In this series of photos, artist Doyle Gertjejansen is making ceramic pots using the same materials and techniques that some of the people at the Tchefuncte site did long ago. 1) Clay was dug from the banks of the bayou. 2-3) Then it was rolled into coils and the pots were built up, one coil at a time. 4) The outside edge was flattened and burnished. 5) Then, decorations were added to the pots. 6-7) A hot fire was lit and the ceramics were fired. 8) After cooling, it was time to see if the pots could be used for cooking. 9) Success! Click on the images below to get a closer look. Credit: Doyle Gertjejansen, doylegert@aol.com.



     During this time, people began making and using lots of ceramic pots for storing and cooking food. Pottery making was still a new skill, so many of the pots were poorly made and easily broken. As a result, archaeologists found more than 47,000 fragments of pots at the Tchefuncte site. That was nearly five times more than any other type of artifact. No other site has a larger number of pieces of Tchefuncte pottery.


     Because of its importance, the site was listed on the National Register of Historic Places in 2000.

© 2015 Louisiana Division of Archaeology - click here to return to Discover Archaeology's Interactive Exhibits.