Ancestral Pueblo: Southern Colorado Plateau (Anasazi)Central AnasaziSouthern CibolaWhite Mountain Red WareFourmile Polychrome

Type Name: Fourmile Polychrome

Period: 1300 A.D. - 1400 A.D.
Culture: Ancestral Pueblo: Southern Colorado Plateau (Anasazi)
Branch: Central Anasazi
Tradition: Southern Cibola
Ware: White Mountain Red Ware

First posted by C. Dean Wilson 2013

Four Mile Polychrome was defined by Haury (1932). This type was produced during the fourteenth century. Four Mile Polychrome distinguished from other White Mountain Red Ware types by the presence of intricate decorations in combinations of glaze and white clay pigments that represent a significant departure from earlier White Mountain Red ware decorative concepts (Carlson 1970; Triadan 1997).

Pastes are white buff to gray, and temper consists of crushed sherd fragments. Forms are dominated by bowls but also include jars. Surfaces are decorated with black designs in glaze or vitrified matte paint outlined in a white slip. The primary paint is applied in a glaze pigment that is usually black but may exhibit greenish tinges. The white paint is presumably kaolin and soft and weathers easily. Decorations were usually applied in glaze and white clay paint over bowl interiors and exteriors as well as the exterior of jar necks and bodies.

Motifs on bowl interiors consist of large central figures that may be either symmetrical or asymmetrical, and focus on center of the bowl. Motifs may include large geometric scrolls, stylized birds or masks. Primary motifs are executed in black glaze paint and outlined with white lines. The center design is usually separated from a black rim band by a broad band of red background. Space between motifs may be filled with stepped lines, dots, solid and negative frets and stepped figures with attached F hooks. Bowls almost always exhibit an unbroken interior sub-rim banding line. The exteriors of Fourmile Polychrome usually consist of a series of fine white lines just below the rim. These lines are usually bordered on one or both edges with white lines. These designs often contain "F" shaped hooks, which are unique to Fourmile Style. Hatching is usually parallel, and framing lines are always wider than hatching lines. Jars are decorated in banded patterns containing large rectangular or triangle motifs with fillers.

Carlson, Roy L.
1970 White Mountain Redware Pottery Tradition of East-Central New Mexico. Anthropological Papers of the University of Arizona, No. 19. University of Arizona Press, Tucson.

Triadan, Daniela
1997 Ceramic Commodities and Common Containers; Production and Distribution of White Mountain Red Ware in the Grasshopper Region, Arizona. The University of Arizona Press, Tucson.

Related Photos

Fourmile Polychrome bowl sherd (interior surface)

Fourmile Polychrome bowl (exterior surface)

Fourmile Polychrome bowl

Fourmile Polychrome bowl

Fourmile Polychrome bowl

Fourmile Polychrome bowl

Four Mile Polychrome Bowl (interior view)

Four Mile Polychrome Bowl (exterior view)