Will the real potsherd please stand up
During the first few years after returning to Georgia from Virginia, I lived a 10 minutes walk from Etowah Mounds National Historic Landmark. None of the archaeologists knew (or hated) me then. The Etowah Museum sponsored a show and tell day in which the public could bring artifacts and a team of professional archaeologists would show off their knowledge by labeling them with the correct location, date and style.
As a practical joke, I brought some shell tempered, Maya Commoner Redware from the suburbs of Palenque in Chiapas State, Mexico. I told the archaeologists that I found them in a box, when I moved into the townhouse. Well, I did! The box was with the other boxes the movers left and was labeled “Palenque.” Little did I know what significance, the word, Palenque, would have in 2012.
To be fair, Maya Commoner pottery was virtually identical to that found around the Ocmulgee Acropolis and proto-Creek redware found almost everywhere, but local yokel archaeologists don’t seem to know that. Palenque was abandoned around 800 AD due to a massive volcanic eruption.
Well, this is how the archaeologists labeled the potsherds:
- Ocmulgee, shell-tempered Plain Redware (about 900 AD to 1150 AD).
- Etowah, shell-tempered Plain Redware (about 1250 AD to 1375 AD)
A third, older archaeologist was watching from the sidelines, but not involved with identifying the artifacts. He said that it was Cherokee Redware from the Coosawattee River and dated from about 1600 AD to 1700 AD. Cherokee????
A feller jest can’t get no respect! 🙄
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