Ancestral Pueblo: Southern Colorado Plateau (Anasazi)Central AnasaziChaco and Cibola

Tradition Name: Chaco and Cibola

First posted by C. Dean Wilson 2014

Pottery types indicative of painted vessels produced in the San Juan Basin and surrounding areas of the middle and southern Colorado Plateau covering much of Northwest New Mexico, reflect the long use of similar pigments, pastes, and styles over a long period in the production of forms tempered with sand, sandstone, or crushed sherd are assigned to Cibola types. These include both white ware types produced during almost the entire ceramic sequence and White Mountain Red Ware types produced during the latter span of this sequence. Earlier earlier versions of this web-site included descriptions of types assigned to a a Puerco Valley tradition, to note a parallel sequence of development associatd with the long use of red firing clays derived from the Chinlee formation and sherd temper in gray wares. These descriptions have since been removed, given they seem to reflect varieties of Cibola types described in this tradition, and are largely limited to sites in east central Arizona. Hays-Gilpin and van Hartesveldt (1998) provide an excellent discussion of the variatin for pottery produced in the Puerco in the westernmost portion of the Cibola Region.

It is often not possible, however, to consistently assign gray wares tempered with sand or sandstone temper to specific Cibola types, since similar tempering materials and textured styles were utilized over much of the Tusayan region. Cibola white ware pottery from assemblages dating prior to A.D. 1000 is almost always tempered with sand, while those of assemblages dating after A.D. 1050 may contain at least some crushed sherd temper. Later Cibola White Ware pottery is often covered with a thin white slip. Pigments and decorative styles noted in forms produced in the Chaco and Cibola region in sites dating prior to A.D. 1000 are similar enough that earlier forms from both regions are often assigned to similar types (Christenson 1995; Doyle 1980; Fowler 1994; Sullivan and Hangman 1984). Later periods are reflected by distinctions which include the production of organic painted McElmo Black-on-white in the Northern Cibola and the production of distinct mineral painted white wares, and the production of very distinct red slipped White Mountain Red Ware types in the western portions of this region.

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