 1650, with crisp, straight lines generally 2 or more millimeters thick. However, her descendants could still have learned much from her, since they were making the even more poorly executed Ocmulgee Fields Incised pottery. This type, which has been dated to the Historic Creek period (AD 1660-1716), has incised lines that were executed even more poorly and that were 1 millimeter or less in thickness.

Did these potters just lose pride in their craftsmanship, or were they merely concentrating on surviving the onslaught of European pandemics and the British slave trade in captured Southeastern Indians? Maybe the two go hand in glove. It’s hard to care about crafts when you and your whole family and tribe are just trying to survive.

Categories: Archaeology | Tags: , , , , , , , | 2 Comments

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2 thoughts on “Late Mississippian Lamar Pottery from Georgia, ca. 1600-1650

  1. Terrie Dinkins

    What is this pottery worth and how can you go about selling it?


    • Hi Terrie,
      Archaeologists value an artifact not by money, but by how much it teaches us about the people that made it. This particular pottery sherd tells me through its design that it was made about 350 years ago. This design was in use by both it’s creator’s ancestors and descendants. Since it was common for native women to make the pottery, it was probably made by a female, and because the incised lines on it are not as classic and straight as the same pottery made a century earlier, archaeologists deduce that something occurred to cause the level of craftsmanship to deteriorate over time. This is supported by the historical literature of the area that became Georgia and Alabama, since we know that smallpox and other diseases were introduced by Europeans and impacted Native American communities dreadfully. So as you can see, the value of this lovely sherd of Lamar pottery is entirely based on the knowledge that it gives us about the Lamar people and their Creek descendants in Middle Georgia.


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