Master of Arts (MA)


Geography and Anthropology

Document Type



In this study, I used digital image analysis to quantitatively describe and detail the prehistoric pottery associated with the coastal Tchefuncte culture (ca. B.C. 800—100 A.D.). The first step was to select and procure samples of Tchefuncte Plain var . Tchefuncte, var. Mandeville, Baldwin Plain var. O’Neal, and two decorated Alexander series wares from the Tchefuncte site. Two samples of var. Tchefuncte from the Bayou Jasmine site (16SJB2) and two Alexander series samples from the Tennessee-Tombigbee area were included for comparison. The sites represented by the samples from the Tennessee-Tombigbee region are the Kellogg Village Site (22CL527) and the Sanders Site (22CL917). Sediment samples were procured from near the Tchefuncte site in St. Tammany Parish, the Bayou Jasmine site in St. John the Baptist Parish, and from Lowndes County, Mississippi, an area associated with the Alexander series wares included in this study. The sediment samples were prepared and fired in a kiln at low temperatures similar to the conditions suggested for firing in the production of Tchefuncte wares. All of these samples were thin sectioned and digitally scanned for analysis. Analysis of the thin sections included digital point counting (via JMicrovision software) and digital image analysis (via ImageJ software). The results of digital image study identified wide variability in paste constituents, particularly for the Tchefuncte pottery. While a generalized profile of each of the plainwares in the sample was identified, some sherds in the sample appeared to be mistyped. While a relatively clear distinction could be made between the two Tchefuncte varieties, the sandy-paste Baldwin Plain var. O’Neal was difficult to differentiate from Tchefuncte Plain var. Mandeville and Alexander Incised var. Incised.



Document Availability at the Time of Submission

Release the entire work immediately for access worldwide.

Committee Chair

Saunders, Rebecca