Stallings Shell Punctate


from David Anderson's Stallings Type Descriptions


The type Stallings Punctate was first defined by Sears and Griffin 1950. Distinguishing linear separate reed from shell punctations derives from the work of Michael Trinkley, who demonstrated the temporal and spatial (i.e., distributional) significance of differing surface finish attributes within the Thom's Creek series in the 1970s (Trinkley 1976, 1980a, 1980b). Within the Stallings series this distinction has been demonstrated to have temporal and spatial (i.e., distributional) significance by Sassaman (1993). See also discussion for Stallings Plain. Decoration with a marine gastropod was a common feature in Stalling’ pottery observed at the Chesterfield shell ring site near Beaufort (Griffin 1943). 

Sorting Criteria

Individual (separate) shell punctations, typically formed by the tip of a small gastropod. Typically placed in rows parallel to the rim, zoned, curvilinear, or random motif less common (Trinkley 1980b:16). Fiber vesicules throughout the paste, typically visible on both the interior and exterior vessel surface regardless of the extent of smoothing. May be confused with Thom's Creek Shell Punctate, which may have incidental fiber inclusions, or exterior fiber-like impressions resulting from placement of the wet vessel on plant materials prior to firing.  


Found throughout the Sea Island area of southeastern Georgia and southwestern South Carolina, and less commonly in the interior Coastal Plain and lower Piedmont. Very little decorated Stallings pottery has been reported to the northeast of the Santee drainage, and it is uncommon even along this drainage. Greatest incidence from the Ogeechee to Edisto Rivers.   

Chronological Position

Late Archaic period (ca. 2500BC-1000BC).

Primary References

Griffin (1943, 1945); Sears and Griffin (1950).