Archaeologists know that steatite, or soapstone, was an important material for people living in the Late Archaic period. This soapstone vessel from Mecklenburg County in south-central Virginia is a typical example of those that were produced and traded widely across many regions. 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.
3000 - 1200 B.C.E.
Virginia Department of Historic Resources, Richmond, VA
1536 × 1047