Courtesy Pocumtuck Valley Memorial Association, Deerfield, MA

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Ceramic vessel

This ceramic vessel was used by Native Americans for food preparation. The accompanying shards are from other vessels similar to this relatively complete example. Producing ceramic vessels was a specialized process usually associated with agrarian societies like the Native Americans of the Northeast. The designs on these surviving fragments suggest that their makers valued these items for their appearance as well as for their usefulness. Designs were etched or impressed in damp clay with shells or other objects. The pottery was then fired in a shallow pit covered with a slow burning fire. Because pottery like this was relatively fragile, it survives today mainly as shards.

Date: circa 1000 B.C.E - 350 B.C.E. 
Topic: Household 
Materials: Clay
Dimensions: H: 4.5 in. (11.4 cm), W: 4.5 in. (11.4 cm) 
Accession #: 1999.13.513

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