TYPE: Sacaton Red-on-Buff

DATE: A.D. 950 - 1125 (Wallace 2003;22)

COMMON FORMS: “Gila Shouldered” jars. Regular shaped, as well as, helmet bowls, censers, legged vessels as well as effigy vessels. Most jar rims are sharply returned and have very small necks. Some smaller jars may have round or normal shoulders. During the Sacaton Phase, along with small vessels, began producing larger vessels as well.



PASTE: May or may not be porous with variable amounts of observable mica that usually is muscovite (silver mica).

DESIGN PLACEMENT: Interiors of bowls, some with three to five (sometimes paired or tripled) exterior “trailing lines”. Exteriors of cauldrons. Exteriors of jars with the design beginning at the shoulder which usually is the maximum diameter of the jar. Some early transitional types have a sharp Gila Shoulder with the design beginning well below the shoulder as during the earlier previous phase types. The forms of these jars are different in that the Sacaton jars have a Gila Shoulder while the earlier phase jars have normal round bottoms with no shoulder. Jar rims are sharply returned and have small necks that usually do not have enough room for a design, hence necks are usually left unpainted unlike earlier types. Rims may or may not be painted.

KEY DIFFERENCE(S): The paste in Sacaton Red-on-Buff is often porous, although many examples have few pores. Tucson Basin pottery, generally is non-porous and tool polished. Sacaton paste often fires a pinkish color whereas Tucson Basin pottery usually does not. Bowls have no scoring. Jars have Gila Shoulders with almost no necks. Bowls sometimes have a few trailing lines. Linework is not as fine as previous phase. Plaited designs make their first appearance and become common in this phase, as does wavy capped fringe, negative and positive life forms. Jar designs begin well below the shoulder on early examples of Sacaton Red-on-Buff, middle and late examples (the greatest number of Sacaton jars) have designs beginning at the shoulder which usually is the maximum diameter of the jar.

TEMPER: Most Sacaton vessels have observable mica on the surfaces.

1Y  Hohokam Sacaton Red-on-Buff Shallow Bowl with an off-set quartered design

with scrolls and quail.

It also has four equally spaced "trailing lines" on the exterior.

Approximate Dimensions: 17 3/4" or 45cm by 5 3/4" or 14.5cm.

View More Shallow Bowls




2Y Hohokam Sacaton Red-on-Buff Gila Shoulder Olla

Approximate Dimensions: 17 1/2" by 11 3/4"





3Y Hohokam Sacaton Red-on-Buff Beautifully Shaped Gila Shoulder Olla

Approximate Dimensions: 15 3/4" by 10 1/2"


View More Gila Shoulder Ollas


4N Hohokam Sacaton Red-on-Buff Scoop with alternating straight and wavy lines.

Approximate Dimensions: 5 5/8" or 14.3cm by 3 3/8" or 8.5cm by 2 1/2" or 6.5cm.


5Y Hohokam Sacaton Red-on-Buff Large Scoop

Approximate Dimensions: 11 1/8" by 6 3/4" by 1/2"



6Y Hohokam Sacaton Red-on-Buff Scoop with Mountain Centipede design.

Approximate Dimensions: 5" by 3" by 2"


View More Scoops



7Y Hohokam Sacaton Large Red-on-Buff Cauldron

Approximate Dimensions: 16 1/4" by 10 1/2"



View More Cauldrons

8N Hohokam Sacaton Red-on-Buff  Helmet or Exaggerated Flare-rim Bowl,

with an offset quartered design consisting of solids and panels of fringe-hachure. 

The solid in the bottom has a sun design or bulls eye.

Approximate Dimensions: 14 1/2" or 36.8cm. by 7" or 17.8cm.


9Y Hohokam Sacaton Red-on-Buff  Flare-rim Bowl

Approximate Dimensions: 7 1/2" by 3"






10N Hohokam Sacaton Red-on-Buff Horned Toad Rattle Effigy Censer (Side Views).

This extremely rare rattle effigy censer is painted with interlocking scrolls on the

body and concentric wavy lines on the tail, legs, and neck.

Approximate Dimensions: 6 1/4" or 16cm by 3 1/2" or 9cm by 4" or 10.5cm.




11Y Hohokam Sacaton Red-on-Buff Calling Quail Effigy

Not only does this quail effigy have incised moulded wings (and tail feathers), but it also has a line painted down the center of the back separating two crosshatch painted wings.  It also had a moulded "top-notch" (the small feathers that come straight off the top of the head) but it was broken off in prehistoric times.

Approximte Dimensions: 4 1/4" or 11cm by 3 1/4" or 8.3cm.


12Y Hohokam Sacaton Red-on-Buff Sea Shell Effigy Scoop,

with a quartered design consisting of interlocked scrolls and small S's or squiggles.  Interestingly this seashell effigy also has lines grooved around the interior and exterior of the large edge of the "shell", representing the grooves you would see in a real sea shell.

Approximate Dimensions: 4 3/4" or 12cm by 4 1/4" or 11.3cm by 1 3/4" or 4.5cm.


13Y Hohokam Sacaton Red-on-Buff Miniature Effigy Seed Jar.

