This article will show many ceramics that may proove ancient migrations occured. For example, "Rope handles" or "strap handles" are a unique feature formed on prehistoric ollas or large jars from the Mesa Verde area. At least one potter experimented with the idea since the beginning of the black-on-white sequence.

Chapin Black-on-White Olla, 14" by 12", A.D. 575 to 900.

This olla is extremely interesting in that the potter fashioned two types of "grips" on the same vessel. It had a "strap" handle on one side (of which about half is missing), and the other side has a "thumb" indention. Chapin Black-on-White is the earliest painted type in the Mesa Verde Whiteware series, the "grips" may have been experimental.

 

Top View

Close-up of  "strap handle".

 

Close-up of indented "thumb grip".

Some ollas were made with "thumb holes" or "grips" instead of "strap handles"

 

 

Cortez Black-on-White, A.D. 900 to 1050

Large Olla with "thumb" indentions for carrying.

This olla is also interesting in that it has a "long bottom", a trait seen on many

early historic pueblo types dating to the 1700's and 1800's.

Approximate Dimensions: 19" by 17 1/4"

 

Indentions instead of handles are more common on prehistoric ollas in the Cibola and Mogollon rim areas. One other type of "handle" found on large ollas from the Mesa Verde are are lugs or "finger grips".

 

 

 

Anasazi Mancos Black-on-White Olla with lugs or "finger grips".

A.D. 1000 to 1150.

Approximate Dimensions: 16 1/2" by 15 1/4"

However, it is the unique rope or strap handles found on Mesa Verde area black-on-White ollas that is key to possible proof of a migration.

Anasazi Mesa Verde Black-on-White Olla with "strap" handles

possibly for suspension as the painted lines indicate.

A.D. 1180 to 1300

Approximate Dimensions: 18" by 11 3/4"

 

 

 

Anasazi Jemez Black-on-White Olla with Handles. Approximate Dimensions: 16" by 11"

This extremely important piece of history "proves" that some of the inhabitants of Mesa Verde, Colorado, (famous for producing strap-handled Ollas) migrated South to the Jemez River Southwest of Santa Fe, New Mexico. Jemez Black-on-White was produced from A.D. 1300 to about 1750. The rare distinctive shape of this olla with its "mid-body bulge" was likely made between A.D. 1630 - 1680.   The strap handles and carbon painted design are very likely a continued trait of the Mesa Verde potters that migrated to Jemez Pueblo beginning around A.D. 1300.

Another possible Anasazi example of migration can be seen in Anasazi and Salado ceramics. Interested readers may also want to see the article "Who were the Salado Ceramically?" in this guide.

First are perforated plates or shallow bowls said to have originated in the Kayenta area. These vessels were possibly used as a base for making other vessels.

 

Salado Tonto Plain Preforated Plate or "Puki". Approximate Dimensions: 12" by 2 5/8"

"Contextual clues and use wear suggest that preforated plates were used as base-molds in pottery making, or as potter's turntables." "The holes may have made the plates easier for potters to grip, or may have aided in the evaporation of water from pots being formed in them." "Regardless of their function, these objects, when found south of the Hopi Mesas, are markers of ancient migrations from Northern Arizona" Reference: (Lyons;2003) Archaeology Southwest, Vol. 17, no. 3, page 12.

Decorated ceramic examples include the following examples:

(note the production dates of each type)

 

Anasazi Kiet Siel Black-on-Red, A.D. 1250 to 1300

Approximate Dimensions: 10 3/4' by 6 1/2"  by 3"

 

Salado Pinto Black-on-Red, A.D. 1280 to 1330

Approximate Dimensions: 6" by 2 1/2"

 

Salado Gila Black-on-Red, A.D. 1300 to 1450

Approximate Dimensions: 5 1/4" by 2 3/4"

Pinto and Gila Black-on-Red are also known as Maverick Mountain Black-on-Red (described by Morris, 1957, Master Thesis, University of Arizona, not published). It is now known that much or most of what has been described as Maverick Mountain Black-on-Red was manufactured in the Gila and Aravaipa Valleys of Arizona and Cliff Valley of New Mexico. It may also have been produced along the Salt and San Pedro River Valleys of Arizona.  Since these vessels were manufactured with local temper and clays, and the designs are the same, they are virtually indistinguishable from Pinto and Gila Black-on-Red. The type Gila Black-on-Red was first described by Clarke, 1935;46-47, Plates XVIII and XXV. It was also mentioned by Haury, 1945;65, and in Tuthill, 1947;59, and described again by Di Peso, 1958;98-99.  The type Pinto Black-on-Red was first described by Gifford, 1957 in a Master Thesis, University of Arizona, Tucson, then later published in 1980 (Gifford, 1980;36-37). It was also described by Di Peso, 1958;101.

 

 

Anasazi Kiet Siel Polychrome, A.D. 1225 to 1300

Approximate Dimensions: 11 1/2" by 5 1/2" by 3"

 

Salado Maverick Mountain Polychrome, A.D. 1275 to 1325

Approximate Dimensions: 8 1/4" by 5 3/4"

 

 

Anasazi Kayenta Polychrome, A.D. 1250 to 1300

Approximate Dimensions:  11 1/4" by 5 1/4"

Salado Nantack PolychromeA.D. 1275 to 1450

Approximate Dimensions: 12" by 6 1/8"

 

Anasazi Tusayan Variant Polychrome, A.D. 1250 to 1285

Approximate Dimensions: 9" by 4"

 

Salado Prieto Polychrome, A.D. 1275 to 1400

Another example of this possible migration comes from the Mogollon potters up along the Mogollon Rim. As they descended, expanded, or migrated down to the Gila River Valley just south of the Mogollon rim, potters in the Safford and adjacent areas began duplicating the northern Mogollon Types. Many of these were not nearly as well made or finished as the northern wares. The "Safford" varieties are usually more dull in appearance than their northern derivatives.

