Paper No. 2
Presentation Time: 8:25 AM
THE USE OF SILICEOUS MICROFOSSILS IN TRACING POTTERY MANUFACTURING ORIGINS IN THE SOUTHEASTERN UNITED STATES
This research focuses on the use of petrographic methods to trace the manufacturing origins of early historic period aboriginal pottery in northeast Florida on the basis of constituent siliceous microfossils. We thus employ the methods and subject matter of geology and invertebrate paleontology to address an archaeological problem. Fragments of siliceous microfossils, specifically diatoms, were identified in the matrix of some early historic period aboriginal pottery from St. Augustine, Florida, as well as in some clay samples from the coastal region of northeast Florida and southeast Georgia. Diatoms, unicellular algae with ornate cell walls made of silica, are useful as environmental indicators in paleoenvironmental investigations but have also proven useful in provenance studies of archaeological pottery and clays. This study is one such example. Our eventual goal is to map the occurrence of clays with diatoms in this region and to investigate temporal patterns in their exploitation.