Ancestral Pueblo: Greater MogollonMogollon HighlandsMogollon-MimbresMogollon Brown WareAlma Polished Plain

Type Name: Alma Polished Plain

Period: 200 A.D. - 1250 A.D.
Culture: Ancestral Pueblo: Greater Mogollon
Branch: Mogollon Highlands
Tradition: Mogollon-Mimbres
Ware: Mogollon Brown Ware

Alma Polished Plain, as defined by Haury (1936) refers to completely smoothed, plain rim sherds or plain vessels with at least one polished surface (Haury 1936; Kayser and Carroll 1988; Nesbitt 1939; Wilson 1999). Pastes tend to be tan, brown, to yellow red reflecting the consistent use of high iron clays. Temper consists of varied volcanic inclusions occurring naturally in the clay. This category is only assigned to rim sherds, because similar body sherds could have also derived from vessel forms exhibiting coiled or corrugated treatments along the rim or neck. Color is variable in all plain brown wares. Although the majority of sherds exhibit brown surfaces, other examples may be yellow-red, light gray, and dark gray. As is the case with other Mogollon Brown Ware types, the majority of plain brown wares exhibit fine volcanic lithic and sand temper. Surfaces are sometimes bumpy, and walls are often uneven in thickness.

This type may occur in assemblages associated with all Mogollon phases, although it is particularly dominant in assemblages dating the Early Pithouse period. There is a significant change in vessel form in Alma Plain through time. The majority of rim sherds from sites dating to Early Pithouse phases are derived from seed jars, followed by bowls and then cooking jars. The great majority of Alma Plain rim sherds from later occupations are derived from cooking/storage jars and bowls.

Haury, Emil W.
1936 Some Southwestern Pottery Types. Medallion Papers No. 19, Gila Pueblo, Globe.

Kayser, David and Charles Carroll
1988 Report of the Final Field Season - San Augustine Coal Area. Archaeological Investigations in West-Central New Mexico, Bureau Management Cultural Resource Series Monograph 5, Santa Fe.

Nesbitt, Paul H.
1939 Starkweather Ruin: a Mogollon-Pueblo Site in the Upper Gila Area of New Mexico, and Affiliative Aspects of the Mogollon Culture. Logan Museum Publications in Anthropology Bulletin 6. Beloit College, Beloit, Wisconsin.

Wilson, C. Dean
1999 Ceramic Types and Attributes. In Archaeology of the Mogollon Highlands Settlement Systems and Adaptations; Volume 4. Ceramics, Miscellaneous Artifacts, Bioarchaeology. Bone Tools and Faunal Analysis, edited by Y.R Oakes and D.A. Zamora, pp. 5-86. Archaeology Notes 232, Office of Archaeological Studies, Museum of New Mexico, Santa Fe.

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