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“Bite-Size Bits of Local, National, and Global History”
Near Turtle River in Beltrami County, Minnesota — The American Midwest (Upper Plains)
 

Pottery Types of the Turtle River and Three Island Lake

Pottery of the Past Provides Clues

 
 
Pottery Types of the Turtle River and Three Island Lake marker image. Click for full size.
By McGhiever, September 25, 2013
1. Pottery Types of the Turtle River and Three Island Lake marker
Inscription.  Pieces of pottery and other artifacts tell archaeologists that Native Americans have lived along the shores of the Turtle River and Three Island Lake for thousands of years. Because the ways in which Native Americans decorated and made their pottery changed over time, archaeologists can tell when people lived at a site from the types of pottery, or "wares," that they find.

During excavations in the park, archaeologists have found three different types of pottery: Brainerd, Blackduck, and Sandy Lake. Note how they are different from one another.

Sandy Lake Ware (AD 1100–1750)
The makers of Sandy Lake ware added crushed mussel shell to the clay used to make their pots. Sandy Lake pottery is generally plain, but occasionally the rims are either saw-toothed or wavy. On some pots, only the lip of the vessel is decorated with impressions. Sandy Lake pottery is found from north-central Minnesota north to southern Canada and east to northwestern Wisconsin.

Blackduck Ware (AD 600–1100)
The makers of Blackduck ware often decorated the upper portions of their vessels with intricate bands of diagonal,

Marker in picnic area of Three Island Lake County Park image. Click for full size.
By McGhiever, September 25, 2013
2. Marker in picnic area of Three Island Lake County Park
linear, and circular impressions. Many of these decorations were made using sticks and other objects wrapped with cord. Blackduck pottery is found from north-central Minnesota north to southern Canada and east across northern Wisconsin to Michigan's Upper Peninsula.

Brainerd Ware (1000 BC–AD 400)
The makers of Brainerd ware dragged a net or piece of cloth across the surface of the wet clay to create a fabric-like appearance. Other times, a detailed imprint of the net or cords was left in the surface of the clay. Brainerd ware is found from north-central Minnesota west to the plains of Montana and north to Lake Winnipeg.

Why did the Brainerd Ware pots have a pointed bottom?
These early vessels with pointed bases are generally thought to have been propped up in warm coals or embedded in sand or soft ground near the hearth. Over time, the way pots were made changed, and a rounded base shape became more common.


 
Erected by Beltrami County.
 
Location. 47° 37.508′ N, 94° 46.935′ W. Marker is near Turtle River, Minnesota, in Beltrami County. Marker is in Three Island Lake County Park, on the paved path a short distance west of the parking lot. Touch for map. Marker is at or near this postal address: 7015 Three Island Road NE, Bemidji MN 56601, United States of America. Touch for directions.
 
Other nearby markers. At least 4 other

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markers are within 12 miles of this marker, measured as the crow flies. Native American Fishing on the Turtle River (a few steps from this marker); Historic Beltrami Camp (approx. 6.4 miles away); Beltrami County History (approx. 11.4 miles away); Paul Bunyan and Babe (approx. 11.6 miles away).
 
Categories. Anthropology & ArchaeologyNative Americans
 

More. Search the internet for Pottery Types of the Turtle River and Three Island Lake.
 
Credits. This page was last revised on June 28, 2019. This page originally submitted on June 28, 2019, by McGhiever of St Paul, Minnesota. This page has been viewed 40 times since then. Photos:   1, 2. submitted on June 28, 2019, by McGhiever of St Paul, Minnesota. • Andrew Ruppenstein was the editor who published this page.
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