Analyzing Mimbres Pottery Designs with Confidence

Author(s): Michelle Hegmon; Kari Schleher

Year: 2021


This is an abstract from the "SAA 2021: General Sessions" session, at the 86th annual meeting of the Society for American Archaeology.

Mimbres Black-on-white pottery from the US Southwest is well known for its beautiful designs and, sadly, also for problems such as looting, fakery, and collection bias. Previous work has documented some of the challenges. The current work develops practical means by which those challenges can be addressed, drawing on a database of Mimbres pottery with designs that depict humans. We begin proceed by defining categories of degrees of confidence: (1) Representative samples; (2) Authentic but from various contexts; (3) Likely authentic; and (4) Unknown. We then proceed by assessing whether and to what extent the lower-confidence categories are different from the representative sample, and thus how they can reasonably be used in research. Happily, results show that the lower confidence categories can be used in qualitative research. For example, some of the most intriguing designs, such as those that depict birth scenes, intercourse and sexual jokes, are found on bowls that are known to be authentic.

Cite this Record

Analyzing Mimbres Pottery Designs with Confidence. Michelle Hegmon, Kari Schleher. Presented at The 86th Annual Meeting of the Society for American Archaeology. 2021 ( tDAR id: 467446)

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): 32281