Left, Tularosa Fillet Rim Bowl, Right, Tularosa Fillet Rim bowl (Safford Variety).

Left, McDonald Corrugated bowl, Right, McDonald Corrugated jar (Safford Variety).

Left, Cibecue Polychrome bowl, Right, Cibecue Polychorme olla (Safford Variety).

The olla is the largest example of Cibecue Polychrome we know of measuring 18 1/2" by 15".

              Left photo, Starkweather Smudged Decorated bowl, Right photo,

Starkweather Smudged Decorated bowl (Safford Variety).

The Salado expanded their range migrating and joining other cultures. Salado pottery has been found at a remarkable number of sites in Arizona, New Mexico, and Mexico. This indicates trade as well as widespread local manufacture.

Escondida Polychrome is a type of pottery made by the Casas Grandes culture of Mexico that mimics many Salado pottery types. Photos below will show many Salado Polychrome types followed by the Casas Grandes Escondida Polychrome styles that mimic the Salado types.

 

Salado Pinto Polychrome Loop-handled Bowl (the loop handle may indicate an Anasazi Migration). Approximate Dimensions: 6" by 3", A.D. 1280 to 1330

  

Casas Grandes Escondida Polychrome (Pinto Style)

Approximate Dimensions: 2 1/4" by 1", A.D. 1250 to 1475

Salado Gila Polychrome Bowl.

Approximate Dimensions: 10 3/4" by 5 3/8", A.D. 1300 to 1450

 

 

Casas Grandes Escondida Polychrome (Gila Style)

Approximate Dimensions: 8 1/2" by 8" , A.D. 1250 to 1475

 

Salado Los Muertos Polychrome Bowl

Approximate Dimensions: 6 1/2" by 3" , A.D. 1375 to 1450

 

Casas Grandes Escondida Polychrome Bowl (Los Muertos Style)

Approximate Dimensions: 2 5/8" by 1 3/8", A.D. 1250 to 1475

 

  

Salado Cliff Polychrome Bowl.

Approximate Dimensions: 10 3/4" by 5 3/4", A.D. 1350 to 1450

 

 

Casas Grandes Escondida Polychrome Bowl (Cliff Style)

Approximate Dimensions: 8" by 4 3/4", A.D. 1250 to 1475

 

Salado Tonto Polychrome Oval Bowl

Approximate Dimensions: 6 1/4" by 2 1/2" by 4 3/4" , A.D. 1340 to 1450

    

 

Escondida Polychrome Bowl (Tonto Style)

Approximate Dimensions: 5 1/2" by 2 1/4" , A.D. 1250 to 1475

 

All of the above examples show expansion or migration of ancient cultures but there is one culture that did not seem to make it to Classic or late times. This culture is the Mimbres Mogollon. The Mimbres Mogollon was like many other prehistoric cultures in the southwest producing a long chronological evolution of decorated pottery, except that most all the other cultures continued to produce decorated ceramics at least into the 1400's. Mimbres Black-on-White and Mimbres Polychrome stopped being produced at many sites in New Mexico and Arizona at about A.D. 1150. The Mimbres were excellent artists, many would agree that the Mimbres were the best in the southwest at that time. Where did all the Mimbres potters go?

Did the potters die out? Did they migrate and join other cultures? There is no obvious or even likely anwer. Some believe some went to the Mogollon Rim and Cibola area and may have heped produce finer examples of Chaco, Reserve, and Tularosa Black-on-Whites. More believe they went south and joined the Casas Grandes Culture and helped produce fine examples of Ramos and Villa Ahumada Polychromes.

 

  Mimbres Classic Black-on-White, A.D. 1000 to 1150

Approximate Dimensions: 7 1/2" by 3 1/2"

 

Mimbres Classic Black-on-White, A.D. 1000 to 1150

Approximate Dimensions: 8" by 3 3/4"

 

Mimbres Polychrome, A.D. 1000 to 1150

Approximate Dimensions: 5 1/4" by 2 1/2"

 

Mimbres Polychrome Bowl, A.D. 1000 to 1150

Approximate Dimensions: 11 1/2" by 5 1/2"

Chaco Black-on-White Pitcher, A.D. 1050 to 1200

Approximate Dimensions: 7" by 6"

Reserve Black-on-White Pitcher, A.D. 1100 to 1200

Approximate Dimensions: 6 1/4" by 5 1/4"

 

Tularosa Black-on-White Olla, A.D. 1200 to 1300

Approximate Dimensions: 16" by 13"

 

Tularosa Black-on-White Olla, A.D. 1200 to 1300

Approximate Dimensions: 14 1/4" by 11 3/4"

 

Ramos Polychrome Jar,  A.D. 1250 to 1660

Approximate Dimensions: 8 3/4" by 8 3/4"

 

Villa Ahumada Polychrome Jar, A.D. 1250 to 1660

Approximate Dimensions: 9" by 6 1/2"

 

Villa Ahumada Polychrome Jar with Human Dancer, A.D. 1250 to 1660

Approximate Dimensions: 8 3/4" by 8 3/4"

 

This page last revised: 08/31/2012

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