Ancestral Pueblo: Greater MogollonJornada MogollonNorthern Jornada (Sierra Blanca)Northern Jornada Brown WareJornada Brown

Type Name: Jornada Brown

Period: 520 A.D. - 1400 A.D.
Culture: Ancestral Pueblo: Greater Mogollon
Branch: Jornada Mogollon
Tradition: Northern Jornada (Sierra Blanca)
Ware: Northern Jornada Brown Ware

First posted by C. Dean Wilson 2012

Jornada Brown was first described by Jennings (1940) to describe the dominate pottery recovered during excavations of sites along the Penasco River which he referred as Common or Unnamed Brown. This pottery was distinguished from “the "El Paso type” based on rim form and surface polish (Jennings 1940). Mera (1943) proposed the name Jornada Brown to describe similar pottery and speculated that Jornada Brown derived from Alma Plain of the Mimbres or Mogollon region. Discussions of this sequence of change included a briefly described form referred to as “Coarsened Alma”. This group refers to forms transitional between Alma Plain from the Mogollon region and Jornada Brown dominating later sites in the Northern Jornada region. The brief descriptions given by Mera (1943) not that Jornada Brown appears to be distinguished from Alma Plain from the Mogollon region by the presence of pastes heavily tempered with heterogeneous material.

The distinction between forms of Alma Brown in the Mogollon region and the coarsened form produced in areas in early sites in Southeast New Mexico appears in part to reflect difference between fine inclusions associated with the self-tempered clays and fine volcanic sandstone used in the Mogollon Highlands versus larger particles derived from porphyries from outcrops in highland areas to the east of the Rio Grande River. While Mera (1943) felt there were differences between the earlier transitional pottery and later forms which, he suggested that the dominant brown ware associated with the entire sequence in the eastern highlands be referred to Jornada Brown. The description was so broad as to make it impossible to differentiate it from his description of the coarsen form of Alma. Thus, while the coarsened form of Alma is subsumed here under Jornada Brown, it should be noted that a continuum is represented, and surface characteristics of pottery assigned to Jornada Brown and Alma Plain are virtually indistinguishable (Wiseman 2002). Thus, Jornada Brown refers to the long sequence of plain brown ware pottery produced in the Northern Jornada or Sierra Blanca region of the Jornada Mogollon Branch (Kelley 1984; Wiseman 2002). Together the various forms subsumed under Jornada Brown reflect an extremely long sequence of production spanning from about A.D. 520 to 1350 or 1400 (Wiseman 2014).

Surface and paste characteristics are sometimes used to distinguish Jornada Brown from other brown ware types such as El Paso Brown (Jelinek 1967; Wilson 2000; 2003; Wiseman 1985; 2002; 2014). Pastes tend to be smoothed and at least one surface is often moderately well-polished. Temper grains are seldom visible through the surface. Tool marks and polishing streaks are often visible. Vessel walls tend to be fairly thick. Earlier forms tend to be thinner and may reflect an increase in vessel size during later periods. Pastes consistently fire to red colors when fired in controlled oxidizing atmosphere and reflect the use of high-iron clays. Pastes were often dark and a distinct carbon core is sometimes present. The range of surface colors tends to be very wide including dark gray, gray, tan, brown, yellow-red and red. Significant color differences may occur on a single vessel, and firing clouds are fairly common. Together, these characteristics indicate poorly controlled atmosphere resulting in limited and variable amounts of oxidation during the final stages of firing. Temper fragments tend to be relatively small and even in size and display a crystalline structure, composed of similar feldspar particles. This temper mostly appears to represent Capitan alaskite (Wiseman 1985). Jornada brown ware sherds were also placed into a variety of vessel form classes. Jornada Brown from earlier components appear to represent a wide range of forms that may be dominated by bowls along with seed jars, while those from later context r (post A.D. 1100) are mostly represented by necked jars. Forms from later contexts are commonly derived from large jars.

Jelinek, Arthur J.
1967 A Prehistoric Sequence in the Middle Pecos Valley, New Mexico. Anthropological Papers No.31. Ann Arbor: Museum of Anthropology, University of Michigan, Ann Arbor.

Jennings, Jesse D.
1940 A Variation of Southwestern Pueblo Culture. Technical Series Bulletin No. 19.Laboratory of Anthropology, Museum of New Mexico, Santa Fe.

Kelley, Jane Holden
1984 The Archaeology of the Sierra Blanca Region of Southeastern New Mexico. Anthropological Papers No. 74. University of Michigan, Ann Arbor.

Mera, Harry .P.
1943 An Outline of Ceramic Development in Southern and Southeastern New Mexico. Technical Series Bulletin No. 11. Laboratory of Anthropology, Santa Fe.

Mera, H. P., and W. S. Stallings
1931 Lincoln Back-on-red. Laboratory of Anthropology Technical Series, Bulletin No. 2, Santa Fe.

Wilson, C. Dean

2000 Angus Ceramic Analysis. In The Angus Site: A Prehistoric Settlement Along the Rio Bonito Lincoln County, New Mexico, by D.A. Zamora and Y.E. Oakes, pp. 101-134. Office of Archaeological Studies Archaeology Notes 276, Museum of New Mexico Santa Fe.

2003 Chapter 13, Ceramics. In. In Salt Creek; Data Recovery at Seven Prehistoric Sites along US 285 Chaves and De Baca Counties, New Mexico, by N. J. Akins, pp. 157-172. Office of Archaeological Studies Archaeology Notes 298, Museum of New Mexico, Santa Fe.

Wiseman Reggie N.

1985 Proposed Changes in Some of the Taxonomic Sequences of the Jornada Branch of the Mogollon. The Artifact 23 (102). El Paso Archaeological Society, El Paso.

2002 The Fox Place: A Late Prehistoric Hunter-Gatherer Pithouse Village neare Roswell, New Mexico. Office of Archaeological Studies Archaeology Notes 234, Museum of New Mexico, Santa Fe.

2014 Introduction to Mera’s Ceramic Developments in Southern and Southeastern New Mexico". In Since Mera: The Original Eleven Bulletins, With Essays and Opinions Derived from Recent Research, edited by E. J Brown, R. N. Wiseman and R. P. Gauthier, pp 375-383. Archaeological Society of New Mexico, Albuquerque.

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