Ancestral Pueblo: Greater MogollonJornada Mogollon

Branch Name: Jornada Mogollon

First posted by C. Dean Wilson 2012

Most pottery assemblages from upland areas of the Northern Jornada (Sierra Blanca) and lowland riparian environments in Southern Jornada (El Paso) region are dominated by plain brown utility wares that include areas of south-central and southeastern New Mexico and adjacent areas of the western-most Trans-Pecos Texas and Chihuahua Mexico. Plain brown ware pottery from various areas of the Jornada region have been divided into different types based on combinations of attributes thought to be spatially significant. The assignment of pottery to various brown ware types defined for different traditions is based on postulated areal differences in surface color, polish, and temper noted for plain brown wares from different areas of the Jornada Mogollon region (Jelinek 1967; Jennings 1940; Lehmer 1948; Whalen 1994; Wiseman 1996). Examinations of this pottery indicate overlap in the characteristics of brown ware pottery common in different areas of the Jornada Mogollon region (Wiseman 2001). Both visual and petrographic examinations indicate both differences in pastes and manipulations of brown ware pottery dominating ceramic assemblages at sites in the southern riverine versus northern mountainous areas defined for the Jornada Mogollon.

Some analysts have lumped plain brown ware sherds previously assigned to regional specific types such as El Paso Brown, Jornada Brown, or South Pecos Brown into a single Plain Brown Ware type category, and have subsequently documented variation in pottery from different areas through the distribution of various paste and technological attributes (Hill 1996; Whalen 1994). Other researchers have noted that subdividing brown ware pottery from sites scattered through the Jornada Mogollon region may be useful, while also recognizing such distributions are complicated (Wiseman 2001). Problems in the recognition of different plain brown ware types may sometimes result from the wide range of characteristics noted for various brown ware types. For example, some sherds may contain a temper class commonly used to define one type along with a surface manipulation frequently used to define another (Wiseman 2001). Still, the use of such categories may allow for the monitoring of kinds of variability within assemblages that may be of spatial or temporal significance. Relaying this type of information through such categories is often less cumbersome than a continual reference to combinations of attribute categories. The major brown ware division utilized during the present study involved the distinction of Jornada Brown Ware and El Paso Brown Ware types. Other pottery wares associated with the Southern and Northern Anasazi traditions are also distinct. Decorated wares produced in the Northern Jornada include white ware (Chupadero and Tabira Black-on-white) and Three Rivers Red Ware types. Decorated pottery produced in the Southern Jornada seems is limited to El Paso Polychrome.

Related Traditions