is an Early to Middle Woodland ware, characterized by crushed
rock temper, cord-marked exterior and interior surfaces, and
a conoidal shape. It is named for the Vinette site in New York,
and is tied to various cultures of the Northeast. The ware includes
two types: Vinette I, and Vinette 2 dentate stamped variants.
The latter have not been found in Maryland; however, some of
the interior/exterior cord-marked ceramics recovered from Early
to Middle Woodland contexts in Maryland appear to be Vinette
variants (Wall 1992).
Stratigraphic sequences and radiometric dating indicate
that Vinette dates from ca. 1200 B.C. to 100 B.C., although some earlier
and later dates have been reported. The date range seems to vary geographically;
for example, in eastern Pennsylvania and the lower Delaware Valley, Vinette
I seems to disappear after 600 B.C. (Custer 1996; Stewart 1998). In central
New York, production of Vinette I peaks between 1000 B.C. and 500 B.C.
(Sassaman 1999). In Maryland, a date range of 1000 B.C. to 100 B.C. has
been suggested (Stewart 1982).
Vinette ceramics are found along the east coast from
New England to Maryland and west to central New York and the Ottawa valley
of eastern Ontario. In Maryland, it has been found primarily in rockshelters
and in surface collections on sites in the western part of the state (Gross
1972; Stewart 1981). Vinette I is rare east of the Hagerstown Valley,
although it was reported at the Conowingo Site (18CE14) along the Susquehanna
River in far northeastern Maryland (Custer et al. 1983).
temper consists of high percentages of crushed rock fragments. Quartz
is the predominant temper material, but limestone, chert, rhyolite, gneiss,
shale, and other locally-available stones have also been reported. The
particle size varies, but is often greater than 3 mm in diameter. Shell
temper inclusions have also been reported in some Vinette I, and may date
to the later stages of the ware’s use (Stewart 1998). Sherds have
an average Moh’s scale hardness of 2.0. Color ranges from buff through
gray to black, and interiors are usually gray to black. The paste of Vinette
I in the Hagerstown Valley has been described as loose and friable (Stewart
The exterior is completely covered by cord-marking that tends to be vertical
to the lip, but oblique orientations also occur. Interior cord-marking
is mostly horizontal, running parallel to the rim.
Vinette wares were coil-constructed with corded paddle malleation. Coil
breaks are frequently observed on sherds. Vessels are conoidal in shape,
with wide mouths, elongated bodies, straight or slightly curved sides,
and conical bases. Vessel walls tend to be thick, although this varies.
Rims are collarless, and are usually straight to outflaring and thinner
toward the lip. Lips are rounded and often almost pointed in profile.
In western Maryland, Early Woodland wares have been reported that are
similar to Vinette I, but with flat bases, flaring sides, and no interior
cord marking (Stewart 1982).
Defined in the Literature
Vinette ceramics are defined in the literature for New York and southern
Ontario, where they have been found in stratified contexts (Ritchie and
MacNeish 1949; Spence et al. 1990). Variants of Vinette have been recovered
from areas south of New York along the Coastal Plain, as well as in the
Appalachian highlands. Maryland appears to represent the southern extreme
of the range for this type. Early descriptions of Vinette ceramics may
be found in Ritchie (1944). Stewart (1998) notes that the wide variety
in the wares produced in the Northeast between 1200 B.C. and 700 B.C.
tends to blur the distinctions among archaeological types, including Vinette
Vinette Site, NE of Finger Lakes, New York.
Maryland sites with
Chickadee Rock Shelter (18WA13); Bushey’s Cavern (18WA18); Barton
Complex (18AG3, 18AG8); Conowingo (18CE14); 18WA62
None from Maryland.
et al. 1983; Gross
and MacNeish 1949; Ritchie
1944, 1965; Sassaman
1981, 1982, 1998; Spence
et al. 1990; Wall