Redefining Old Women's Phase pottery : a typological analysis of ceramics on the Northwestern Plains

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Macdonald, Sheila
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Lethbridge, Alta. : University of Lethbridge, Dept. of Geography
Ceramic artifacts recovered from late Avonlea and Old Women’s Phase components in Alberta, Saskatchewan, and Montana, with dates ranging from 1200 to 200 years ago, have been referred to as Ethridge ware (Kehoe 1959; Walde 2006b), Saskatchewan Basin Complex: Late Variant (Byrne 1973), or simply as Old Women’s Phase pottery. Despite these different names, the vessels are typically recognised by their globular form, shouldered profiles, thick walls, vertical or flaring rims, and cord-roughened, fabric-impressed, or plain surfaces. The increasing number of ceramic artifacts allowed for a refined typological analysis of this broadly described pottery style. Ceramic attributes were used to identify temporal variations and loose regional trends. Several trends were identified within the diverse assemblage, including the newly defined Ross ceramic type. The results of this research provide a better understanding of the form and stylistic choices made by the potters of the Late Prehistoric Period on the Northwestern Plains.
Archaeology , Old Women's Phase , Pottery , Ceramics , Northwestern Plains