Comment on Dates from a Resin-Coated Sherd from Spirit Cave, Thailand

By White, Joyce C. | Antiquity, March 2004 | Go to article overview

Comment on Dates from a Resin-Coated Sherd from Spirit Cave, Thailand


White, Joyce C., Antiquity


Lampert et al. (2003) argue that the early Holocene dating (c. 7500 BP uncalibrated) assigned to the earliest ceramics at Spirit Cave, Thailand should be revised based on two new dates of c. 3000 BP from a single resin-coated sherd from that site. But Lampert et al.'s article does not demonstrate the stratigraphic or typological relationship between their one sherd and the sherds upon which Gorman claimed early Holocene dating for the appearance of ceramics at Spirit Cave.

Gorman excavated at Spirit Cave twice, initially in 1966 (Gorman 1969, 1972) and again in 1971, and the records are housed at the University of Pennsylvania Museum. Provenance nomenclature received in 2000 in a spreadsheet from Lampert indicates that the 20 sherds (labelled A through T) in her possession at Bradford University came from the 1971 excavation. Although the details of the 1971 excavation were never published by Gorman, the provenance information indicates that the 20 Lampert sherds came from either (1) the cave surface with no horizontal provenience (i.e., no square designation--eight sherds), or from (2) the removal of "baulk extensions." Baulk extension is the phrase used by Gorman for deposits along the cave wall left between it and some of the squares excavated from the 1966 excavations. None of the 20 Lampert sherds came from the main excavation squares of either season.

For those 12 Lampert sherds from the baulk extensions, the depth and stratigraphic information that could be gleaned from the original field records was tenuous. In the comprehensive information I sent to Lampert (White 2001) I state that the sherd that later became the one from which dates were derived (Sherd N) is "probably best considered depositionally equivalent to the sherds marked 'T19 SUR,'" (T19 is the site number Gorman gave Spirit Cave). Elsewhere I stared that sherds marked T19 SUR were "most likely to be from surface deposits with potential to have been 'kicked around.'" I noted to Lampert that only "Sherd G and Sherd F appear to come from the lowest stratigraphic positions of your set of sherds" with possible association with Hoabinhian lithics (all italics in the original White 2001). However, Sherds G and F have no resin coating.

Lampert's spreadsheet of her 20 sherds and Gorman's discussion of the 426 sherds from the 1966 excavations make clear that there is variability among the fabric, surface treatments, and decorative finishes in the ceramics recovered from Spirit Cave, so that the sherds from the overall assemblage do not have to be of similar date (the full count and character of sherds from the main 1971 excavation squares are unknown). Regarding the earliest sherds from the site, Gorman (1969:672) states, "Impressed into the surface of layer 2 were several concentrations of pottery ... The ceramic material [was] characteristically cord-marked, [and] also included a smooth, burnished ware ... The cord-marked sherds were a uniform dark reddish brown ... averaging 3 to 6 mm in thickness." The dating of these sherds to the early Holocene is noted in Lampert et al. (2003). It consists of three early Holocene dates from the same surface as the ceramics (surface of layer 2), but Lampert et al. (2003: 128) note that "it is largely on the date obtained from the sample taken from within Layer 1 [7400 [+ or -] 300 BP uncalibrated; FSU 317] that the possible debate hinges." Deposition of the charcoal providing this latter fourth date from within Layer 1 arguably superseded deposition of the sherds impressed into the surface of Layer 2.

According to Gorman (1972:96), resin coating was found on only one kind of sherd: those that had been net-impressed. In the Lampert collection, all four resin-coated sherds were also listed as net-impressed. Only two net-impressed sherds had no resin coating. Gorman provides no specific information on the stratigraphic context of the resin-coated or net-impressed sherds, but neither does he mention them as among the "early ceramics" impressed into the surface of layer 2. …

The rest of this article is only available to active members of Questia

Sign up now for a free, 1-day trial and receive full access to:

  • Questia's entire collection
  • Automatic bibliography creation
  • More helpful research tools like notes, citations, and highlights
  • Ad-free environment

Already a member? Log in now.

Notes for this article

Add a new note
If you are trying to select text to create highlights or citations, remember that you must now click or tap on the first word, and then click or tap on the last word.
One moment ...
Default project is now your active project.
Project items

Items saved from this article

This article has been saved
Highlights (0)
Some of your highlights are legacy items.

Highlights saved before July 30, 2012 will not be displayed on their respective source pages.

You can easily re-create the highlights by opening the book page or article, selecting the text, and clicking “Highlight.”

Citations (0)
Some of your citations are legacy items.

Any citation created before July 30, 2012 will labeled as a “Cited page.” New citations will be saved as cited passages, pages or articles.

We also added the ability to view new citations from your projects or the book or article where you created them.

Notes (0)
Bookmarks (0)

You have no saved items from this article

Project items include:
  • Saved book/article
  • Highlights
  • Quotes/citations
  • Notes
  • Bookmarks
Notes
Cite this article

Cited article

Style
Citations are available only to our active members.
Sign up now to cite pages or passages in MLA, APA and Chicago citation styles.

(Einhorn, 1992, p. 25)

(Einhorn 25)

1

1. Lois J. Einhorn, Abraham Lincoln, the Orator: Penetrating the Lincoln Legend (Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 1992), 25, http://www.questia.com/read/27419298.

Cited article

Comment on Dates from a Resin-Coated Sherd from Spirit Cave, Thailand
Settings

Settings

Typeface
Text size Smaller Larger Reset View mode
Search within

Search within this article

Look up

Look up a word

  • Dictionary
  • Thesaurus
Please submit a word or phrase above.
Print this page

Print this page

Why can't I print more than one page at a time?

Full screen

matching results for page

Cited passage

Style
Citations are available only to our active members.
Sign up now to cite pages or passages in MLA, APA and Chicago citation styles.

"Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn, 1992, p. 25).

"Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn 25)

"Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences."1

1. Lois J. Einhorn, Abraham Lincoln, the Orator: Penetrating the Lincoln Legend (Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 1992), 25, http://www.questia.com/read/27419298.

Cited passage

Welcome to the new Questia Reader

The Questia Reader has been updated to provide you with an even better online reading experience.  It is now 100% Responsive, which means you can read our books and articles on any sized device you wish.  All of your favorite tools like notes, highlights, and citations are still here, but the way you select text has been updated to be easier to use, especially on touchscreen devices.  Here's how:

1. Click or tap the first word you want to select.
2. Click or tap the last word you want to select.

OK, got it!

Thanks for trying Questia!

Please continue trying out our research tools, but please note, full functionality is available only to our active members.

Your work will be lost once you leave this Web page.

For full access in an ad-free environment, sign up now for a FREE, 1-day trial.

Already a member? Log in now.