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

Southern Piedmont Late Woodland

Caraway Phase (A.D. 1500 - 1700)

Following the end of Pee Dee Culture in the southern Piedmont, the Caraway phase represents a return to the mainstream of the Piedmont Village Tradition. Only a few vestigial ceramic traits and abandoned villages remained to hearken the accomplishments of the Pee Dee Culture.

Caraway phase was first recognized at the Poole, or Keyauwee site, on Caraway Creek in Randolph County. Although a few European trade artifacts are found at Keyauwee, most of the materials date to late in the Late Woodland period - around the beginning of the sixteenth century. The shell and bone artifacts are very similar to the grave goods found at sites dating to the Hillsboro, late Dan River, and Early Saratown phases.

Keyauwee site excavation map - Area A
Map of excavation Area A at the Keyauwee site (from Coe 1937).

Caraway phase is the southern Piedmont's version of the widespread Lamar style. Caraway ceramics represent the culmination of the Badin, Yadkin, Uwharrie, and Dan River ceramic traditions with an overlay of some Pee Dee influence. Smooth or burnished surfaces predominate, followed in popularity by complicated-stamped and simple stamped surface treatments. The smooth and burnished types probably date later than the stamped treatments.

Excavations at Keyauwee site in the 1930s found pits with village refuse in the western portion of the site and burials in the eastern portion. Individual burials were placed in flexed position and accompanied with a variety of artifacts, including bone and shell beads, shell gorgets, stone discoidals, and a stone pipe. The stone pipe is very similar to one found at the Gason site.

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