Date of Award


Degree Name

Master of Arts



First Advisor

Welch, Paul


The Wickliffe Thick pottery type, an unusual vessel with a globular body, thick wall, and funnel-like opening at the bottom, has been assumed to be related to salt production and/or juice pressing. The following project presents the results of a use-wear analysis in order to understand Wickliffe Thick’s possible uses demonstrating that past conclusions likely need revision. A systematic, macroscopic analysis of ceramic sherds from more than 20 Mississippian sites throughout Kentucky, Missouri, and Illinois are included in the study. Use-wear on the samples occur in a low frequency. Although other factors such as a white efflorescence, and Wickliffe Thick’s temporal and spatial layout may hint at its usage in the nixtamalization process. This paper lays out the evidence for these hypotheses while also recording the characteristics of Wickliffe Thick across the southeastern United States.




This thesis is Open Access and may be downloaded by anyone.