Mississippian Culture Pottery

Mississippian culture pottery is the ceramic tradition of the Mississippian culture (800 to 1600 CE) found as artifacts in archaeological sites in the American Midwest and Southeast. It is often characterized by the adoption and use of riverine (or more rarely marine) shell-tempering agents in the clay paste.The adoption of shell tempering is considered one of the hallmarks of the spread of Mississippian cultural practices. The local differences in pastes, forms, and design elements are one of the major ways archaeologists understand lifeways, religious practices, and trade and interaction amongst the various Mississippian peoples. The value of this pottery on the illegal antiquities market has led to extensive looting of sites.