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Virginia Department of Historic Resources

Ware Plain

Ware Plain
Ware Plain
Period: Early Woodland
Defining Attributes: An Early Woodland, flat-bottom vessels, exhibiting crushed-quartz temper, hand-modeled construction, and lug handles.
Chronology: Considered to be Early Woodland, 1200 to 800 BCE, one type of the selection of different tempered ceramics recognized as part of the experimental phase of ceramic development.
Distribution: Found on the Delmarva Peninsula (Wise 1975), at Savage Neck, 44NH0478, on the Eastern Shore, Newington, 44KQ0006, in King & Queen County, and at 44PO0008, Powhatan County, in the Piedmont of Virginia.
Paste/Temper: Large chunks of crushed quartz, 2 to 8 mm in diameter, in a clayey paste.
Surface Treatment: No surface treatment, but typically a slightly bumpy surface.
Decoration: Typically none.
Vessel Form: Low, oval bowls with lug handles at each end.
Vessel Diameter: Unknown
Vessel Height: Unknown
Rim Form: Simple and direct.
Base Form: Vessels exhibit flat bottoms with vertical sides. Typically the base breaks where the bottom meets the sides.
Vessel Wall Thickness: Typically thick, 7 to 9 mm. Bases are ca. 10.0 mm in thickness.
Discussion: Ware Plain exhibits rectanguloid vessels reminiscent of carved soapstone vessels, and tempered with crushed quartz. The ware is believed to be contemporary with Marcey Creek. It appears to be a regional variation of the Early Woodland “experimental wares” which share characteristic in form, paste, and surface treatment. The main difference between these wares is temper.
Defined in the Literature: Ware Plain was originally described by McCann in 1950. Kraft in 1970 proposed a modified version of the original type description that includes flat-bottomed vessels with lug handles.
References: Kraft 1970; McCann 1950; Wise 1975;
Prepared By: Egloff 2012

Updated February 6, 2020