Yellow Ware Factory-Made Slipware


Yellow Ware Factory-Made Slipwares from the FCPA Archaeology and Collections Branch (ACB) Type Collection.

by Elizabeth PaynterCART Lab Director

Along with the sponged decoration discovered during the recent archaeological survey for a Hidden Pond Nature Center ADA trail, the CART lab has also been cataloging yellow ware factory-made slipware. Factory-made slipwares are known for their brightly colored slip, often applied in lines and bands around the vessel. In the CART lab, we frequently refer to factory-made slipware as bandedware. This ware type also goes by a variety of other names such as annularware or dipped ware. Yellow ware is similar to the white refined earthenware types, pearlware and whiteware, that most factory-made slipware designs decorate except the body is buff to golden in color.

While factory-made slipwares were available in the 1770s, yellow wares with a factory-made slip decoration were not introduced until after 1810. More typically, yellow ware factory-made slipwares date from around the mid-1800s into the 20th century. The yellow ware found at Hidden Pond has slipped lines of light blue, brown and cream. Any other decoration visible is difficult to determine since we only recovered small fragments of the vessel or vessels.

For more information, see our post “Factory-Made Slipwares”.


Examples of Yellow Ware Factory-Made Slipware recovered from Hidden Pond Nature Center during a recent archaeological survey.


FLMNH. 2019. Yellow Ware – Type Index. Florida Museum of Natural History (FLMNH). Electronic. accessed June 17, 2019.

MAC Lab. 2002. Dipped Earthenwares. Maryland Archaeological Conservation Lab (MAC Lab). Electronic. accessed January 5, 2017.

Sussman, Lynne. 1997. Mocha, Banded, Cat’s Eye, and Other Factory-made Slipware. Council for Northeast Historical Archaeology, Boston, MA.

Posted in Archaeology, Artifacts | Tagged , , , , | 1 Comment

CART Biweekly

CART biweekly newsletter about starting Mount Air. The lab is busy processing. Our volunteer program is currently full. We hope to be adding new volunteers soon. Contact us for info.

Image | Posted on by | Tagged , , | Leave a comment

Sponged Decorated Ceramics

Blue and Red Sponge Decoration on Pearlware Ceramic Fragment

Sponge decorated pearlware recovered from archaeological survey for Hidden Pond Nature Center ADA trail

by Daphne Ahalt – CART Assistant Lab Director

The CART volunteers and lab staff have been busy sorting and cataloging artifacts recently excavated from a mid-19th century site. Among the ceramics recovered are a variety of sponge-decorated wares.

Early sponge decoration was common from circa 1820 to circa 1869 with a height of popularity in the 1830s. The decoration was closely spaced, sometimes as part of a background, border, or pattern, or as an addition to a hand painted ware, such as clouds or tree-tops in a landscape motif. It can be somewhat difficult to determine the sponging technique based on small fragments since not all attributes are always identifiable, such as segment, location of design, or cut-sponge pattern. The sponge decorated wares that CART has been cataloging recently from an archaeological survey for Hidden Pond Nature Center ADA trail are on pearlware and are likely from this early sponge time period.

Sponge decoration was first associated with hand painted decoration. To apply the sponge, a natural sponge would be dipped into the desired color then applied by dabbing the sponge onto the ware, historically underglaze. Although this type of decoration is seen on pearlware, it is more commonly found on whitewares. It is observed on a variety of vessel forms such as tea wares, table wares, and chamber pots, and was applied in many colors, often overlapping several colors on one vessel. Black, blue, brown, chrome greens, pink, purple, red, and yellow are common sponged colors.

Cut-sponge decoration became mainstream in 1845. Patterns were cut into the sponge and included florals, diamonds, and stars. The sponge was filled with color and pressed against the ware repeatedly to produce a continuous pattern, most commonly along the rim of plates and the perimeter of teacups.

The open-sponge technique, developed circa 1860, removed more of the sponge resulting in a pattern with larger areas of undecorated surface. Open-sponge decoration can be found on whitewares, but are more common on yellowwares, Bristol stoneware, and ironstone in the form of utilitarian wares, such as large serving platters and pitchers. (Maryland Archaeological Conservation Lab, 2002)

This slideshow requires JavaScript.

