Ancestral Pueblo: Southern Colorado Plateau (Anasazi)Central AnasaziChaco and CibolaChaco-Cibola White WareEscavada Black-on-white

Type Name: Escavada Black-on-white

Period: 950 A.D. - 1150 A.D.
Culture: Ancestral Pueblo: Southern Colorado Plateau (Anasazi)
Branch: Central Anasazi
Tradition: Chaco and Cibola
Ware: Chaco-Cibola White Ware

First posted by C. Dean Wilson 2013

Escavada Black-on-white was named and described by Hawley (1934; 1936). The classification of later Pueblo II forms produced in the Cibola region presents a typological dilemma that has not yet been fully resolved. This problem partly stems from the assignment of a wide range of styles indicative of production during the late Pueblo II period (from about A.D. 1000 to 1150) into different types based on variations in design characteristic of types produced during this span (Windes and McKenna 1989). This strategy differs for types defined for contemporary white ware forms produced in many of the other Northern Anasazi regions. For contemporary forms for these other traditions, types such as Mancos Black-on-white defined for the Northern San Juan region and Kwahe’e defined for the Northern Rio Grande region encompass the range of styles used to defined the different Cibola types known to have been produced during the latter part of the Pueblo II period. A recommendation of the 1958 Cibola White Ware conference was that all white ware forms exhibiting late Pueblo II solid decorations in mineral paint should be assigned to Puerco Black-on-white which would then be further sub-divided into Puerco, Escavada Black-on-white varieties based on stylistic differences (Hays-Gilpin and Van Hartesveldt 1998). Windes and McKenna (1989) characterize Escavada Black-on-white as a poorly slipped form of Puerco Black-on-white. Examples assigned to the Puerco Valley variety of this type exhibit porous gray, dark gray or gray-brown pastes indicative of the use of high iron clays and abundant sherd temper.

As described here, Escavada Black-on-white refers to late Pueblo II white wares with designs that are broadly comparable to styles commonly defined for Sosi Black-on-white of the Tusayan tradition. This style is characterized by the use of broad lines, large solid elements, and the absence of line elaborations with combinations of lines and solid elements (Goetze and Mills 1993; Reed 1998). As is the case for Sosi Black-on-white, wide lines are often organized unto a series of rectilinear patterns. Other motifs organized within these lines include solid triangles, right triangles, and interlocking barbs. Designs mainly consist of wide lines organized into a series of rectilinear patterns. Other motifs organized within these lines include solid triangles, right triangles, and interlocking barbs. The wide lines and connecting triangles result in a similar effect of bold opposing lines. Other than the design styles, the characteristics of white wares exhibiting the various styles indicative of late Pueblo II types are identical. Pastes tend to be hard and light gray to white in color sometimes with a gray core. Vessels are often thin and reflected by a range of forms including bowls, ladles, pitchers, and effigies.

Cibola Whiteware Conference
1958 Ms. Museum of Northern Arizona, Flagstaff.

Goetze, Christine.E Goetze. and Barbara J. Mills
1993 Classification Criteria for Wares and Types. In Across the Colorado Plateau: Anthropological Studies for the Transwestern Pipeline Expansion Project, Interpretation of Ceramic Artifacts, Volume XVI, edited by B.J. Mills, C.E. Goetze, M.N. Zedeno, pp. 21-86. Office of Contract Archaeology and Maxwell Museum of Anthropology, University of New Mexico, Albuquerque.

Hawley, Florence M.
1934 The Significance of Dated Prehistory of Chetro Ketl, Chaco Canyon, New Mexico. University of New Mexico Bulletin 1, Albuquerque.

1936 Field Manual of Prehistoric Southwestern Pottery Types. The University of new Mexico Bulletin No. 291, Anthropological Series 1(4), Albuquerque.

Hays-Gilpin, Kelley., and Eric van Hartesveldt
1998 Prehistoric Ceramics of the Puerco Valley: The 1995 Chambers-Sanders Trust Lands Ceramic Conference. Museum of Northern Arizona Ceramic Series No.7. The Museum of Norther Arizona, Flagstaff.

Reed, Lori S., Joell Goff, Kathy Niles Hensler
1998 Exploring Ceramic Production, Distribution, and Exchange in the Southern Chuska Valley: Analytical Results from the El Paso Natural Gas North Expansion Project, Pipeline Archaeology 1990-1993: The El Paso Natural Gas System Expansion Project, New Mexico and Arizona, Vol XI, Book 1, Report no, WCRM (F)74, Farmington.

Toll H., Wolcott, and Peter J. McKenna
1987 The Ceramography of Pueblo Alto. In Investigations at the Pueblo Alto Complex, Chaco Canyon, New Mexico, 1975-1978: Volume III, Part 1: Artifactual and Biological Analysis, edited by F. J. Mathien and T. C. Windes, pp. 19-230. Publications in Archaeology 18 F, Chaco Canyon Series, National Park Service, Santa Fe.

Windes, Thomas C., and Peter J. McKenna
1989 Cibola White Ware and Cibola Grayware: The Chaco Series. Paper presented for the New Mexico Archaeological Council Ceramics Workshop, Northwestern New Mexico Region, Ms. On file, National Park Service, Santa Fe.

Related Photos

Escavada Black-on-white bowl sherds

Escavada Black-on-white bowl

Escavada Black-on-white bowl

Escavada Black-on-white canteen

Escavada Black-on-white pitcher

Escavada Black-on-white jar sherds