robert z selden jr, geometric morphometrics, ceramics, pottery, shape analysis, geomorph, r, Caddo, American Southeast, archaeology,

Preprint of new JAS: Reports article available on SocArXiv

The geometric morphometric analysis of Hickory Engraved bottles is currently in press at JAS: Reports, and the preprint is available for download on SocArXiv. The follow-up to this piece integrates a new sample of Smithport Plain Caddo bottles, and will be published in Volume 89 of the Bulletin of the Texas Archeological Society. The Hickory Engraved analysis presents an iterative extension of my ongoing work with Caddo ceramic morphology, to which new collections are regularly added. Access the preprint by clicking on the SocArXiv link above, or on the images below.


Comparison of mean shapes for sites where Hickory Engraved assemblages were found to differ significantly; a, Gahagan Mound (gray) and Belcher Mound; b, Gahagan Mound (gray) and Crenshaw Mound; c, Gahagan Mound (gray) and Haley Place; d, Gahagan Mound (gray) and Paul Mitchell; e, Gahagan Mound (gray) and Pohler Collection; f, Smithport Landing (gray) and Paul Mitchell; and g, Smithport Landing (gray) and Pohler Collection.

This study expands upon a previous analysis of the Clarence H. Webb collection that resulted in the identification of two bottle shapes used in the manufacture of the Hickory Engraved type. The current sample of Caddo bottles adduces three-dimensional meshes from the Hickory Engraved specimens in the Webb collection, and 14 new meshes from six sites and one collection. Results confirm that in some cases Hickory Engraved bottle shapes differ significantly by site, that the two shapes identified in the Webb collection persist in this larger sample, and that morphological integration is not significant, meaning that those traits used to characterise bottle shape (rim, neck, body, and base) were not found to vary in a coordinated manner. Thus, these results do not support the hypothesis that Caddo potters adhered to a template of vessel shape associated with specific decorative motifs. When combined with the Webb sample, iterative improvements are achieved, and results demonstrate a general trend toward standardisation in Caddo bottle shapes through time.


Comparison of mean bottle shapes by type for those types found to differ significantly in the Hickory Engraved study; (a) Belcher Engraved (gray) and Hickory Engraved, (b) Belcher Engraved (gray) and Keno Trailed, (c) Belcher Engraved (gray) and Smithport Plain, (d) Hickory Engraved (gray) and Keno Trailed, (e) Hickory Engraved (gray) and Smithport Plain, (f) Keno Trailed (gray) and Smithport Plain, (g) Keno Trailed (gray) and Taylor Engraved, and (h) Smithport Plain (gray) and Taylor Engraved.

Funding for this research was provided by the Caddo Nation of Oklahoma and the National Center for Preservation Technology and Training.



Written by zselden

I am a research associate in the Center for Regional Heritage Research at Stephen F. Austin State University, where my work is focused at the confluence of archaeology, art, engineering, computer science, and the humanities. I am particularly interested in the application of 3D technologies to archaeological problems, geometric morphometrics, network analyses, archaeological theory, and archaeological science.