Ancestral Pueblo: Greater Upper Rio Grande ValleySouthern Rio GrandeMiddle Rio GrandeMiddle-Southern Rio Grande Glaze WareEspinoso Glaze Polychrome

Type Name: Espinoso Glaze Polychrome

Period: 1425 A.D. - 1500 A.D.
Culture: Ancestral Pueblo: Greater Upper Rio Grande Valley
Branch: Southern Rio Grande
Tradition: Middle Rio Grande
Ware: Middle-Southern Rio Grande Glaze Ware

First posted by C. Dean Wilson 2012

Espinoso Glaze(C) Polychrome was defined by Mera (1933). This type refers to forms that have been assigned to Glaze III (Kidder and Shepard 1936) associated with the middle part of the glaze ware sequence. Espinoso Glaze Polychrome reflects a period of both increase elaboration of bowl rim treatment and the almost exclusive production of polychrome vessels during the second half of the sixteenth century. The wall profile just below the rim tend to exhibit sharp short curves or bevels often resulting in an "S" or club shape with the lip everted toward the bowl exterior (Franklin 1997; Mera 1933; Schleher 2010; Warren 1979; Warren and Snow 1976). Variation in rim flare range from an angle formed from a single slant of the lip toward the interior to sharply recurred rims. While earlier forms tend to essentially represent a more pronounced version of Glaze B, with a slightly more widened or slated rim, there appears to be to have been a gradual lowering of the thickened and beveled surfaces farther down the rim and resemble later rim forms.

The bowl interior and all of exterior noted, except for the base is usually covered with a slip, that ranges from creamy white, yellow, tan, beige, to orange. Glaze paint tends to be thick black or brown with an occasional greenish tint, and appears to have been applied in bold strokes. A decline in control of glaze paint is reflected by examples that are thick, and occasionally slightly runny. Design consists of large geometric figures applied to a white to yellow slip. These designs are organized in bands that are framed by single lines and usually divided into four rectangular segments in a manner similar to that noted for earlier glaze ware forms. All-over layouts are rare but present. Common design elements include lines, dots, ticks checkerboards, crosses, keys figures, stylized birds, zigzag lines, and step triangles. The slip is generally heavier than that noted on Glaze B forms and covers the paste well usually without flaking or crackling. Almost all examples exhibit polychrome decorations which are created through the use of red paint to fill in areas between glaze lines with increased contrast. A red panel may also occur on the bowl interior just below the rim. Designs involve large geometric figures against the light background as well as the incorporation of wide red painted designs surrounded by glaze paint. Filled areas commonly include styled birds and long angular or rectangular lines ending in step triangles or keys. The curved lip is often decorated with ticks are zigzag lines in black glaze paint. There is very little variation in the overall design, indicating less experimentation then in earlier glaze ware types.

The distribution of distinct igneous rock tempers in Espinoso glaze ware types produced over a wide area indicate the production of vessels represented by this type appears to have been specialized and limited to a few villages (Morales 1997). Tonque Pueblo appears to have been a major center for the production of vessels distributed over large areas of the Middle Rio Grande (Warren 1969), although this form was also produced in villages in the Galisteo Basin and Cochiti area (Schleher 2010; Warren and Snow 1976).

Franklin, Hayward
1997 Valencia Pueblo Ceramics. In Excavations at Valencia Pueblo (LA 953) and a Nearby Hispanic Settlement (LA 67321), Valencia County, New Mexico. edited by K.L. Brown and B.J. Vierra, pp. 125-257. Office of Contract Archaeology Report No. 185-400F, Albuquerque.

2007 The Pottery of Pottery Mound. A Study of the 1979 UNM Field School Collection, Part 1: Typology and Chronology. Maxwell Museum Technical Series No. 5. University of New Mexico, Albuquerque.

Kidder, Alfred V., and Anna O. Sherpard
1936 The Pottery of Pecps, Volume II Glaze Paint, Culinary, and Other Wares. Papers of the Phillips Academy No.7, New Haven.

Mera, H. P.

1933 A Proposed Revision of the Rio Grande Glaze Paint Sequence. Laboratory of Anthropology Technical Series Bulletin No. 5. Santa Fe, New Mexico.

1940 Population Changes in the Rio Grande Glaze-Paint Area. Laboratory of Anthropology Technical Series Bulletin No. 11. Santa Fe, New Mexico.

Morales, Thomas M.
1997 Glazeware Pottery Production and Distributionin the Upper-Middle Rio Grande Valley. Unpublished Ph.D. Dissertation, University of New Mexico, Albuquerque.

Schleher, Kari L.
2010 Ceramic Production at San Marcos Pueblo New Mexico. Ph.D. dissertation, Department of Anthropology, University of New Mexico, Albuquerque.

Shepard, Anna O.
1942 Rio Grande Glaze Paint Ware: A Study Illustrating the Place of Ceramic Technological Analysis in Archaeological Research. Contributions to American Anthropology and History No. 39. Carnegie Institution of Washington Publication No. 528, Washington D.C.

Warren, A. Helene
1969 Tonque: One Pueblo’s Glaze Pottery Industry Dominated Middle Rio Grande Commerce. El Palacio 76:36–42.

1979 The Glaze Wares of the Upper Middle Rio Grande. In Archaeological Investigations in Cochiti Reservoir, New Mexico, Vol. 4: Adaptive Changes in the Northern Rio Grande Valley, edited by J. V. Biella and R. C. Chapman, pp. 187–216. Office of Contract Archaeology, University of New Mexico, Albuquerque.

Warren, A., Helene and David H. Snow
1976 Section C: Formal Descriptions of Rio Grande Glazes from LA 70. In Archaeological Excavations at Pueblo del Encierro, LA 70, Cochiti Dam Salvage Project, Cochiti New Mexico, Final Report: 1964-1965 Field Seasons, edited by D. H. Snow, pp. C1-C34. Laboratory of Anthropology Notes No. 78, Santa Fe.

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Espinosa Glaze Polychrome bowl

Espinosa Glaze Polychrome bowl

Espinosa Glaze Polychrome bowl

Espinosa Glaze Polychrome bowl