tDAR Logo tDAR digital antiquity

Ceramic: Chaco-McElmo Black-on-white human humpback effigy AMNH29.1/3209

Creator(s): Lori Reed

Year: 2004

» Downloads & Basic Metadata


Chaco-McElmo Black-on-white, human humpback effigy, Chaco Cibola, AMNH Accession 29.1 Catalog #3209. Analyzed by Lori Reed 2004. Medium quartz sand temper (exposed on effigy base) and washy white slip indicate manufacture in the Chaco region. During vessel restoration the head was attached to the effigy by means of a plaster material reconstruction. Based on differences in paint and the location of use wear, it is unlikely that the attached head is the original head for this effigy. The designs on the head are painted in mineral pigment and the body designs are painted in organic pigment. Also, the wear pattern visible on the back of the head is from an effigy that had hard surface abrasion on the posterior surface. Given the humpback shape of this effigy, hard surface wear on the back of the head would have been difficult to achieve. Morris, however, does not provide any indication that the effigy body and head are mismatched. Measurements: 1.6 cm orifice diameter (at top of head), 15.5 cm maximum diameter of body. Image AMNH29-1-3209 A: posterior view of effigy showing back of head and punched ventilation hole on each arm (note the color difference between the mineral-painted head and organic-painted body). Image AMNH29-1-3209 B: closeup view of wear on back of head. Image AMNH29-1-3209 C: front view of face and body. Image AMNH29-1-3209 D: left side view showing humpback profile and painted designs on arm. Image AMNH29-1-3209 E: closeup of painted design on left forearm. Recovered from Earl Morris excavation of Kiva Q, Aztec West Ruin. Kiva Q is located in the southwest corner of the plaza adjacent to Rooms 105-109 in the South Wing. The only published reference to Kiva Q is in Morris (1924) in which he compares Kiva A.2 in the Annex with Kiva Q. "Kiva A.2 is of a different type, but from its similarity to Kiva Q in the main ruin, which is of known Chaco age, it must be considered contemporaneous with Kiva A.1. Where Chaco kivas occur detached from the building to which they pertain, they are sunk deep into the earth, but when incorporated within the building mass most of their altitude is above ground" (Morris 1924:257). Reference: Earl Morris, 1924, Burials in the Aztec Ruin and the Aztec Ruin Annex, Anthropological Papers of the American Museum of Natural History Vol. XXVI, Parts III and IV, American Museum of Natural History, New York.

Cite this Record

Ceramic: Chaco-McElmo Black-on-white human humpback effigy AMNH29.1/3209. Lori Reed. 2004. Image: Aztec Ruins National Monument ( tDAR id: 372070) ; doi:10.6067/XCV8K9368D


Temporal Coverage

Calendar Date: 1110 to 1140 (Late Chacoan)

Calendar Date: 1140 to 1280 (Post-Chacoan)

Spatial Coverage

min long: -108.038; min lat: 36.803 ; max long: -107.955; max lat: 36.861 ;

Individual & Institutional Roles

Contact(s): Lori Reed ; Gary Brown

Contributor(s): Aztec Ruins National Monument

Repository(s): American Museum of Natural History

Record Identifiers

American Museum of Natural History(s): Accession 29.1


Rights & Attribution: Artifact was collected from Aztec West Ruin excavations by Earl Morris between 1916 and 1922. Morris' excavations were sponsored and funded by the American Museum of Natural History, New York.

Rights & Attribution: High resolution images of the item are archived and available to researchers through the National Park Service, Aztec Ruins National Monument.

Rights & Attribution: Publication or use of the image is restricted; permission may be obtained through consultation with American Museum of Natural History and Aztec Ruins National Monument.

Source Collections

Original Item: American Museum of Natural History, New York
Image: NPS, Aztec Ruins National Monument, Aztec, New Mexico

Related Comparative Collections

Aztec Ruins Collections housed at Hibben Center, University of New Mexico, Albuquerque
Aztec Ruins Collections housed at American Museum of Natural History, New York
Aztec Ruins Collections housed at Aztec Ruins National Monument, Aztec, New Mexico

File Information

  Name Size Creation Date Date Uploaded Access
amnh29-1-3209-a.jpg 168.94kb Dec 14, 2011 3:44:16 PM Public
amnh29-1-3209-b.jpg 125.30kb Dec 14, 2011 3:44:18 PM Public
amnh29-1-3209-c.jpg 166.89kb Dec 14, 2011 3:44:19 PM Public
amnh29-1-3209-d.jpg 113.83kb Dec 14, 2011 3:44:21 PM Public
amnh29-1-3209-e.jpg 100.69kb Dec 14, 2011 3:44:24 PM Public

This Resource is Part of the Following User Created Collections

Arizona State University The Andrew W. Mellon Foundation National Science Foundation National Endowment for the Humanities Society for American Archaeology Archaeological Institute of America