Native pottery comprises one of the most abundant and ubiquitous classes of artifacts recovered at the Fredricks site. This section describes the assemblage of ceramic artifacts that was recovered from archaeological features during the four years of excavation at the site and considers what the collection may mean in terms of intrasite ethnic composition. The majority of these artifacts, including those recovered from pits and burials that also contained Euroamerican trade items, represent the material remains of an Occaneechi pottery-making tradition. Some potsherds, however, are either associated with an earlier Haw River phase occupation (c. A.D. 1000) centered at the nearby Hogue site or represent roughly contemporary vessels that fall outside the range of variability expected for Occaneechi pottery. Some of these latter potsherds appear to be associated with the late seventeenth-century occupation of the nearby Jenrette site.

Pottery samples recovered during the 1983-1986 excavation seasons at the Fredricks site are summarized in Table 1. Potsherds from Feature 60 (Burial 27), excavated in 1995, have not been analyzed.

Pottery Type Descriptions:

A total of 7,877 ceramic artifacts, including eight whole vessels that occurred as grave offerings, were recovered from undisturbed sub-plowzone contexts at the Fredricks site (see Table 2). An additional 54,875 potsherds were recovered from disturbed plowed soil. The descriptions that follow are limited to those artifacts that were recovered from pit features and burials which possess contextual integrity (n=7,787). Of these, 3,864 sherds (49.6%) were either too small or too eroded to be classified. Sherds from other contexts, such as structure wall trenches and plowzone, are not described here.

Two pottery types--Fredricks Plain and Fredricks Check Stamped--comprise 78% of all identifiable ceramic artifacts recovered from features and burials and thus are the predominant types associated with the Occaneechi occupation of the site. Another type--Uwharrie Net Impressed--is associated with an earlier site occupation represented by Feature 30 and radiocarbon dated to A.D. 920 +/- 60 (Beta-20378) (uncorrected). Other pottery categories at the site are defined primarily by exterior surface treatment and include (in descending order of frequency): simple stamped, brushed, cord marked, cob impressed, and complicated stamped.

Most information about vessel morphology and function is based upon 35 whole vessels and reconstructed vessel sections. Data specific to these vessels are presented in Table 3 and Table 4.