Ancestral Pueblo: Southern Colorado Plateau (Anasazi)Central AnasaziNorthern San JuanNorthern San Juan Gray WareMummy Lake Gray

Type Name: Mummy Lake Gray

Period: 1050 A.D. - 1200 A.D.
Culture: Ancestral Pueblo: Southern Colorado Plateau (Anasazi)
Branch: Central Anasazi
Tradition: Northern San Juan
Ware: Northern San Juan Gray Ware

First posted by C. Dean Wilson 2012

Mummy Lake Gray was first described by Rohn and Swannack (1965) based on pottery recovered during investigations of Wetherill Project at Mesa Verde National Park, and subsequently included in descriptions of Mesa Verde pottery types (Breternitiz 1974; Rohn 1977; Wilson and Blinman 1995). While pottery assigned to this type share characteristics with earlier neckbanded types, the production of such forms did not follow directly after Mancos Gray. It is instead contemporary with later corrugated types.

Sherds are assigned to this type if they are from a wide mouth jar or pitcher with a somewhat everted single rim fillet and a plain (scraped) body. Eversion varies from almost straight to eversion angles of more than 45 degrees. Other than the single fillet just below the rim, evidence of coils has been completely obliterated on the exterior surface of the body, leaving a plain but often very rough surface. Vessel forms are restricted to wide-mouthed cooking or storage jars and pitchers, and jar shapes duplicate those noted for corrugated types rather than being limited to the globular or flaring necked jar forms of Chapin Gray and the neckbanded types. The scarcity of Mummy Lake Gray, and the relatively great risk of error assumed in assigning small sherds to this type, and probably accounts for the ambiguity of the temporal span associated with this type.

Mummy Lake Gray appears to largely span the A.D. 1050 to 1200 period. It is roughly contemporary with Dolores Corrugated. While in areas of the Southwest that included to be occupied after the abandonment of the Colorado Plateau such as the Kayenta and Rio Grande regions there was an increase in the degree of smearing on corrugated after A.D. 1200 wares leading to increased plain ware forms during later periods, a gradual trend in the degree of coil obliteration appears not to be represented in the Mesa Verde region.

Breternitz, David A., Arthur H. Rohn, Jr., and Elizabeth A. Morris
1974 Prehistoric Ceramics of the Mesa Verde Region, Museum of Northern Arizona Ceramic Series 5. Flagstaff.

Rohn, Arthur H.
1977 Cultural Change and Continuity on Chapin Mesa. Regents Press, Lawrence.

Rohn, Arthur H. and Jervis D. Swannack
1965 Mummy Lake Gray: A New Pottery Type. In Memoirs of the Society for American Archaeology, No 19, American Antiquity, 31(2):14-18.

Wilson, C. Dean, and Eric Blinman
1995 Ceramic Types of the Mesa Verde Region. In Archaeological Pottery of Colorado: Ceramic Clues to the Prehistoric and Protohistoric Lives of the State's Native Peoples, edited by R.H. Brunswig, B. Bradley, and S.M. Chandler, pp. 33-88. Colorado Council of Archaeologists Occasional Papers 2, Denver.

Related Photos

Mummy Lake Gray jar

Mummy Lake Gray jar