The Oneota people of the Mississippi River Valley decorated their pottery with distinctive styles and motifs over different time periods. Although this vessel's specific date is unknown, this style of ceramic generally dates between 1530 and 1600. The Oneota constructed the vessel from Mississippi flood plain clay and mussel shell, which was used as a temper.
Archaeologists analyze aesthetic embellishment and contextual clues to identify and date artifacts. Because the handles are attached below the lip and the vessel is decorated with trailed (incised) lines bordering punctate-filled, triangular zones, archaeologists term this style Allamakee Trailed. A lack of European trade goods found at the site suggests that the settlement was occupied by the Oneota before 1625, when Europeans first made contact with Native Americans in the upper Mississippi valley. Objects found near this vessel have radiocarbon dates from around 1500-1625, a period known as the “Valley View phase.”