Paste/Temper: The ware is tempered with 10 to 20 percent crushed shell (ribbed mussel and oyster are commonly used) in a clayey paste.
Surface Treatment: Blaker identified five types within Townsend Ware, each largely differentiated by the presence/absence or type of decoration applied: Rappahannock Fabric Impressed (undecorated); Rappahannock Incised (incised decoration); Townsend Incised (less of the decorative embellishment found in Rappahannock Incised); Townsend Corded Horizontal (decoration similar to Townsend Incised, but executed with a cord-wrapped dowl or direct cord technique); Townsend Herringbone (similar to Townsend Corded Horizontal but with the corded decoration surmounting incised herringbone patterns). Rappahannock Fabric Impressed had been named and described earlier by Karl Schmitt as a minority ceramic from the Potomac Creek site collections in Stafford County, Virginia, but Blaker subdivided Schmitt’s single group into two, creating the Rappahannock Incised type. Daniel Griffith has since revised Blaker’s Townsend typology, reducing her five types to four: Rappahannock Fabric Impressed (no decoration); Townsend Corded Horizontal (direct or pseudo-cord impressions); Townsend “Herringbone” (pseudo-cord impressed, horizontal bands surmounting incised herringbone or zig-zag patterns); and Rappahannock Incised (a variety of incised decorative motifs). Within the different decorated types, Griffin has defined several numbered general categories of motifs. Griffith’s classification system facilitates comparison between assemblages and has allowed researches to investigate differences in the types and frequency of decorative motifs across space and through time.
Vessel Form: The most common vessel shapes are jars with open, direct mouths (neither constricted nor flaring necks).
Vessel Diameter: Vessels are both large and small with the largest measuring 24 to perhaps 45 cm in diameter.
Vessel Height: Unknown
Rim Form: Flat top lip with rounded edges.
Base Form: Bases are rounded or conical.
Vessel Wall Thickness: Moderately thick vessel walls ranging from 4 to 10 mm; majority from 5 to 6 mm.