Author ORCID Identifier

Document Type


Date of Award

Summer 8-14-2020


Iroquois, XRF, Pottery, Identity, Late Woodland, Northeast, Shenks Ferry, Kelso, Clay, Paste

Degree Name

Master of Arts (MA)



First Advisor

Dr. Nina M. Versaggi

Second Advisor

Dr. Laurie E. Miroff


Social Sciences

Subject Heading(s)

Excavations (Archaeology) -- Pennsylvania -- Tioga; Excavations (Archaeology) -- Chemung River Watershed (N.Y. and Pa.); Indians of North America -- New York (State) -- Antiquities; Indians of North America -- Pennsylvania -- Antiquities; Indian pottery -- Pennsylvania -- Tioga; Indian pottery -- Chemung River Watershed (N.Y. and Pa.); Iroquois pottery


Thomas/Luckey’s 13th -15th and Losey 3’s 14th-17th century occupations in the Late Woodland Northeast contain assemblages with incongruous regional pottery types; Kelso Corded and an assumed non-local Shenks Ferry. I argue the presence of Shenks Ferry vessels at these two sites indicates the movement of people who reproduced their natal designs upon arrival, rather than trade. The question of whether identity and communities of practice can be discerned from pottery decorations and paste was answered by analyzing sherds with pXRF. While pottery types are based on visual attributes, pXRF looks at elemental composition. Decoration is mimicable, but paste is not; paste accurately illustrates a vessel’s origin. Cultural groups are not static entities, and internal development or outgroup interaction indicates change. Communities of practice recreate themselves in a new environment and in relation to others. The results of this analysis add new depth to conceptions of group movement and identity construction.