Dishes in the Privy: Ceramic Use at St. Michael’s Mission on the Navajo Nation


This is a poster submission presented at the 2020 annual meeting of the Society for Historical Archaeology.

The St. Michael’s Mission on the Navajo Nation, near present day Window Rock, Arizona, was established in 1889. This was one of the first Catholic Missions in the area and is still in use as a church and as a museum today. In 1976, surface surveys and excavations of the privy began, unearthing materials dated from the 1910s to the 1960s. In 2019 the Northern Arizona University Historical Archaeology Lab re-cataloged and analyzed these materials. One of the more abundant classes of artifacts were glass and ceramic tablewares. These artifacts allow us to better understand the lives and choices of the friars who lived at the mission and their relationships with the local Navajo. Through the use of ceramic analysis, this poster contributes to Historical Archaeology’s understanding of missions, specifically dishware, and contact period archaeology.

Cite this Record

Dishes in the Privy: Ceramic Use at St. Michael’s Mission on the Navajo Nation. Megan S. Laurich, Kelsey Gruntorad, Rachael E. O'Hara, Emily Dale, Chrissina Burke. 2020 ( tDAR id: 457426)

This Resource is Part of the Following Collections


Temporal Keywords
Twentieth Century

Spatial Coverage

min long: -129.199; min lat: 24.495 ; max long: -66.973; max lat: 49.359 ;

Individual & Institutional Roles

Contact(s): Society for Historical Archaeology

Record Identifiers

PaperId(s): 813