Ancestral Pueblo: Southern Colorado Plateau (Anasazi)Western AnasaziTusayan (Kayenta)Tusayan White WareBlack Mesa Black-on-white

Type Name: Black Mesa Black-on-white

Period: 1000 A.D. - 1100 A.D.
Culture: Ancestral Pueblo: Southern Colorado Plateau (Anasazi)
Branch: Western Anasazi
Tradition: Tusayan (Kayenta)
Ware: Tusayan White Ware

First posted by C. Dean Wilson 2012

Black Mesa Black-on-white was described by Colton and Hargrave (1937). This type is assigned to pottery exhibiting pastes and temper indicative of production in the Tusayan regions decorated with organic paint and a combination of designs. Temper is often a fine sand that appears to be derived from crushed sandstones. Vessel forms noted include bowls, jars, pitchers, ladles, and effigies. Designs are executed in black organic paint over a polished light whitish-blue, well-polished surface. Designs consist of wide parallel lines, chevrons, and triangles that are often embellished with pendant dots and scrolls (Hays-Gilpin and van Harteveldt 1998). Designs are usually organized in very bold banded layouts that cover much of the surface. Thick parallel lines, that are organized perpendicular from the rim, often divide designs into segments.

Types exhibiting similar decorations in organic paint, pastes, and temper are indicative of productions in other regions of the Western Anasazi, including St George Black-on-white in the Virgin Kayenta region and Holbrook Black-on-white in the Little Colorado region. Black Mesa Black-on-white appears to have been produced from about A.D. 1000 to 1100.

Colton, Harold S. and Lyndon L. Hargrave
1937 Handbook of Northern Arizona Pottery Wares. Museum of Northern Arizona Bulletin No. 11, Flagstaff.

Hays-Gilpin, Kelley, and Eric van Hartesveldt
1998 Prehistoric Ceramics of the Puerco Valley: The 1995 Chambers-Sanders Trust Lands Ceramic Conference. Museum of Northern Arizona Ceramic Series No. 7, Flagstaff.

Related Photos

Black Mesa Black-on-white bowl

Black Mesa Black-on-white jar with handle

Black Mesa Black-on-white bowl sherds