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“Bite-Size Bits of Local, National, and Global History”
Aztalan in Jefferson County, Wisconsin — The American Midwest (Great Lakes)
 

Prehistoric Pottery

Aztalan National Historic Landmark

 
 
Prehistoric Pottery Marker image. Click for full size.
By Devon Polzar, 2021
1. Prehistoric Pottery Marker
Inscription.  Pottery sherds (pieces) are one of the most commonly recovered artifacts found at Aztalan. Pottery analysis is an important research tool. Understanding how prehistoric people made and used pottery provides important clues about their daily lives. The presence of pottery reflects a more sedentary lifestyle, since relatively fragile, often large, heavy items are not characteristically associated with highly mobile hunter-gatherers. Pottery at the site was used to store grain and other items, for cooking, and in rituals.

At Aztalan, archaeologists recognize pottery from Mississippian as well as earlier Woodland times. While some Late Woodland pottery pre-dates the Mississippian occupation, both pottery types are typically found together throughout the site, likely reflecting co-habitation by Late Woodland and Mississippian groups during the major occupation of Aztalan.

Late Woodland pottery made of clay and grit is typically cord-marked on the outside, often with decorated rims. Shell-tempered Mississippian pottery is typically smooth on the outside (sometimes polished and decorated with incised lines) and comes in many forms (including
Prehistoric Pottery Marker image. Click for full size.
By Devon Polzar, 2021
2. Prehistoric Pottery Marker
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bowls, plates, jars, beakers, and bottles), reflecting the Aztalan community's ties to the site of Cahokia.

Photo caption: A sample of the vessel types found at Aztalan (above) and examples of decorated sherds (right); not to scale
 
Topics. This historical marker is listed in this topic list: Native Americans.
 
Location. 43° 3.985′ N, 88° 51.7′ W. Marker is in Aztalan, Wisconsin, in Jefferson County. Marker can be reached from County Road Q. Touch for map. Marker is at or near this postal address: N6200 County Road Q, Jefferson WI 53549, United States of America. Touch for directions.
 
Other nearby markers. At least 8 other markers are within walking distance of this marker. Leisure Activities (within shouting distance of this marker); Other Artifacts (within shouting distance of this marker); Appearance and Manner of Dress (about 300 feet away, measured in a direct line); Stone Tools (about 300 feet away); Social Organization (about 400 feet away); Agriculture and Gathering (about 600 feet away); House Structures (about 600 feet away); Conical Mounds (about 700 feet away). Touch for a list and map of all markers in Aztalan.
 
More about this marker. Marker is along the main trail that runs through Aztalan State Park. The marker is on the western portion of the trail between the Northwest Mound and the Southwest Mound.
 
 
Credits. This page was last revised on July 10, 2021. It was originally submitted on July 7, 2021, by Devon Polzar of Port Washington, Wisconsin. This page has been viewed 47 times since then. Photos:   1, 2. submitted on July 7, 2021, by Devon Polzar of Port Washington, Wisconsin. • Mark Hilton was the editor who published this page.

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Dec. 1, 2021