Date of Award


Degree Type


Degree Name

Master of Arts



Major Professor

Gerald F. Schroedl

Committee Members

Charles H. Faulkner, Jeff Chapman


The Chota-Tanasee (40MR2-40MR62) ceramic analysis incorporates all aboriginal ceramics recovered during seven excavation seasons at the site. The total ceramic assemblage consists of 154,444 artifacts. Ceramics indicate that the site was utilized sporatically from the Early Woodland Period to proto-historic times. Throughout the eighteenth century the site was intensively occupied by the historic Overhill Cherokee.

A descriptive classification system is developed which is used to define 55 ceramic types and residual categories primarily on the basis of temper and surface treatment attributes. Discrete attributes are further utilized to describe vessel and rim sherd morphology.

The distribution of the various ceramic types are examined among the different excavation areas and the co-occurrence of historic types within feature assemblages is discussed. The analysis indicates that Overhill and Qualla series sherds display distinctly different patterns of occurrence in feature assemblages. Fatherland Incised ceramics occur most often with the Overhill series and are not highly correlated with Qualla types. However, a review of the distribution of ceramic types within the site indicates a high degree of overall uniformity. No area of the site is markedly different in total ceramic content than another. This is attributed to the rather brief occupation at the site by the Overhill Cherokee and the predominance of Overhill Plain ceramics in all areas.

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