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 Piedmont

The Piedmont Village Tradition - The Early Woodland and Middle Woodland Periods (1000 B.C. - A.D. 800)

Yadkin Phase (ca. 300 B.C. to ca. A.D. 800?)

Yadkin pottery is generally thought to follow Badin. Yadkin is similar to Badin except for being tempered with crushed quartz. Cord-wrapped and fabric-wrapped surfaces persist, but new kinds of surface treatments - check stamping, linear check stamping, and simple stamping made with carved wooden paddles - are added. These treatments tie Yadkin phase pottery to the Early Woodland Deptford wares common in Georgia in South Carolina.

Yadkin pottery from the Doerschuk site
Yadkin Fabric-Marked (bottom) and Yadkin Cord-Marked (top) potsherds from the Doerschuk site.

Yadkin projectile points are typically large triangular forms that resemble Badin points but are more finely flaked.

Yadkin Large Triangular points from Doerschuk site
Yadkin Large Triangular projectile points from the Doerschuk site.

Radiocarbon dates for Yadkin and Yadkin-like ceramics generally fall between 290 B.C. and A.D. 60, so it is unclear whether Badin ceramics predate Yakin in all areas of the Piedmont. Some Yadkin sites may have been occupied for relatively long periods of time and lasted until the latter part of the phase, around A.D. 500.

Yadkin Fabric-Marked vessel from Lowder's Ferry site
Reconstructed Yadkin Fabric-Marked pot from the Lowder's Ferry site, Stanly County.

Yadkin phase sites occur more frequently than Badin phase sites, especially in the southern Piedmont and the South Carolina Coastal Plain. Still, evidence relating to the way Yadkin people lived are rare. As Early Woodland research continues across the Piedmont, we will probably see more and more variability in the early ceramic traditions and find that what holds true for one region may not hold true for another.

©2010 UNC-RLA