Pottery of the Fredricks phase is attributed to the Fredricks series (Davis 1988) and is represented by two types: Fredricks Plain and Fredricks Check Stamped. Fredricks Plain represents a variety of vessel forms, including small jars, large storage jars, and small bowls. Fredricks Check Stamped vessels, conversely, apparently functioned primarily as cooking jars and secondarily as storage jars. While the Fredricks series most likely developed out of the carved-paddle stamped pottery tradition represented by the earlier Jenrette series, and also may have its origins in the still-earlier Hillsboro series, stylistic and technological differences between the Jenrette series and the Fredricks series indicate that these two series are only distantly related. Unlike Jenrette series pottery which represents relatively heavy, thick-walled vessels with coarse temper, poorly stamped or smoothed exteriors, and the frequent use of simple stamping, Fredricks vessels invariably were tempered with fine sand, had very thin walls, and had exteriors that were either smoothed or check stamped. Decoration, when present, consisted solely of fine, oblique incisions or linear impressions along the vessel lip and occurred only on check-stamped vessels. The remarkable consistency in style and manufacture evidenced by most of the Fredricks site pottery suggests that it may be the product of one or a few potters. Although some simple-stamped pottery was recovered from Fredricks phase features, these sherds probably are associated with the adjacent Jenrette site. Other pottery found at the Fredricks site, including a cord-marked bowl and a large section of a cord-marked, conoidal jar, most likely represent trade vessels.
Because the Occaneechi are known from the ethnohistoric record to have resided on the Roanoke River prior to their settlement along the Eno River, the characteristics of the Fredricks site ceramic assemblage pose an interesting problem. No plausible antecedents to the Fredricks series were identified during reconnaissance surveys and site excavations conducted within the Buggs Island Reservoir (now Kerr Lake)--the historically documented home of the Occaneechi prior to 1676 (Miller 1962; UNC-RLA site files). In fact, no historic Indian village sites were identified on Occaneechi Island, although there is evidence from a private collection of a Contact-period site on Nelson Island, immediately upstream from Occaneechi Island (Keith Egloff, personal communication). While it is likely that the pre-1676 Occaneechi potters also produced carved-paddle stamped pottery, there is no way to substantiate this. Because the late prehistoric pottery of the Occaneechi Island area (i.e., the predominantly net-impressed Clarksville series) bears no similarity to the Fredricks series, it is possible that the Occaneechi had only recently settled here when Edward Bland's Appomattuck guide first made reference to them in 1650 (Bland 1651:12-13). If so, the ceramic similarities that do exist--largely related to the use of carved instead of net-wrapped malleating paddles--between the Fredricks series and the Hillsboro and Jenrette series may indicate a late prehistoric homeland for the Occaneechi closer to the Eno, Flat, and upper Haw river valleys.