The Archaeology of North Carolina

North Carolina Archaeological Time

The Woodland and Mississippian Periods in North Carolina

Coastal Woodland || Piedmont Tradition Early/Middle Woodland   ||  Piedmont Tradition Late Woodland   ||  Southern Piedmont Late Woodland  ||  Appalachian Summit Woodland   ||  South Appalachian Mississippian

The Woodland Period in the Appalachian Summit

Middle Woodland - Pigeon phase (300 B.C. - A.D. 200)

Although the ensuing Connestee phase is well known, a pure Pigeon component has not yet been isolated. Little is known about the Pigeon phase other than the ceramics. Pigeon phase artifacts have been found mostly in plowzones or otherwise mixed with later components. However, even in these contexts, Pigeon ceramics have been easy to identify.

Pigeon phase pottery
Pigeon Check Stamped potsherds from Garden Creek Mound No. 2

Pigeon pottery is distinctive for its fairly abundant use of crushed quartz as temper and predominant check stamping as a surface treatment. Vessel bases sometime have tetrapodal supports, and vessel interiors have an iridescent sheen unique to this pottery series. Vessel forms include simple bowls and subconical and necked jars.

Pigeon series pottery reflects a dramatic break with the cordmarked and fabric-impressed ceramics of the preceding Swannoa phase. The Deptford tradition of Georgia is the closest stylistic relative to Pigeon. Ceramic ties between these areas became more pronounced during the subsequent Connestee phase.

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