Ancestral Pueblo: Southern Colorado Plateau (Anasazi)Eastern (Mountain) AnasaziUpper San JuanUpper San Juan White WareBancos Black-on-white

Type Name: Bancos Black-on-white

Period: 800 A.D. - 1050 A.D.
Culture: Ancestral Pueblo: Southern Colorado Plateau (Anasazi)
Branch: Eastern (Mountain) Anasazi
Tradition: Upper San Juan
Ware: Upper San Juan White Ware

First posted by C. Dean Wilson 2012

Bancos Black-on-white was defined by Dittert (1961) during the Navajo Reservoir Project. The temporal span of Bancos Black-on-white as normally defined is quite long and overlaps that of several types defined for the Upper San Juan white ware sequence including Piedra Black-on-white and Arboles Black-on-white. Bancos Black-on-white reflects at least in part pottery earlier defined as Rosa-Gallina Transitional by Hall (1944). This type appears to have largely been produced in the southern part of the Upper San Juan region. Pottery assigned to this type seems to reflect the very long use of distinctive local clays and decorations in organic paint (Reed and Goff 2007; Wilson and Blinman 1993). Bancos Black-on-white is assumed to have developed directly out of Rosa Black-on-white and may also later developed into Gallina Black-on-white. Together Rosa Black-on-white, Bancos Black-on-white, and Gallina Black-on-white appear to constitute a conservative ceramic tradition which developed in the southern part of the Upper San Juan region and later shifted to the Largo-Gallina region.

Bancos Black-on-white displays variable polishing and is usually not slipped. Temper consists of a variety of materials including coarse granitic sand, sandstone, finer sand, and light gray and white igneous rock very similar to that observed in Rosa Black-on-white. Paste may be white, light gray, or gray. Polish is variable and increases through time. Forms usually consist of bowls, although ollas, pitchers and other forms may occur. Rims may be tapered or rounded and are unpainted or solidly painted. The main characteristic distinguishing Bancos Black-on-white from contemporary Upper San Juan white ware types known to have been produced in areas to the north is the presence of organic paint. Paint is usually darker and designs are more controlled than on Rosa Black-on-white.

A wide range of design styles is represented, due to the long temporal span of the type. Bancos Black-on-white can sometimes be assigned to three different temporal distinct variants based on design styles (Reed and Goff 2007). Early designs (A.D. 800 to 850) represent thinner versions of Rosa Black-on-white. Middle designs (A.D. 850 to 950) include thin lines, triangles and other elements similar to that noted on Piedra Black-on-white. Later designs (A.D. 950 to 1050) consist of checkerboards, scrolls, step triangles, straight hachure, and squiggle hachure and similar to those noted for Arboles Black-on-white, Mancos Black-on-white, and some examples of Gallina Black-on-white. It is often not possible to identify these variants, and a general Bancos Black-on-white category is sometimes useful.

Dittert, Alfred E. Jr.
1961 An Archaeological Survey of the Navajo Reservoir District. Museum of New Mexico Papers in Anthropology 10, Santa Fe.

Hall, Edward T. Jr.
1944 Early Stockaded Settlements in the Gobernador, New Mexico. Columbia Studies in Archaeology and Ethnology Vol. II, Part I, Columbia University Press, New York.

Reed, Lori and Joel Goff
2007 A Field Guide to Upper San Juan Anasazi and Navajo Pottery. Prepared for the NMAC Ceramic Workshop, Farmington District Office,Document on file, Bureau of Land Management, Farmington.

Wilson, C. Dean, and Eric Blinman
1993 Upper San Juan Ceramic Typology. Office of Archaeological Studies Archaeology Notes 80, Santa Fe.

Related Photos

Bancos Black-on-white bowl

Bancos Black-on-white seed jar

Bancos Black-on-white sherds

Bancos Black-on-white sherds

Bancos Black-on-white sherds

Bancos B/w Bowl sherds