Emily S. Gaskin: student co-author.

Document Type


Publication Date



Earth Sciences



Publication Title

Quarterly Bulletin of the Archeological Society of Virginia


The Davis Site (44LA46) is a multicomponent (colonial and prehistoric) site located on the Eastern Branch of the Corrotoman River in Lancaster County, Virginia. The Native American occupation has been dated with archeological evidence from the Early Archaic to historic periods. Plow zone surface collections included numerous Native American pottery sherds. The pottery wares present included Mockley, Townsend, and Potomac Creek, with Mockley ware being the most common. The goals of the study were: (1) to determine the firing temperatures of the Native American pottery; and (2) to determine if local clay was viable for manufacturing Native American pottery found at this or other Chesapeake sites. To address these questions, the raw clay was fired at various temperatures. The mineralogical composition of the raw clay, the various fired clays, and the three types of pottery were compared using X-ray diffraction. The Sedgefield Member of the Tabb Formation was a viable clay source for Native American pottery in the area. The mineral composition of the pottery indicates a firing temperature around 550 °C. This is supported by X-ray diffraction and color analysis of the fired clays.


This published version is made available on Dickinson Scholar with the permission of the publisher. For more information on the published version, visit The Archeological Society of Virginia's Website.