Maryland Archaeological Conservation Lab. 2002. Diagnostic Artifacts in Maryland: Sponge Decorated Wares. Online. Accessed June 5, 2019

Posted in Artifacts | Leave a comment

CART Biweekly

Image | Posted on by | Tagged , , , , | Leave a comment

Lanceolate Points

by Avery JonesSenior Archaeological Field and Lab Technician

When looking at a projectile point and its role within the Native American toolkit, it is easy to think of it as only a hunting instrument. However, it was actually more of a multi-purpose tool as “projectile points were apparently used interchangeably as spear points, knives, saws, and other tools without modification to the hafting element” (Justice 1987, 5).

Points are categorized by type based on form and flaking characteristics. Types of points include Bifurcate Base, Contracting Stem, Corner Notch, Lanceolate, Pentagonal, Side Notch, Stemmed, and Triangular. As noted in previous posts on projectile points, the hafting element at the base of the point is the most essential attribute in assigning point type. For further discussion on a few of these typologies, we invite you to click on the links above. The subject of this post is to introduce the lanceolate type as it relates to the Mid-Atlantic region.

Resin Cast of Nearly Complete Late Stage Clovis Projectile Point Preform from Virginia

Lanceolate points are identified as “a point with notches or stem that are weak-to-non-existent” (Maryland Archaeological Conservation Laboratory 2012). There are 4 type clusters of lanceolate points known to have been used in the area roughly encompassing North Carolina, Tennessee, Kentucky, Virginia, West Virginia, Maryland, Ohio, Pennsylvania, New Jersey, and New York. These include Clovis, Hardaway-Dalton, Guilford, and Selby Bay/Fox Creek. Clovis and Hardaway-Dalton are generally considered to date from ca. 10,000 to 8000 BCE within the Paleo-Indian time period. During the Paleo-Indian period the lanceolate point type was dominant. Guilford and Selby Bay/Fox Creek are outliers from the Middle Archaic (5250 to 4350 BCE) and the Middle Woodland (200 to 700 BCE) time periods, respectively.

Lanceolate points were made using stone such as chert, chalcedony, jasper, rhyolite, quartz, and quartzite. The sides of the blade vary depending on the type of lanceolate point. They can be parallel, excurvate, or even slightly concave. Sizes of the points within and between types can also vary. One potentially defining attribute besides the weak shoulders is that most appear to have basal grinding, except for the Selby Bay/Fox Creek type.


Department of Historic Resources. n.d. Native American Comparative Collections: Points., accessed 02/13/2014.

Justice, Noel D. 1987. Stone Age Spear and Arrow Points of the Midcontinental and Eastern United States. Bloomington and Indianapolis, Indiana: Indiana University Press.

Maryland Archaeological Conservation Laboratory. 2012 [2002] Projectile Points: Projectile Point Typology. Diagnostic Artifacts in Maryland., accessed 02/13/2019.

Posted in Archaeology, Artifacts | Tagged , | Leave a comment

CART Biweekly

Image | Posted on by | Tagged , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Discovering a Little More

Pipe bowl stamped with TD found recently at Old Colchester.

Old Colchester Park and Preserve has several archaeological sites. The pipe bowl above was recently recovered from the site that CART unofficially refers to as “cemetery.” While there is a cemetery, we are not excavating any of the actual cemetery. The area we were most recently digging was a large structure and outbuilding, most likely a detached kitchen that doubled as slave housing, with a cemetery in close proximity.

Pipe Bowl with "TD" stamped on it

Pipe Bowl with “TD” stamped on it found in 2011.

Do you remember the pipe that we excavated in 2011? It was recovered from the same site. In fact both were excavated from within or near the outbuilding.

See also Cool Finds from 44FX0704 and White Clay Tobacco Pipe.

For more information on the site:
GPR at 0704
Helping Hands
Intern’s Experience with Creamware
New Finds
Meat the Features of 0704…First Course


Even Further Reading:
CART Archaeology’s The Ball Clay Tobacco Pipe,
Drayton Hall’s What is it?
Mt. Vernon’s ‘The Best Kind of Long Ones:’ Tobacco Pipes from the Midden
Odyssey’s Virtual Museum’s Clay Tobacco Pipe – TD style

Posted in Archaeology, Artifacts | Leave a comment