Thoms Creek Reed Separate Punctate

from David Anderson's Thoms Creek Type Description


The type Thom's Creek Punctate was initially defined by Griffin (1945:467), based on a sample of 19 sherds from the Thom's Creek site (38LX2) on the upper Congaree River, Lexington County, South Carolina. A formal type description, employing the traditional format (c.f. Ford and Griffin 1939), was offered by Waddell (1963); additional detailed descriptions of the ware have been presented by South (1960:47-49), Phelps (1968:20-21), DePratter et al. (1973:45- 52) and Anderson et al. (1979: 136-137). The type was subdivided by Trinkley (1976a, 1980b) into Thom's Creek Reed Separate Punctate, Thom's Creek Reed Drag and Jab Punctate, and Thom's Creek Shell Punctate, distinctions that have been widely adopted.

Thom's Creek Reed Separate Punctate was formally defined as a variety of Thom's Creek Reed Punctate by Trinkley (1976a, 1980b; 14-15), based on a sample of 1948 sherds from 14 shell ring and midden sites in the sea island area of South Carolina. In 1982 Anderson et al. advocated using formal varieties to designate the different forms of surface finish (e.g., Thom's Creek Reed Punctate, Separate Punctate Variety = Thom's Creek Punctate var. Thom's Creek; Thom's Creek Reed Punctate, Dreg and Jab Variety = Thom's Creek Punctate, var. Spanish Mount; Thom's Creek Shell Punctate = Thom's Creek Punctate, var. Fig Island). These varieties were never adopted, nor was any use of the type variety system, and they are formally sunk here. 

Sorting Criteria

Individual (separate) reed punctations, typically placed in rows parallel to the rim; random or geometric arrangements less common. Hard, compact paste; inclusions over l mm in size rare. Most sherds are slightly sandy to the touch, only rarely well smoothed or "soapy" in texture. Straight or incurvate rims with rounded or flattened lips (over most specimens). May be confused with punctated Refuge or Mississippian wares on very small sherds. In eastern Georgia the ware is sometimes reported under the name Refuge Punctate (DePratter 1979:120-126). 


Found throughout the Coastal Plain and Fall Line areas of extreme eastern Georgia, South Carolina, and southwestern North Carolina. Infrequently noted above the Fall Line, typically only along major drainages. 

Chronological Position

Late Archaic period, Thom's Creek Phase (ca. 2000BC-1000BC). Research by Trinkley (1980a: 63-64, 287) suggests that the type may date to or be more common during the earlier part of the phase. 

Primary References

Griffin (1945:467); Caldwell (1952:315); South (1960, 1973b, 1976); Waddell (1963, 1970); Edwards (1965; described as Awendaw Punctated); Calmes (1967); Phelps (1968); Hemmings (1970, 1972); Sutherland (1973, 1974); DePratter, Jefferies, and Pearson (1973); Stoltman (1974); Trinkley (1974, 1975, 1976b, 1976c, 1980a, 1980b, 1981a), Loftfield (1976:195); Anderson (1975a, 1975b); Anderson et al. (1979:136-137, 1982), Widmer (1976a), Loftfield (1976).