Miniature Clay Pot: An Ancient Toy

new jersey archaeology

By: Kayla Kraft

AE98089_11 Miniature vessel recovered from Abbott Farm excavations. The center scar is from a twig impression in the clay.  NJSM # AE98089.

This vessel is from Abbott Farm, a significant archaeological site near Trenton, New Jersey, which is part of the Abbott Farm National Historical Landmark. Dorothy Cross, and her team of excavators, discovered it on Tuesday, January 17, 1939. It is dated to be from the Abbott Phase of the Middle Woodland Period (300 CE – 600 CE). The pot was made using the pinch-pot method, which is done by forming a ball of clay, pressing inward with your thumbs and pinching the walls to create a bowl or cup-like vessel. This is evident from the fingerprint / fingernail markings and the smooth exterior. It has no decoration and no slip (meaning there is no paint covering). By looking under a microscope, it was determined…

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