Yadkin Plain

from David Anderson's type description


The type Yadkin Plain was initially described by Anderson et al. based on a sample of 60 sherds from the Mattassee lake sites along the lower Santee River in South Carolina. The Yadkin series as originally defined by Coe (1964: 31-32) included three types, Yadkin Cord- Marked, Yadkin Fabric-Marked, and Yadkin Linear Check Stamped. Plain wares were not reported, and the only other finish noted within the series was dentate stamping, observed on a single sherd (Coe 1964:30). A number of cordmarked, fabric impressed, and linear check-stamped sherds were recovered at Mattassee Lake that strongly resembled Coe's Yadkin types. These wares, characterized by large, angular rounded fragments of quartz in the paste, were found with a fourth, plain finished ware that was otherwise identical to the other three. Description as a type within the Yadkin series was, therefore, considered appropriate. Possible related wares include Plain 1976: 168) from central coastal North Carolina, tempered with crushed quartz, and the Mount Pleasant series (Phelps from northern coastal North Carolina, tempered with sand and gravel. All of these wares occur on a Middle Woodland time level, in rough agreement with their placement at Mattassee Lake.

The Yadkin Plain sample from Mattassee Lake had well-smoothed interior and exterior surfaces, although most sherds are slightly sandy to the touch. The paste is characterized by large amounts of rounded and subrounded quartz gravel; these inclusions are naturally weathered, and not intentionally crushed. The ware was predominantly reddish-brown in color; no rimsherds were recovered. The ware differs from both the and series type materials (Coe 1964, Loftfield 1976) in having rounded as opposed to crushed quartz inclusions, although in this respect it is similar to Phelps (1981) Mount Pleasant series. Plain wares have not been described for either the Yadkin or Mount Pleasant series.

Sorting Criteria

Plain surface finish. Paste characterized by large amounts of rounded and subrounded or crushed white and clear quartz gravel (1.0-6.0 mm, average about 3.0 mm).


The ware is most commonly reported in the inner Coastal Plain and lower Piedmont of North and South Carolina in the vicinity of the boundary between the two states, from roughly the Santee-Wateree to the Cape Fear rivers.

Chronological Position

Early-Middle Woodland (ca. 500 BC -AD 500)

Primary References

Anderson et al. 1982: 301-302, Yadkin Plain); Coe (1952, 1964; Yadkin series), Cable and Cantley (1979; Yadkin-like ceramics); Loftfield (1976; Onslow series ceramics); Phelps 1981; Mount Pleasant series ceramics).