CLAY SOURCING BY ABORIGINAL PEOPLE OF FLORIDA
Educator, ceramic researcher, WMS/LSSAS member Ted Ehmann, will give a presentation on a research passion that led to a paper he has submitted for publication in the Florida Anthropologist “Investigating The Existence Of Clay Beds Sourced By The Aboriginal People For Ceramic Production In Central And South Florida.”
Ted has made a study of Florida pottery and prehistoric aboriginal clay sourcing by studying the works of the early researchers such as Frank Hamilton Cushing, C. B. Moore in the late 1800s and early 1900s; later works by Florida archaeologists, and current research by ceramic analysts, as well as geological and mineralogical studies from Florida and the southeastern coastal plain. In his article, recounted from the study of Cushing and Moore’s journals he notes, “…their disappointment with the lack of ceramics, and the crude nature of the ceramic vessels found while excavating burial mounds in peninsular Florida.” (Ehnmann 2018). It led him to wonder why?
This presentation will describe his research methodology, sources of information, and conclusions based on his research. As Ted states, “This article describes my investigation which resulted in the discovery of a fairly large clay less environment that is unique to south Florida and the western Gulf Coast below the big bend. The results of my research impact the archaeological record in that known and classified ceramic types could not have been produced in the locales and cultural regions as presently believed.”
Ted Ehmann was born in Trenton, NJ. He is the grandson of noted New Jersey artist, M. Frank Ehmann. He studied fine arts at the Philadelphia College of Art. Upon leaving the college in 1970, Ehmann became the preparer for archaeological artifacts for the New Jersey State Museum. Summers were spent on the many statewide archaeological digs conducted by the museum. Ehmann returned to earn his BA in art and minor in anthropology at the College of New Jersey in 1990 and his master’s in teaching in 1992.