Dating pottery shards

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For example, sherds may be categorized as rim sherds, body sherds, and/or base sherds.

Rim sherds are fragments of a vessel's rim, while base sherds are fragments of the vessel's base.

The analysis of sherds is widely used by archaeologists to date sites and develop chronologies, due to their diagnostic characteristics and high resistance to natural, destructive processes.

To begin identifying a few of the various pottery sherds found in Unit 6, I followed the procedures outlined in “Identifying Your Finds: First Steps in Identifying Pottery” by Dave Weldrake and the Florida Museum of Natural History’s “Introduction to Ceramic Identification” collection.Normally, an excavation project would seek to date as many carbon samples as possible, explains Boaretto.But in this case, the team conducted pre-screening in the field and then did a preliminary analysis in the lab of some 150 initial samples using infrared and Raman spectroscopy.Perhaps the vessel they belonged to was passed down through generations and, eventually, found its final resting place in the West Room?We cannot, however, use just these two sherds to date the unit.

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