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Made from a coarse, shell-tempered clay (or paste) known as Mississippi Plain, this jar is a wonderful example of a style known as Pouncey Pinched (var. Pouncey). Closely related to the more widespread style of Mississippian pottery known as Parkin Punctated, Pouncey Pinched ceramic vessels are typically found in/around the St. Franics & Memphis regions. This type of pottery was especially common in the Late Mississippian period.

This jar can be identified as Pouncey Pinched on the basis of the characteristic ridges that cover the body of the vessel: using forefinger and thumbnail, the surface clay is pinched up into these unbroken ridges. The pattern of alternating vertical ridges seen on this jar is perhaps the most common style of decoration among Pouncey Pinched vessels. The fact that the decoration extends onto the vessel’s handles but not onto the neck of the jar is also quite common. Furthermore, it appears that Pouncey Pinched was exclusively applied to jar-shaped vessels like this one. The four strap handles, however, are somewhat less common: lug handles are far more frequently associated with Pouncey Pinched vessels. The addition of the appliquéd medallions along the jar’s neck is also quite unusual.




Pottery; Jar; Pouncey Pinched Jar; Mississippian