STALLINGS ISLAND CULTURE FIBER-TEMPERED POTTERY FROM THE CRESCENT SITE, BEAUFORT COUNTY, SOUTH CAROLINA: A MINERALOGICAL, PETROGRAPHICAL, AND EXPERIMENTAL COMPARISON STUDY
Only a few sherds were dominated by fiber. The fiber is visible as a void with some carbonized remains and exhibits specific orientation with oval to round voids in the core and elongate fiber voids near the interior and exterior surfaces. This orientation suggests fiber distribution during manufacturing and the absence of fiber near the surface may be due to floating or smoothing practices that were applied to bring up fine clays to cover the fiber. Only two sherds had carbonized stem fragments present that would allow identification of the Spanish moss. Some of the Stallings plainware have such low fiber contents as to be indistinguishable from Early Woodland Thom's Creek wares. The identity and textural features of the fine-grained aplastic minerals found in the paste are also consistent in both the fiber-tempered and non-fiber tempered sherds. This suggests that the materials used are consistent with clay extraction from coastal plain fluvial (river) or estuarine setting. There were no indicator minerals or shell material to suggest a marine source for the clay. This may suggest that the fiber incorporation was a personal choice, that the clay source (or manufacturing location) was a factor, or that these sherds represent examples of an evolving pottery manufacturing process.