Color by Design on Hohokam Pottery

Author(s): Jill Neitzel

Year: 2018


This paper investigates whether hatched designs on Hohokam red-on-buff ceramics symbolized colors other than the red that was used to paint them. This idea is an extension of previous research done on Ancestral Pueblo and Mogollon black-on-white pottery. J.J. Brody initiated these investigations with his suggestion that hachure on Chaco ceramics from northwest New Mexico represented the color blue-green. Stephen Plog subsequently confirmed this hypothesis by comparing the colors and designs on other kinds of Chaco artifacts. More recently, Will Russell and colleagues applied Plog’s analytical approach to Mimbres pottery from southwest New Mexico with somewhat different results. While they too found that hatched designs symbolized color, the color in this case was yellow rather than blue-green. Extending this research to the Hohokam may be severely constrained by the poor preservation of painted non-ceramic artifacts, but the results could provide new insights into cosmology, regional interaction, and cultural continuity throughout the late prehistoric Southwest.

Cite this Record

Color by Design on Hohokam Pottery. Jill Neitzel. Presented at The 82nd Annual Meeting of the Society for American Archaeology, Washington, DC. 2018 ( tDAR id: 442508)

This Resource is Part of the Following Collections

Spatial Coverage

min long: -124.365; min lat: 25.958 ; max long: -93.428; max lat: 41.902 ;

Record Identifiers

Abstract Id(s): 18822