X-Ray Diffraction of Oneota Pottery
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In 2010, research was initiated to investigate the mineralogical relationship between Oneota pottery recovered from three major archaeological sites in La Crosse, Wisconsin. The Oneota represent the last prehistoric culture that inhabited the upper Midwest between A.D. 1300-1625; prior to European contact. One of the most distinguishing artifacts that characterize the Oneota is shell-tempered pottery. There are three phases of Oneota occupation within the La Crosse area. Each phase is defined by a shift in decorative styles of pottery. The underlying question of the present research is whether or not the pottery uncovered at each of the three archaeological sites within La Crosse came from a single source of local clay. The purpose of this study was to provide a mineralogical "fingerprint" of each sample that would be compared across samples, and to the local clay source., to determine if there is a common clay source used in the production of Oneota pottery, and if the local clay tested was a possible source.
Oneota pottery--Wisconsin--La Crosse