This unusual and interesting shard of grit tempered
pottery came from a Woodland site on the upper French
Broad River in Cocke County, Tennessee on 12-28-2011.
From first appearance, it looks like any one of thousands
of shards common to such sites, but closer scrutiny reveals
a very unusual trait. There is fabric stamped patterns
on both the inside and the outside surfaces. Most
shards exhibit this texture on the outside of the vessel and the inside will
be fairly smooth.
Evidently, the Indian used two fabric
wrapped paddles when finishing this vessel. During
the thinning and annealing process, one paddle was
held vertically and the other was held in a horizontal
position. The impression of the fabric is not as robust
on one side as on the other, but both imprints are of a
similar type of coarse fabric, possibly pieces of the same
I have looked at thousands of pottery shards over
the years, and this is the first of this type I have ever
found or seen. I read of only one other such shard having
been found, and that was in a report from a site in
At top: Front and back views of unusual shard of grit tempered pottery
that has fabric stamped impressions on both sides.