Ancestral Pueblo: Greater Upper Rio Grande ValleyNorthern Rio GrandeGreater Tewa Basin (Northern Tewa)

Tradition Name: Greater Tewa Basin (Northern Tewa)

First posted by C. Dean Wilson 2013

The wide range of pottery types identified over diverse landscapes across much of the drainages of the Northern Rio Grande appear to reflect long continuous successions of technological and stylistic change in the Northern Rio Grande Region. This sequence apparently began with the settlement of areas north of the La Bajada and Santa Fe River by ceramic producing groups at about A.D. 900 and continues with the pottery produced at in the six Northern Tewa Pueblo villages in the Basin (Batkin 1987; Harlow 1970; 1973).

During the Classic period, this tradition can be expanded geographically to include areas in the Chama Valley and Pajarito Plateau where biscuit ware and associated utility ware types that developed directly into Northern Tewa pottery forms were produced. For earlier ceramic periods, this tradition can be expanded to an even larger area covering much of the Northern and Middle Rio Grande where similar pottery types including Kwah'e and Santa Fe Black-on-white was produced.

Many of the pottery types defined for the Northern Rio Grande pottery were first named and described by Kidder or Mera based on investigations conducted during the early part of the twentieth century (Kidder 1915; Kidder and Amsden 1931; Kidder and Shepard 1936; Mera 1932; 1934; 1935; 1939). The various Rio Grande pottery types defined and described during these investigations were first compiled by Hawley (1936), and many of these categories are still used to define pottery from sites in the Northern Rio Grande region (Habicht-Mauche 1993; Honea 1968; Lambert 1954; Lang 1982; 1997; McKenna and Miles 1990; Powell 2002; Snow 1982; Stubbs and Stalling 1953; Vindt 1999; Warren 1976; Wilson 2008).

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