Paste/Temper: Most Bushnell Ware sherds have a friable paste. Texture varies from fine, compact and smooth to coarse, crumbly and uneven in consistency. Temper is composed of crushed muscovite and hornblende schist, with occasional clay, fiber, steatite, bone and shell inclusions in some vessels. Particle size varies tremendously, from fine flecks to coarse particles up to 8 mm in diameter. Temper comprises 5 to 40% of the paste. Waselkov (1982:283) speculates that, ‘The presence of fiber in at least six of the Bushnell Plain vessels poses the intriguing possibility that the inspiration for the technological innovation of pottery manufacture had a southern origin and was not a strictly local development.’ The existence of various tempers–soapstone, quartz, hornblende, muscovite schist, and clay–in the first ceramic vessels in the Middle Atlantic region indicates a period of active experimentation in pottery manufacture during the Early Woodland Period. Exterior surface color ranges from pale brown to light brown to light reddish brown. The vessels were probably fired upright at a low temperature in an oxidizing atmosphere.
Surface Treatment: Bushnell Ware was smoothed by hand on the exterior and interior, often unevenly, with large temper particles protruding from the surfaces. Bases show impressions of bundled fibers.
Vessel Form: Vessels are small, shallow oval or rectangular bowls with rounded corners.
Vessel Diameter: Diameters varied from 104 to 126 mm.
Vessel Height: Heights varied from 85 to 88 mm.
Rim Form: Rims are straight and notched obliquely with a cord. Lips are tapered and rounded. Lugs were attached by clay rivets through holes in the narrow ends of vessel walls.
Base Form: Bases are flat with heel protrusions at the intersection with the vessel wall.
Vessel Wall Thickness: Wall thickness ranges from 6 to 11 mm.