Soapstone Bowl Production Stages


Soapstone Bowl Production Stages


Archaeologists know that steatite, or soapstone, was an important material for people living in the Late Archaic period. This illustration shows the process of pecking away the soapstone from a quarried block to produce a bowl. Trace element testing has shown that the central Piedmont region was the source of many soapstone bowls that were found hundreds of miles to the East on the Coastal Plain, where such stone is not available naturally. Archaeologists suspect that soapstone vessels were the precursors to ceramic technology.

Date Created

3000 - 1200 B.C.E.


J. W. Powell, 15th Annual Report of the Bureau of Ethnology to the Secretary of the Smithsonian Institution.


Scanned illustration

Physical Dimension

577 × 962


Central Virginian Piedmont