Approximate Dimensions: 2 5/8" or 6.7 cm. by 1 3/4" or 4.5cm.

This vessel has faint traces of red paint, it may have had a design, or possibly all red painted on it's exterior like the  one (vessel #H1Y) described under Variant Sacaton Red-on-Buff.  It has two opposing holes drilling under the rim, possibly for suspension. I t has been written that these knobbed vessels may represent Datura seed pods, a plant that contained medicinal and hallucinogenic properties. I propose another possibility, the red fruit of the prickly pear cactus. The meat of this fruit is wonderfully sweet and delicious, it can be dried, and it was likely that the Native Americans anxiously awaited the annual harvest of these sugary treats. Prickly Pear Cactus today grow in abundance in areas of the southwest and the fruit is made into jellies and candies.


14N Hohokam Sacaton Red-on-Buff Gourd Effigy.

Approximate Dimensions: 5" by 3 1/8"



15Y Hohokam Sacaton Red-on-Buff Calling Quail Effigy.

Approximate Dimensions: 5 1/2" by 5"


View More Effigies




16Y Hohokam Sacaton Red-on-Buff Censer with a faded quail depicted in the bottom.

Approximate Dimensions: 4 1/4" by 1 7/8"



17Y Hohokam Sacaton Red-on-Buff Rectangular Censer.

Approximate Dimensions: 3 7/8" by 2 7/8" by 2 1/8"



18Y Hohokam Sacaton Coiled Rattlesnake Pottery Censer with traces of red paint.

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


View More Censers


19Y Hohokam Sacaton Red-on-Buff Rectagular Vessel

The bottom appears to have been formed by pressing wet clay into a woven mat of some sort.

Approximate Dimensions: 9 1/2" by 6" by 3 1/4"



20Y Hohokam Sacaton Red-on-Buff Jar with dancing humans.

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


21Y Hohokam Sacaton Red-on-Buff Jar depicting quail.

Approximate Dimensions: 8 3/8" by 6"



22Y Hohokam Sacaton Red-on-Buff Jar

Approximate Dimensions: 5" by 3 1/2"






23Y Hohokam Sacaton Red-on-Buff Shouldered Flared-Rim Bowl

Approximate Dimensions: 13 1/2" by 6 3/8"




24N Hohokam Sacaton Red-on-Buff Miniature



25N Hohokam Sacaton Red-on-Buff Human Effigy Handle Scoop

The "handle" on this scoop is a full human effigy with arms and legs.  The interior is painted with wavy lines and the exterior is painted with multiple trailing lines.

Approximate Dimensions: 5" or 12.7cm by 3 1/8" or 8cm by 1 3/4" or 4.5cm


26Y Hohokam Sacaton Red-on-Buff Beaker

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





27N Hohokam Sacaton Red-on-Buff Miniature Vessel


28Y Hohokam Sacaton Red-on-Buff Shouldered Bowl or Cup.

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



29Y Hohokam Sacaton Red-on-Buff  exterior decorated bowl

that had a squiggle line at the bottom.

Approximate Dimensions: 5 3/8" by 2 7/8"


30N Hohokam Sacaton Red-on-Buff Bowl (Safford Regional Variety)

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



31Y Hohokam Sacaton Red-on-Buff (Safford Regional Variety) interior decorated bowl.

Approximate Dimensions: 4 7/8" by 2 3/4"



32Y Hohokam Miniature Sacaton Red-on-Buff Flare-rim Bowl

with possibly a pregnant dog painted on the interior. 

It also has four equally spaced trailing lines painted on the exterior.

Approximate Dimensions: 3" or 7.7cm by 1 1/4" or 3.2cm.



33Y Hohokam Sacaton Red-on-Buff Bowl

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





34Y Hohokam Sacaton Red-on-Buff Painted Pottery Pipe (extremely rare).

Approximate Dimensions: 11" by 1"


35Y Hohokam Sacaton Red-on-Buff Olla

Approximate Dimensions: 16" by 11 3/4"



36Y Hohokam Sacaton Red-on-Buff Recycled Vessel.

Bowl sherd prehistorically ground into a scoop or spoon.

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



37Y Hohokam Sacaton Red-on-Buff Flat Bottom Bowl

Approximate Dimensions: 5" by 2 3/4"


38N Hohokam Sacaton Red-on-Buff Scoop (Safford Regional Variety).

Approximate Dimensions: 5 3/8" by 3 5/8" by 2"




39Y Hohokam Sacaton Red-on-Buff Bowl.

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



40Y Hohokam Sacaton Red-on-Buff Bowl.

This helmet bowl is painted opposite of the norm. Most have primary interior designs with

secondary exterior designs. However this rare bowl has interior "trailing lines", and

the primary design is on the exteror. This would be common for a cauldron

shapped vessel, but is very rare for a helmet shaped flare-rim bowl.

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


This page last revised: 05/13/2013

Copyright: 2007 - 2013 All Rights Reserved.

We welcome your linking to our site, however all documents, webpages, photographs and images are the property of www.rarepottery.info. Written permission is required to copy, download or use any text, photographs or image files. Contact: info@rarepottery.info