Woodland Pots (500 B.C. – A.D. 1600)
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. The Hillsboro series is attributed to Indians who lived in the Central Piedmont during the period just prior to European contact, while Dan River series pottery was made earlier by Indians living in the North-Central Piedmont. Indians who occupied much of central North Carolina during the early Late Woodland period (A.D. 800 – 1200) made pottery of the Uwharrie series. Other examples of Woodland pottery from the North Carolina Coastal Plain, Piedmont, and Mountains, and dating to earlier time periods, can be seen under Other Woodland.