Graduation Year


Document Type




Degree Name

Master of Arts (M.A.)

Degree Granting Department


Major Professor

Nancy White, Ph.D.

Committee Member

Diane Wallman, Ph.D.

Committee Member

Robert H. Tykot, Ph.D.


Early Woodland, Check-Stamped Ceramics, Northwest Florida prehistory, Late Woodland


This research compares prehistoric check-stamped ceramics from two northwest Florida sites, Sunstroke (8Li217) and Roy Whitfield (8Gu52), to investigate change through time in pottery manufacture of this ubiquitous type from the Early to Late Woodland Periods, about 100-1000 C.E. These sites are about 60 km apart and connected by waterways in the middle and lower Apalachicola valley drainage system. The Roy Whitfield site is considered Early Woodland based on other diagnostic pottery types, and the Sunstroke site has been radiocarbon-dated to the Late Woodland Period. Check-stamping is a common form of ceramic surface treatment across the Woodland Period and beyond, and this type is abundant at both sites. The treatment consists of rectangular impressions called checks that are made in lines across the surface of the ceramic, with the thin raised lines between the checks called lands. However, the time gap between the sites, a minimum of 900 years, included cultural changes in subsistence patterns that resulted in the adoption of maize horticulture by the end of Late Woodland in this region from what had been previously a subsistence based upon hunting, fishing, and gathering. Comparison between the statistics of the two sites' ceramics indicate that, while they did not drastically change, the configuration of the check-stamped ceramics did shift, with the checks becoming squarer, with thinner lands, and thinner sherd widths (vessel wall thickness) over time. These changes correspond closely to parameters already defined for check-stamped types for the Early and Late Woodland Periods.