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Pots made from clay, also called ceramics, were commonly used by American Indians in North Carolina after 1000 B.C. As with spear points, the durability and abundance of pottery makes it useful for dating and interpreting archaeological sites. Pottery styles and production techniques changed over time, which allows archaeologists to use pottery for dating sites. Pottery styles also varied by region, which makes it a useful cultural marker as well.

Archaeologists generally refer to these styles as “pottery series” and associate them with archaeologically defined cultures or historically identified tribes.  Pisgah series pottery was made by Indians who lived in the Appalachian Summit during the early Mississippian period (A.D. 1000-1400), and the Pee Dee series was made during the same period by people in the Southern Piedmont.  Indians in the Western Foothills during the late Mississippian period (A.D. 1400 – 1600) made pottery of the Burke and Cowans Ford series.  Other examples of Mississippian pottery from western and southern North Carolina can be seen under Other Mississippian.