TYPE: Gila Polychrome

DATE: A.D. 1300 to 1450 (Neuzil & Lyons 2005;34)

COMMON FORMS: Bowls, jars.

COMMON BACKGROUND COLORS: Bowl exteriors slipped red (sometimes the upper outside portion is slipped white), interiors slipped white (rare examples may have a small to medium circular area in the center bottom slipped red).  Jar bodies slipped white, bottoms slipped red.

BOWL DESIGN PLACEMENT: Commonly interiors, sometimes exteriors or both interiors and exteriors. 

TYPICAL COLOR SCHEME: Black-on-White designs with red slip on jar bottoms and bowl exteriors. Rarely, jars may have a red slipped top. Occasionally a bowl will have a small to medium red slipped portion in the center bottom creating a "sun" design. Rare variants may have white and/or black secondary designs painted on red exteriors.

COMMON DESIGNS: Some designs have balanced designs of broadlines and hatching that resemble the Pinedale style of White Mountain Redware, others have bold designs with no hatching.  Most Gila Polychrome designs have thick "life-lines" often with a "spirit break".  On bowls the "life-line" is usually immediately under the rim.  Designs often go to a thin framing line below the "life-line". Occasionally, Gila designs do not have "life-lines". Gila designs often cover the entire bowl, but many can have open circular or square spaces in the bottom. Large solids (often with "bullseyes") are diagnostic.


KEY DIFFERENCES: Gila designs most often have "Spirit-lines" or "life-lines" at the tops of bowls, hatching spaced wider and usually not as fine as in Pinto designs. Some Gila designs have no hatching.



1N Salado Gila Polychrome Bowl (without a "spirit line").

The shape of the bowl with its recurved rim suggest that it dates A.D. 1350 to 1450.


2N Salado Gila Polychrome Bowl with huge solids in the design.

Approximate Dimensions: 10 3/4' by 5 3/8"




3Y Salado Gila Polychrome Bowl with Exterior Design.

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



4Y Salado Gila Polychrome Bowl with Exterior Design.

Approximate Dimenions: 3 7/8 " by 6 7/8 "




5N Salado Gila Polychrome Olla.


6N Salado Gila Polychrome Olla, with a thick or broadline design in a band, between thin framing lines.  It also has the thick "life-line" at the top.



7N Salado Gila Polychrome Vase



8N Salado Gila Polychrome Vase



9Y Salado Gila Polychrome pitcher.  Pitchers are relatively rare, this

one exhibits a possible wolf head, or submissive dog head handle.


10N Salado Gila Polychrome handled cup, with a bold Gila design with no "life-line".




11Y Salado Gila Polychrome Bird Effigy Vessel




12N Salado Gila Polychrome Mug


13N Salado Gila Polychrome Oval Bowl



14N Salado Gila Polychrome Oval Bowl

Approximate Dimensions: 7 1/4" by 5 7/8" by 3 1/4"




15Y Salado Gila Polychrome Bowl (Northern Variety)

Approximate Dimensions: 10" by 4 1/4"


This page last revised: 04/28/2013

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