Wilmington Check Stamped

from David Anderson's type description


This category subsumes earlier types developed for claylgrog tempered check and linear check stamped wares locally, notably Caldwell's 1952: 316, see also Waring 1968:220, Wilmington Check Stamped, renamed Walthour Check Stamped by DePratter 1979: 130; 1991: 176 and Hanover Check Stamped, after the series defined by South (1960, 1973). Walthour Check Stamped, found at the mouth of the Savannah, is assumed to date to the initial part of the Late Woodland, from ca. AD 500-600, and is thought to be a direct development from Deptford (DePratter 1997: 130). The northern Hanover type is assumed to have been contemporaneous with Deptford, differing only in the selection of paste. A north-to-south movement, or adoption, of clay/grog tempering / manufacture technology appears indicated by the distribution and dating of assemblages recovered to date. Wilmington materials south of Charleston Harbor appear to postdate ca. AD 500, while those to the north (formerly called Hanover) occur much earlier, and are in fact replaced after ca. AD 500 by other series.

Wilmington Check Stamped appears to be relatively uncommon in the coastal plain of South Carolina; a survey of ceramics on 313 sites recorded only 49 clay/grog tempered check and linear check stamped sherds, on 17 sites (Anderson 1975b). A total of 15 sherds of Wilmington Check Stamped were recovered at Mattassee Lake. Except for the exterior surface finish, the ware was virtually identical to the fabric impressed clay/grog tempered ware from the site, Wilmington Fabric Impressed. Both check and linear check stamped finishes were present, although most (N=l l,73.3 percent) exhibited linear check stamping.

Sorting Criteria

Check and rarely linear check stamping over the exterior vessel surface; occasionally smoothed somewhat after stamping. The paste is characterized by crushed sherds or grog from 3 to 5 mm in maximum dimension, although larger inclusions up to 10.0 mm are sometimes noted.


Poorly documented. Check and linear check stamped pottery characterized by sherd or claylgrog tempering appears restricted to the Sea Island area from the mouth of the Savannah River to Charleston Harbor, beyond which it occurs both along the coast and in the interior of the Coastal Plain from the Ashley-Cooper to the Cape River drainages in North Carolina. The ware becomes increasingly uncommon from south to north in North Carolina.

Chronological Position

Early/Middle Woodland periods (ca. 300 BC -AD 600). North of Charleston Harbor the finish appears to occur throughout the Middle Woodland period, where it is roughly contemporaneous with Deptford finishes, from ca. 500 BC to AD 500. On the southeastern coast of South Carolina the ware appears to date later, and only occur at the end of this interval; DePratter (1979: 111, 130) places this material (which he typed Walthour Check Stamped) to between AD 500 and 600 at the mouth of the Savannah.


Caldwell (1952, 1971); Waring Williams 1968; Anderson DePratter (1979: 130); Anderson et al. 1982: 276