Altamaha

Altamaha

Chester DePratter believes Altamaha ware is the terminal phase of Irene (DePratter 2009). It is common on St. Catherines Island and is associated with the historic Guale and Yemassee Indians there. He belives that Irene was evolving into Altamaha at Santa Elena in the 1580s. It was used by the Yamassee in Beaufort and Jasper counties until they left the state after the Yemassee War of the mid 1710s (Sweeney 2009; Green 1991). DePratter says that he always identifies certain decorations as Altamaha, and others as Irene. Altamaha check stamped, red filmed, line block stamped, simple and cross-simple stamped types are discussed. It is tempered with "fine to medium grit" (pg 36). Surface stamping tends to be shallower and less distinct than on Irene. Vessels include tall jars with everted rims, conoidal jars, and globular bowls.

At the c. 1695-1715 Altamaha Town site in Beaufort County Alex Sweeney notes that the line-block stamp is the most common surface treatment, but he also identified curvilinear (concentric circles) and rectilinear complicated stamped and incised burnished plain wares with Lamar/Irene type motifs. Plates with red filmed marleys are found here as well.