Paste/Temper: Dan River Ware is tempered with a medium to coarse sand, and occasional pieces of crushed quartz of small to medium size (2 to 5 mm). Temper can composes about 25 percent of the paste, imparting a very sandy and gritty texture to the vessel. Small vessels typically have no crushed quartz and the paste may only exhibit a medium to fine sand.
Surface Treatment: As originally defined by Coe and Lewis, Dan River Ware was mainly net impressed, followed by cord and plain, with minor amounts of corncob, brushed and complicated stamped. Net impressed pottery was at its peak of popularity, cord mark was waning, plain was increasing, and the remaining surface treatments were minor variations. Net impressions were either a knotted or a looped-net variety. Either net when crumpled or wrapped repeatedly around the paddle leaves impressions that are difficult to decipher. The knots on knotted net tend to leave a pock-marked surface impression. The looped net, when pulled obliquely across the paddle which is often the case, appears to leave an impression that looks like a woven fabric. Interior surface finish is normally smoothed, but up to 25 percent may retain parallel grooves indicating scraping. This attributes increases in frequency to the west in Wythe Ware.
Vessel Form: Deep globular jars and bowls
Vessel Diameter: Oral diameter ranges from 8 to 39 cm
Vessel Height: The height ranges from 14 to 55 cm. Some storage jars are very large, and leave the astonished viewer with the reaction ‘How did they make such large and thin vessels by coiling?
Rim Form: Rims are usually everted with slight to pronounced flare in jars. Lips are either flattened or rounded. A small percent of the rims are folded. Folded rims are more common to the east in the Clarksville Ware.
Base Form: Usually conoidal with some rounding.
Vessel Wall Thickness: Usually conoidal with some rounding.