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Virginia Department of Historic Resources

Hyco Ware

Hyco Ware
Hyco Ware
Hyco Ware
Hyco Ware
Period: Early Woodland
Defining Attributes: Hyco Ware is an Early Woodland fine sandtempered pottery with plain, cord, and fabric surface treatments. The rim forms a straight wall with the body and the ware is undecorated.
Chronology: The estimated age of Hyco Ware is 800 to 500 B.C., based on the stratigraphic evidence recovered by Miller and the ware’s similarity to the radiometric dated Elk Island Ware. At the Hyco Site, Hyco Plain Type was the first pottey to be manufactured, before it was supplanted by Hyco Cord Marked Type. Before Hyco Plain completely disappeared, Hyco Fabric Marked Type was introduced.
Distribution: Hyco Ware is found in the Piedmont along the Roanoke River in Mecklenburg and Halifax counties.
Description:
Paste/Temper: A coiled built pottery tempered with medium fine sand, creating a fine-grained paste. The earlier plain surface sherds displays a friable paste. Whereas the past for the slightly later cord or fabric marked sherds is more compact.
Surface Treatment: As originally defined, Hyco Ware has plain, cord, fabric, net, simple stamped, and combed surface treatments. Plain, cord and fabric surface treatments are the most common, and only a few coarse net and combed sherds were recovered at the Hyco Site. Simple stamped, net and comb may not be appropriate types for this ware
Decoration: undefined
Morpholopgy:
Vessel Form: Wide mouthed jars or deep bowls with vertical sides. No appendages of any type are present on the exterior of vessels.
Vessel Diameter: Unknown
Vessel Height: Unknown
Rim Form: Flat, rounded or slightly tapered lips. Usually the rims and necks form a straight wall with the body. The interior of the rim may be marked with the edge of the cord or fabric wrapped paddle, a byproduct of shaping the orifice of the vessel. Color, normally an orange to brick-red, is a distinguishing characteristic of the ware.
Base Form: Conoidal to rounded.
Vessel Wall Thickness: Vessel thickness is unusually thin for an early ceramic. The range is 3 to 7 mm with an average of 5 mm. Evidence for interior scraping remains on some sherds.
Discussion: Hyco Ware is the earliest pottery in the Roanoke River system and is found in direct association with sherds from steatite vessels. The ware is very similar to Elk Island Ware defined by Mouer (1981) for the James River Piedmont. Hyco Plain is the earliest followed by Hyco Cord Marked and then by Hyco Fabric Marked. Hyco cord and fabric, displaying more compact paste than the plain, is similar to Coe’s (1964) cord and fabric in the Vincent Series found along the Roanoke River at the Gaston Site, North Carolina.
Defined in the Literature: Miller defined the ware in 1962 from work conducted at the Hyco Site in the John H. Kerr Reservoir Basin. The ware has not been discussed further in the literature, since limited archaeological research in the region has not recovered similar pottery in cultural context.
References: Coe 1964; Miller 1962:141-148; Mouer 1981;
Prepared By: Egloff 2007

Updated February 6, 2020