Virginia State Seal

Virginia Department of Historic Resources

Branchville Ware

Branchville Ware
Branchville Ware
Period: Late Woodland
Defining Attributes: Branchville is a Late Woodland ware tempered with small granules of well rounded quartzite and chert, ranging from 3 to 5 mm in size. Four types are included: Branchville Fabric Impressed, Cord Marked, Simple Stamped, and Plain.
Chronology: No radiometric dates are known for this ware. A Late Woodland date is inferred.
Distribution: The ware, similar to Cashie Ware which is widespread throughout the Interior Coastal Plain of northeastern North Carolina, occurs in Greensville, Southampton, and Sussex counties in Virginia (Egloff and Potter 1982).
Description:
Paste/Temper: The paste includes small granules of quartzite and chert, all well rounded by water action and ranging from 3 to 5 mm in size. Temper constitutes about 10 percent of the paste. Sherds have a smooth feel, being composed of a silty paste.
Surface Treatment: Exterior surfaces are either fabric impressed, cord marked, simple stamped, or plain. Fabric is closely woven with a fine weft and a relatively fine warp. Crisscrossing of the cord impressions is common. The simple stamping appears to be either an untwisted thong, carved paddle, fine grass, and/or brushing.
Decoration: Decoration is rare, occasional incised lines. There are no appendages.
Morpholopgy:
Vessel Form: Vessels were made from coil construction. Vessels are probably spherical to ovoid in shape with a slightly restricted mouth, a short neck, and slightly recurving rim.
Vessel Diameter: Oral diameters may range from 15 to 45 cm.
Vessel Height: Unknown
Rim Form: The typical rim form is slightly recurved, turning out from an insloping body wall. The minority form is a straight rim. On recurved rims the interior surface has been shaped with the edge of a fabric wrapped paddle. Occasionally the lip will be flattened with a paddle.
Base Form: Bases are rounded or semi-conoidal.
Vessel Wall Thickness: Body sherds range from 4 to 7 mm with the average around 5 mm. Bases average 10 mm in thickness
Discussion: Branchville Ware in the Meherrin and Nottoway localities correlate with Cashie Ware defined by Phelps (1983) in North Carolina, but differs in the presence of cord-marked surface finish.
Defined in the Literature: Branchville Ware was first defined by Binford (1964:287-303) from his work in the Interior Coastal Plain of southern Virginia. Binford recognized a ceramic that was neither Stony Creek nor Prince George. He described the geographic range of the ware as continuing into northeastern North Carolina.
References: Binford 1964; Egloff and Potter 1982; Phelps 1983;
Prepared By: Egloff 2009

Updated February 6, 2020