Prehistoric Painted Pottery of Southeastern Arizona


Statistical Research, Inc., was contracted in 1996 by the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers to perform a variety of tasks pertinent to collections of prehistoric ceramics from archaeological work conducted on Fort Huachuca Military Reservation located in southeastern Arizona. The bulk of the contract consisted of two tasks—teaching a class on the ceramics and prehistory of southeastern Arizona and preparing a guide to prehistoric pottery found at sites in this region of the American Southwest. The two-week-long class was taught at Fort Huachuca in June of 1998 to a group of 24 avocationalist archaeologists who volunteer their time at the Garden Canyon site (AZ EE:11:13 [ASM]), a prehistoric village occupied during the pre-Classic and Classic periods, located on Fort Huachuca. These volunteers are members of the Cochise Chapter of the Arizona Archaeological Society and worked under the supervision of Post Archaeologist John Murray. The main objective of the class and the pottery guide was to familiarize the volunteers with the pottery from Garden Canyon and other sites in southeastern Arizona. Although the guide was written specifically for this group of volunteers, we hope that other avocationalists and professional archaeologists also will find it useful.

The guide focuses on southeastern Arizona and the period between A.D. 650 and 1450, when painted pottery was made. We limit our discussions to painted pottery because it encodes diverse social, ideological, functional, and temporal information, and because sorting out ambiguities in existing taxonomic systems for unpainted pottery in southeastern Arizona is a task well beyond the scope of this project. The painted pottery included in this guide represents ceramics commonly found at sites in southeastern Arizona, with a special focus on the Garden Canyon site. To set the stage, we provide a history of archaeological research in southeastern Arizona, an overview of its culture history between A.D. 650 and 1450, and some comments on the history and use of pottery classification in the Southwest. Treatment of ceramics varies according to frequency and depth of archaeological understanding. The better-known and least-ambiguous ceramics, such as Hohokam Buff Ware, are described only briefly. Considerable attention is paid to the more ambiguous, poorly described ceramics—Babocomari, Dragoon, San Simon, and Trincheras—using the framework of ceramic tradition as a heuristic device.

Ceramics are not only aesthetically pleasing but are the backbone of archaeological interpretation in the Southwest, providing information on economics, social organization, settlement systems, religion, and ideology. This guide is designed to help avocationalists and professional archaeologists use ceramics to unlock these doors to the prehistoric past.

Cite this Record

Prehistoric Painted Pottery of Southeastern Arizona. Robert A. Heckman, Barbara K. Montgomery, Stephanie M. Whittlesey. Technical Series ,77. Tucson, AZ: SRI Press. 2000 ( tDAR id: 425939) ; doi:10.48512/XCV8425939

This Resource is Part of the Following Collections


Ancestral Puebloan

Ceramic Painted pottery

Site Name
Alder Wash Ruin AZ AA:12:18 (ASM) AZ AA:12:384 (ASM) AZ AA:12:57 (ASM) AZ AA:16:3 (ASM) AZ AA:16:94 (ASM) AZ AA:2:2 (ASM) AZ BB:11:10 (ASM) AZ BB:11:12 AZ BB:11:20 (ASM) AZ BB:11:26 (ASM) AZ BB:11:7 AZ BB:11:9 AZ BB:13:14 (ASM) AZ BB:13:16 (ASM) AZ BB:13:398 (ASM) AZ BB:13:41 (ASM) AZ BB:13:43 (ASM) AZ BB:13:50 (ASM) AZ BB:15:1 (ASM) AZ BB:2:2 (ASM) AZ BB:5:1 (ASM) AZ BB:7:1 (ASM) AZ CC:1:24 (ASM) AZ CC:1:28 (ASM) AZ CC:2:3 (ASM) AZ CC:5:6 (ASM) AZ DD:1:11 (ASM) AZ DD:8:1 AZ DD:8:12 (ASM) AZ DD:8:127 (ASM) AZ EE:11:13 (ASM) AZ EE:11:6 (ASM) AZ EE:12:36 (ASM) AZ EE:16:3 (ASM) AZ EE:3:18 (ASM) AZ EE:7:1 AZ EE:7:261 (ASM) AZ EE:8:1 AZ EE:8:109 (ASM) AZ EE:8:113 (ASM) AZ EE:8:48 (ASM) AZ EE:9:107 (ASM) AZ EE:9:93 (ASM) AZ FF:11:2 AZ FF:11:21 (ASM) AZ FF:2:1 (ASM) AZ FF:4:2 (ASM) AZ FF:7:10 (ASM) AZ O:15:1 (ASM) AZ P:14:1 (ASM) AZ P:14:24 (ASM) AZ U:13:1 (ASM) AZ U:2:1 (ASM) AZ W:10:111 (ASM) AZ W:10:50 (ASM) AZ Z:12:5 (ASM) Babocomari Village Baca Float site Big Ditch Boss Ranch Canyon Creek Ruin Casa Grande (Grewe) Casas Grandes (Paquimé) Cave Creek CHIH D:9:1 Chodistaas Curtis site (Buena Vista Ruin) Davis Ruin Diack site El Macayo Fastimes Frogsville Garden Canyon Gleeson site Goat Hill Grasshopper Harris Village Hereford site (Bead Hill) Hodges Ruin Houghton Road site Kuykendall site La Playa Los Morteros Marijilda Ruin Mogollon Village Nantack Village NM S:9:1 (ASM) NM Z:1:1 (ASM) Nogales Wash site Paloparado Pinaleño Cotton Cache Point of Pines Pottown Punta de Agua sites Ramsey Canyon site Red Cave Redington Village Reeve Ruin Roadrunner Vista Rye Creek Ruin Santa Cruz de Terrenate San Xavier Bridge site Second Canyon Slaughter Ranch Snaketown Son F:10:3 (ASM) Tres Alamos Valshni Village Ventana Cave Villa Verde Water World West Branch Show More

Site Type
Archaeological Feature Artifact Scatter Domestic Structure or Architectural Complex Resource Extraction / Production / Transportation Structure or Features Settlements Sites with painted pottery in guide

Temporal Coverage

Calendar Date: 650 to 1450 (Temporal range of pottery guide)

Spatial Coverage

min long: -110.83; min lat: 31.316 ; max long: -109.534; max lat: 32.306 ;

Individual & Institutional Roles

Contact(s): SRI Press

Prepared By(s): Statistical Research, Inc.

Submitted To(s): US Army Corps of Engineers, Los Angeles District

Record Identifiers

Delivery Order(s): 9

Contract No.(s): DACW09-96-D-0005

File Information

  Name Size Creation Date Date Uploaded Access
77_Prehistoric_Painted_Pottery_OCR.pdf 18.06mb Mar 30, 2018 2:41:14 PM Public