Ancestral Pueblo: Southern Colorado Plateau (Anasazi)Central AnasaziNorthern San JuanNorthern San Juan Red WareDolores Red

Type Name: Dolores Red

Period: 550 A.D. - 900 A.D.
Culture: Ancestral Pueblo: Southern Colorado Plateau (Anasazi)
Branch: Central Anasazi
Tradition: Northern San Juan
Ware: Northern San Juan Red Ware

First posted by C. Dean Wilson 2012

Dolores Red was defined by Lucius and Wilson (1981). This type is similar to Tallahogan Red as originally described for collections from the Hopi Mesas area (Daifuku 1861). Both of these types may have ultimately derived from San Francisco Red, a slipped brown ware produced very early in the Mogollon Highlands. Dolores Red is rare in assemblages dating to all periods, but occurs in those dated at least as early as A.D. 575, and is the only red ware produced in the Northern San Juan region through the first few decades of the seventh century. Low frequencies of this type may occur in assemblages dating until the end of the eighth century. Dolores Red appears to have been replaced by San Juan Red Ware types, and although the overall technologies of the two red ware groups are unrelated, it may have partly served as an inspiration for the latter. Vessel forms are limited to bowls and jars. Unlike the latter San Juan Red Wares, this type is not abundant anywhere in the Northern San Juan region and is not included in most descriptions of Northern San Juan tradition types.

Dolores Red differs from Tallahogan Red only in the use of crushed igneous rock, sand, or sandstone temper (Lucius and Wilson 1981; Wilson and Blinman 1995). The type is characterized by the application of a red slip over a white to light gray paste clays. The slip was applied to jar exteriors and to both bowl interiors and exteriors, and the slipped surfaces were then polished. No paint has been noted on any examples of Dolores Red that have been described. Vessels were fired in neutral to oxidizing atmospheres, but the color of the slip was not produced by oxidation firing as much as by the original color of the slip clay. Firing was well controlled in oxidizing atmosphere. This firing regime and dependence on a red in nature clay is the most obvious difference between Dolores Red and San Juan Red Ware types. The range of the paste and slip color combinations characteristic of this type tends to be more reminiscent of those noted for White Mountain Red Wares types than either the San Juan Red Wares or Tsegi Orange Wares.

Daifuku, Hiroshi
1961 A Report on the Excavations of a Basketmaker III-Pueblo I Sites in Northeastern Arizona. Papers of the Peabody Museum of Archaeology and Ethnology. Vol 33, No.1, Awatovi Expedition Reports, No. 7 Cambridge, Massachusetts.

Lucius, William A., and C. Dean Wilson
1981 Formal Descriptions of Mesa Verde Region Ceramic Types: Three New, One Old. Pottery Southwest 8(3):4-7.

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.