This pottery was used in a variety of ways: from storage and cooking to holding offerings during burial ceremonies. Ceremonial pottery was noticeably more delicate and elaborate than pottery for domestic use.
Although there are many techniques and methods of pottery production, the method most likely used in the Hopewell culture was the coiled method. After making the initial form of the vessel a paddle and anvil would then be used to further shape and smooth the pot. The final two steps are decoration and firing.
Before firing, Hopewell pottery was often incised, stamped, or zone-stamped, in which different "zones" of the pot were delineating by incised, then stamped, leaving the surrounding areas smooth for contrast. "Hopewell ware" is characterized by crosshatching, bands with cambered rims, and highly stylized bird motifs.