AKA: Heavy-walled vessels

Date: A.D. 750 - 1125

Gila plain Crucibles may simply be a unique or rare form of a censer for burning incense. Although the small orifice would be proper for a crucible in that it would help to retain heat and its contents would be less likely to boil out. Most are in the shape of a seed jar with a small orifice.  A few have short necks, some may be considered to have rounded "gila shoulders" while others have "normal" rounded bottoms (in profile). They can be relatively thin at the top but gain thickness toward the bottom. They are only known to date from the Colonial thru the Sedentary Periods (A.D. 750-1125) and became more common as time passed.

A few have been found to contain a pitch like substance and when burned, smelled like pitch (Haury,1978; 228). Their use as a censer or crucible has been explored, another possibility is that they could have been used as a hand-held light. The small orifice would lend itself to illuminate just the head of a person much the way a flashlight does for Halloween storytellers. One can image further that a masked priest or "shaman" could be a distance away from a crowd on a dark night with only his masked head illuminated while moving, perhaps seemingly floating around!


1Y Gila Plain Crucible

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



2N Gila Plain Crucible (about half).

The thickness of the bottom is approximately 1 1/8".

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




3Y Gila Plain Crucible that still has some of its original contents inside.

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



4Y Gila Plain Crucible

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




5Y Gila Plain Crucible

Approximate Dimensions: 4" by 3 3/8"



This page last revised: 04/25/2013

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