TYPE: Gila Butte Red-on-Buff

DATE: A.D. 750 - 850 (Wallace, 1995;465)


EXTERIOR TREATMENT:  Hand smoothed. Approximately 85% of bowls and jars lighly scored at Snaketown (Gladwin,1965;188). Scoring haphazard – not precise as in earlier incised types.

PASTE: May or may not be porous with variable amounts of observable mica.

COMMON FORMS AND DESIGN PLACEMENT: Primary designs are often painted on the exteriors of bowls with slightly incurved rims, while the primary designs are often painted on the interiors of helmet and flare-rim bowls, which often have secondary designs or many trailing lines on the exteriors. Jars usually have designs that begin well below the widest diameter and have normal round bottoms.

COMMON DESIGNS: Designs become much more extravagant in the Gila Butte Phase than the previous Snaketown Phase, many more life forms and design motifs are now being painted. Positive life forms make their appearance as well as life forms often with cross-hatched painted bodies. Multiple “trailing lines” make their appearance on exteriors of bowls. Other bowl exteriors may have concentric painted stars, or, a large negative star made with connected hatched triangles pendant from the rim. Hatching still present but scrolls not hatched as in Snaketown. Scrolls are painted in positive form and then the “stepped greque” is usually hatch filled. Solid motifs such as keys and scrolls make their appearance and are common in this phase. "Fringe" or "ticking" becomes common in this phase.

COMMON DESIGN LAYOUTS: The “banded fringe” design makes its first appearance in this phase, it is much more common in the next phase. The offset quarter design on bowl interiors makes it’s first appearance at this time (Quarter design layouts date back to the oldest painted pottery of the Estrella Phase)

KEY DIFFERENCE(S): The paste in Gila Butte begins to show pores, while earlier types and generally all Tucson Basin types have generally solid paste. Later Phoenix Basin decorated types generally are even more porous.Often vessels have light scoring on the outside. Jar designs begin below the shoulder or widest diameter. The beginning of scrolls or the “stepped greque” can be hatched or solid.


1N  Hohokam Gila Butte Red-on-Buff

You can see the diagnostic light scoring on the exterior of this seed jar.

Firing conditions or subsequential burning made most of the red paint appear black.

Approximate dimensions: 6 1/4" (16cm) by 4" (10cm)


2N  Hohokam Gila Butte Red-on-Buff Shallow Bowl

Approximate Dimensions: 6 1/2" by 1 7/8"



3N  Hohokam Late Gila Butte Red-on-Buff Jar

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



4Y   Hohokam Late Gila Butte Red-on-Buff Bowl

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


5N Hohokam Gila Butte Red-on-Buff Bowl, decorated with interlocking scrolls connected to long keys and wavy lines on the interior. The exterior has ten equally spaced trailing lines.

Approximate Dimensions: 10 3/8" or 26.2cm by 3 3/4" or 9.5cm.



6Y  Hohokam Early Gila Butte Red-on-Buff Bowl

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


7N  Hohokam Gila Butte Red-on-Buff Bowl with stylized flying bird design.

Approximate Dimensions: 13 1/8" by 4 4/8"



8N Hohokam Gila Butte Red-on-Buff Censer

Approximate Dimensions: 3 1/8" by 2 1/4"


9Y Hohokam Gila Butte Red-on-Buff Censer

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



This page last revised: 08/09/2012

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