Master of Arts (MA)


Geography and Anthropology

Document Type



Tchula period pottery (Tchefuncte culture) in Louisiana is characterized by highly contorted and laminated pastes. These diagnostic traits have led investigators to suggest hypotheses concerning manufacturing techniques, but there has been relatively little focus on temporal trends associated with these characteristics. The first step in redressing this problem was to identify a site likely to contain archaeological assemblages that would span the Tchula period. Excavations began at the Sarah Peralta site (16EBR67) in the fall of 2001 and were concluded in the spring of 2002. Artifacts from this site were characterized according to standard identification procedures. A secondary site, the Bayou Jasmine site (16SJB2), was chosen for comparative purpose to isolate temporal or geographic variation in Tchefuncte pottery. Pottery from the two sites, the Sarah Peralta site (16EBR67) and the Bayou Jasmine site (16SJB2), was analyzed to test the hypothesis that the quality of Tchula pottery improves temporally when frequency of contortions and laminations are calculated and compared. These questions were contextualized within a wider view of Louisiana's first pottery, its production, and adoption throughout the southeast United States. The results suggest laminations and contortions change in frequency and degree temporally and possibly spatially, or according to site function, giving researchers a new method for seriating pottery from the period.



Document Availability at the Time of Submission

Release the entire work immediately for access worldwide.

Committee Chair

Rebecca Saunders