2015 GSA Annual Meeting in Baltimore, Maryland, USA (1-4 November 2015)

Paper No. 205-10
Presentation Time: 9:00 AM-6:30 PM


ROUILLARD, Elliott, Department of Earth and Environmental Systems, Indiana State University, 200 N 7th St, Terre Haute, IN 47809, erouilla@unca.edu

The archaeological record of the Wabash River in Southern Indiana contains a phase of settlements and artifacts known as the Vincennes. While the Vincennes phase is often thought of as a subset of the Early Mississippian Period, it also represents a transition from the preceding Late Woodland period. This study attempts to determine the nature of this transition.

Ceramics found at several sites in Southern Indiana have been used to further characterize the Vincennes phase. A mix of temper materials was identified in Vincennes ceramics. This includes shell, as used by Mississippian potters and grit, which was commonly used during the Late Woodland. By utilizing petrographic microscopy hybrid ceramic sherds containing both temper materials have been found to be contemporaneous with other sherds that match Early Mississippian and Late Woodland pottery in both style and temper material.

In addition, preliminary portable X-Ray Fluorescence spectrometry has been undertaken in order to determine if sherds have a shared provenance, or if instead there is a possibility of ceramics trade within the Vincennes. The possibility of trade with Mississippian peoples would explain the mixed ceramic styles but give no indication as to whether the Vincennes were an actual subset of the Early Mississippian. However, the absence of trade would indicate an adoption of Early Mississippian style. This would make a strong argument for the Vincennes being a subset of the Early Mississippian. At the moment further analyses are required to say for certain the provenance of the ceramics.