Paste/Temper: Overall, this pottery is not particularly friable or soft, and it generally does not have the deteriorated, grainy to “dusty” texture of many earlier wares of the same region. As Evans (1955:61) stated, Prince George ware is, “rather hard to break; not crumbly or friable”. The paste is most often clayey or silty to the touch; however, examples made from sandy clay are known, and these have a correspondingly sandy texture that is not as hard as that of the typical examples. Examples with abundant pebble temper have crackle lines and breaks around the particles and, on sherd breaks, large cavities where pebbles have fallen out are common. Temper is typically a mixture of coarse sand and fine pebbles, or pebbles and granules. Pebbles are typically waterworn and can be variously rounded or subangular. Larger, angular fragments of crushed pebbles also occur, though infrequently. Quartz is the major constituent of the pebble temper, though chert and mineralogically unidentified materials have been noted as well. Evans gave a size range for the pebble temper particles of 3 to 15 mm, with an average of 5 to 6 mm. The Prince George assemblage from the Aignor #3 site exhibited a range of 2 to 15 mm, with most 5 to 6 mm, very consistent with Evans’ range, but including smaller temper that occurred in a few thinned-walled vessels with correspondingly smaller particles of aplastic (McLearen 1987:132). Evans estimated that pebble content of the temper made up about 10 percent of the paste. Although some examples appear to have more temper than that figure probably accounts for, many others do not. In some specimens, this figure is probably too high an estimate, and the pebbles are very sparsely distributed. Evans did not estimate the ratio of sand to pebble temper but did mention that the temper is “a mixture” of the two temper types, and that the fabric-impressed variety contains fewer large temper particles and that “some of the quartz particles of sand are angular” (Evans 1955:62). It should be noted that some Prince George vessels have only rounded pebbles as temper, with no discernible sand content; while other vessels have an admixture of coarse, angular sand grains and small pebbles and granules. The color is generally an oxidized pale tan to light brown, but some reddish brown, medium-to-dark brown, and reduced grayish brown to dark gray examples also occur. Dark streaks and clouding are also not uncommon.
Surface Treatment: Evans defined the following varieties by surface treatment: net-impressed; cord-marked; fabric-impressed; plain; scraped; and simple stamped. Egloff and Potter discuss the net-, cord-, and fabric-marked varieties only. At present, and until demonstrated otherwise, it is believed that the scraped and simple stamped varieties were inclusions of separate “types” now known to belong to later periods. Net- and cord-marking are the most common surface treatments on Prince George Ware, and two types of net impressions have been noted. On some net-impressed examples, the exteriors are deeply impressed with an open mesh that varies from fine to coarse, though far more frequently the latter. Impressions appear to have been made when the clay was fairly plastic and are distinct and generally not overlapping. The other variation involves “roughening” with a knotted net wrapped around a paddle or wadded up in the hand, with a resulting pattern of overlaps and superpositions of the knot and mesh impressions. Cord-marked examples vary in terms of the thickness and spacing of cords wrapped on a paddle. Some are very thin, but most are about 1 mm or larger, and either spaced wide apart or place side by side on the paddle. Most impressions are deep and well defined, as if the clay was still wet and plastic when applied. Both overlapping and non-overlapping cording patterns can be present. Cords running precisely vertical or perpendicular to the rim are rare; most are diagonal and run either parallel or overlapped, or they appear in haphazard, criss-crossing patterns. Fabric impressions are distinct from those of later Woodland ceramics such as those of Townsend Ware, and it would be difficult to confuse the two types of fabrics. The fabric used on Prince George Ware is a coarse wicker type, with a heavy, wide warp. The impressions run horizontal to the rim, with some examples also having vertical impressions that run down the interior for a short distance below the rim. On some examples, the fabric impressions are very clear and deep as if applied when the clay was in a very plastic state. On other examples, however, the impressions have been smoothed over and nearly masked . Interiors of all type varieties are usually smoothed/plain and, on the most well executed examples, they appear nearly floated. However, the surfaces are typically uneven over a large area, as exposed temper particles, as well as bulges in the clay from coarse particles just beneath, are common.
Vessel Form: Prince George vessels are deep, open jars.
Vessel Diameter: Vessels are generally large, ranging from 26 to 42 cm in diameter.
Vessel Height: Unknown
Rim Form: The vast majority of Prince George vessels have very simple rims. Rims are usually slightly insloping or straight, with insloping rims being more common. Minority forms include rare examples with a short, straight “neck”, as described by Evans (1955). In addition, an unusual flanged rim with a nicked lip has been found on one exceptional example from Henrico County (McLearen 1987). Lips are often crudely fashioned and uneven. Their profiles include forms that are flattened, rounded, and tapered or beveled.
Base Form: They generally have either rounded or subconical bases. Some vessels are almost globular with a wide, rounded to almost flattened base.
Vessel Wall Thickness: Vessels are medium-to-thick-walled, though some thin examples of this type have been found. Generally, bases are much thicker than body walls. Body sherd thickness, based on Evans’ (1955) original metrics, combined with those from a key site in the greater James drainage of Henrico County (the “Aignor #3 Site”, McLearen 1987), are from 5 to 13 mm.