Masters Theses

Date of Award


Degree Type


Degree Name

Master of Arts



Major Professor

Gerald F. Schroedl

Committee Members

Charles H. Faulkner, Jeff Chapman


During 1978 and 1979 an archeological survey was conducted near Spartanburg, South Carolina in an area containing an extensive zone of soapstone deposits from which soapstone was prehistorically quarried. The study area encompassed approximately 16 km2 east of the city of Spartanburg, north of the town of Pacolet and along the Pacolet River. The study located 18 prehistoric soapstone quarries and 17 non-quarry sites. Previous soapstone research has suggested several hypothetical quarrying procedures and reduction sequences. A generalized reduction sequence model for soapstone vessel manufacture based on these suggested procedures was utilized to evaluate the data recovered during the survey. Analysis utilizing this model indicates that a reduction sequence suggested by Putnam in 1878 is the most probable sequence used at site J8SP54 in the study area. The model allows for quantitative evaluation and comparison to be made of soapstone vessel production strategies within and between any soapstone quarries. Also utilizing information from the survey, an evaluation is made of linear patterning exhibited by the soapstone quarries due to regional geologic structure. The proposition states that due to the concordant occurrence of quarried soapstone outcrops along the strike or the structural trends of local and regional rock units high probability predictions of additional quarried outcrops can be made. Finally, it is essential that in future research soapstone be treated as a linear rather than a point research.

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