Ancestral Pueblo: Greater Upper Rio Grande ValleyNorthern Rio GrandeTaos (Northern Tiwa)

Tradition Name: Taos (Northern Tiwa)

First posted by C. Dean Wilson

The area defined for Taos ceramic tradition types seems to largely conform to boundaries defined for the Taos District as bounded the Rio Grande to the west, the Sangre de Cristo Mountains to the East, the Red River to the North and the Rio Pueblo to the south (Wetherington 1968). Early ceramic components in the Taos region are represented by scattered communities scattered across various drainages. By A.D. 1250, the total population seems to have aggregated into three Pueblos, and from the Classic through the historic period populations was concentrated in the two Northern Tiwa speaking Pueblos of Picuris and Taos.

These trends may correspond to period during which the Tiwa and Tewa languages became distinguished from each other. Therefore, descriptions of late pottery types associated with the Pueblo occupation of Taos Region by the Northern Tewa are limited to ceramics described from the very few investigations conducted at these Pueblos (Dick and Adler and Dick 1999; Ellis and Brody 1964). Ceramics from early components resemble those from contemporaneous sites associated with the Tewa or Northern Rio Grande tradition while those associated with later components become more and more distinctive through time. These trends include both the production of distinct forms and decline in production in decorated pottery, culminating with the production of micaceous utility wares as the only pottery locally produced.

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