Ancestral Pueblo: Greater MogollonMogollon HighlandsMogollon-MimbresMogollon Brown WareStarkweather Smudged Decorated

Type Name: Starkweather Smudged Decorated

Period: 1100 A.D. - 1200 A.D.
Culture: Ancestral Pueblo: Greater Mogollon
Branch: Mogollon Highlands
Tradition: Mogollon-Mimbres
Ware: Mogollon Brown Ware

First posted by C. Dean Wilson 2012

Starkweather Smudged was defined by Nesbitt (1938)which given the presence of a decoration under the smudged surface is referred here as Starkweather Smudged Decorated. This is among the rarest of Southwestern pottery types, and refers to forms with painted decorations under an unslipped brown ware surface covered by a smudged surface (Nesbitt 1938; Rinaldo and Bluhm 1956; Wilson 1999). Starkweather Black occurs in Reserve and Tularosa phase contexts and seems to represent one of the few painted types produced in the Northern Mogollon during the Pueblo period.

Other than the presence of painted decorations, characteristics described are similar to those noted for pottery classified as Reserve Plain Smudged. The painted surface was polished, painted, and finally intentionally covered with a black sooted or smudged deposit during the final stages of firing. Decorations are identified as duller black lines covered by the polished black smudged surface. Painted designs are often difficult to recognize, and it is possible that some of the pottery previously assigned to plain smudged types may contain decorations not readily visible through the smudged treatments. Painted areas are usually black or dark gray, although in rare cases they may be dark red or white. Designs usually consist of fine to parallel, straight, zigzag, chevron, or spiraled lines. Other elements noted on Starkweather smudged sherds include triangles, squares or diamonds, dots, scrolls, and anthropomorphs. Orientations of designs are very simple and crudely executed. Design elements are very distinct from Reserve Black-on-white and Tularosa Black-on-white, the dominant painted types found at Pueblo period sites in this area, as well from Mimbres Black-on-white produced in the Mimbres region. Types and orientation of these designs indicate that Starkweather Smudged was not a copy of any contemporaneous painted types from either the Mimbres Mogollon or Southern Cibola Anasazi regions, but probably derived locally out of Three Circle Red-on-white or Mangas Black-on-white, occurring in Late Pithouse period assemblages in this area.

Nesbitt, Paul
1938 Starkweather Ruin. Logan Museum Publications in Anthropology, Bulletin 6, Beloit College, Beloit, Wisconsin.

Rinaldo, John B., and Elaine Bluhm
1956 Late Mogollon Pottery Types of the Reserve Area. Fieldiana: Anthropology 36 (7):149-187.

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. Office of Archaeological Studies Archaeology Notes 232, Museum of New Mexico, Santa Fe.

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Starkweather Smudged bowl sherds

Starkweather Smudged Bowl

Starkweather Smudged Bowl

Starkweather Smudged Bowl