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This outslanted bowl is an example of the Bell Plain (var. Bell) style of Mississippian pottery. Bell Plain ceramics are formed by the coiling process: thin rolls of clay are used to build up the shape of the vessel around a flat base. This clay tends to be dark grey in color and is tempered with very fine shell fragments, and the interior and exterior surfaces are thoroughly smoothed. This style of pottery was in use throughout the Mississippian period but was especially prevalent in the Middle and Late Mississippian periods. Although bowl-shaped vessels like this one are the most common form of Bell Plain pottery, the pronounced interior bevel at the rim and, more specifically, the decoration along the rim of this piece make it somewhat unique. This decoration, which was created by using a woven rope to incise the lines, is a very nice example of what archaeologists call the Haynes Bluff style of Mississippian ceramic decoration, so-named because it is especially prevalent in the areas around the Haynes Bluff / Yazoo River Valley regions, which includes western Tennessee and Memphis.


1200- 1540


Pottery; Bowl, Bell Plain Bowl; Haynes Bluff Bowl; Mississippian