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Southwestern Archaeology

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Pottery Wares of Northern Arizona

The development of orange pottery proceeded in several well-defined steps: 1) A red paint for decorative designs came into use about the time the first pottery was made(600?). 2) a b lack paint that would not burn off , composed of manganese oxides, appeared about 800 A.D. 3) a slip to make the orange pottery red was introduced about 1050 A.D. 4) at about the same time, the use of crushed pottery sherds for temper was adopted. 5) Between 1050 and 1100,a three color polychrome was produced by leaving the slip off of certain areas of the vessel. 6) between 1200 and 1250, a four- colored polychrome was produced using white paint with orange, black or red.

The distinction between San Juan Red Ware and Tsegi Orange Ware is based on three characteristics: Clay, temper and use of slip. San Juan Red Ware rarely has a slip, has sand or crushed rock temper. The clay frequently fires red or brown. Tsegi Orange Ware may have a slip, has sherd or white angular fragments in its temper, and the clay fires orange.

CORE: Construction: coiling and scraping. Fired: in an oxidizing atmosphere at end of firing process. Core: dark gray to gray, dark brown through brick-red to pink. Temper: rock or sand Vessel walls: medium strong to strong. Surface finish: bowls and decorative surface jar forms, smoothed polished. Surface color: red or orange; interior jar surfaces generally gray. Fire clouds: not uncommon. Forms: bowls, dippers, seed jars, pitchers, canteens (rare); bowls do not have horizontal handles. Decoration: painted. Paint: black, red, black paint may appear brown, purplish, frequently dull or metallic; frequently polished after painting. Pigment: black paint, manganese; red, hematite; rarely white (Machonpi Polychrome). Designs: geometric.
RANGE: Northern part of Coconino and Navajo Counties, Arizona, and about the Four Corners in Colorado and Utah. Widely traded to western and central Arizona.



Dept. of Anthropology, P.O. Box 15200,
Northern Arizona University, Flagstaff, Arizona 86011-5200, USA.