Wilmington Plain

from David Anderson's type collection


The type Wilmington Plain was formally defined by (1979: 129) based on materials in collections from WPA-era excavations at the mouth of the Savannah. The type is a distinct minority in assemblages at the mouth of the Savannah River. It is distinguished from St. Catherines plain primarily by the size of the temper elements. Given the similarity of the two wares, the appropriateness of maintaining a typological distinction between them may need to be reassessed.

Sorting Criteria

"Exterior finishes range from careless smoothing to infrequent burnishing. Interiors are usually carelessly smoothed but lumpy due to presence of large fragments of clay tempering. Shell scraping commonly occurs on vessel interiors"(DePratter 1979: 129). 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. The type may be confused with St. Catherines Plain and St. Catherine's Burnished Plain, with which it intergrades.


Poorly documented. The finish is a minority type at the mouth of the Savannah River, and is rarely noted in Wilmington assemblages on the southwestern South Carolina coast.

Chronological Position

Late Woodland period (ca. 500-1000AD).


DePratter (1979; 1991 :177-179)