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Ceramic vessel

(c) Pocumtuck Valley Memorial Association, Deerfield MA. All rights reserved.
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European explorers and settlers of the 16th and 17th centuries did not discover a "New World." People in fact have inhabited the region we now call "New England" for more than 12,000 years. These vibrant and sophisticated societies made use of an abundance of natural resources. Producing ceramic objects like these is a specialized process usually associated with agrarian societies like those of the Native Peoples of the northeast. The designs on these surviving fragments suggest that their makers valued these items for their appearance as well as for their usefulness. Designs were scratched in or imprinted with shells. Pottery was fired in a shallow pit covered with a slow burning fire. Because pottery like this was relatively fragile, it survives mainly as shards.


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