TYPE: La Plata Black-on-White

DATE: A.D. 575 - 875 (Oppelt 2008;23)

BOWL DESIGN PLACEMENT: Primary interior designs, occasionally secondary exterior designs.

COMMON DESIGNS: Simple designs that usually cover only a small amount of the design field. Unit designs common on interiors, rarely exteriors as well.  Designs are usually made up of simple lines, barbed and ticked lines, dots, hooks, "letter motifs" such as N's, Z's, H's, small solid triangles, and others. Some designs have one to four unit designs on the design field. Some designs have framing lines, but most do not.  Banded designs run vertical, trisected, or quartered, but rarely horizontally along the inner rim as many later types do.  The designs themselves seem to be dividers of the design field.  Many of the banded designs connect to a small circle painted in the bottom.  Many designs contain none or few solids, and the rims are usually painted.

KEY DIFFERENCES: Usually thin linework, mineral paint, usually hand smoothed, not tool polished. Rough temper usually protrudes thru surfaces. Designs are made up of short strokes or lines compared to most later examples. Although vessels are usually not slipped white, as many later types were, many were made with a clay that fired white or gray.

TEMPER: Usually large quartz grains.

VARIETIES: Occasionally vessels are found with fugitive red paint on the exteriors of the bowls.  These may be considered polychrome, however they did not begin as polychromes when they were fired.  Perhaps this variety should be called La Plata Fugitive Polychrome.


Tusayan Whiteware: Lino Black-on-Gray (vegetal paint)

Mesa Verde Whiteware: Chapin Black-on-White (mostly mineral, some vegetal paint)

COMMENTS: All these early types mentioned (La Plata, Lino, and Chapin) usually have temper protruding thru the surfaces.


1N La Plata Black-on-White Bowl.

This vessel is well polished and does not have rough temper protruding

thru the surface as most LaPlata examples do.


2Y La Plata Black-on-White Bowl.

Approximate Dimensions: 5 5/8" by 4"




3Y La Plata Black-on-White "Basket Bowl"

This vessel appears to be white slipped.

Approximate Dimensions: 4 5/8" by 2 1/2"


This page last revised: 07/20/2012

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