Ancestral Pueblo: Greater Upper Rio Grande ValleyNorthern Rio GrandeGreater Tewa Basin (Northern Tewa)Northern Rio Grande Micaceous Utility WareSapawe (Late Polished Interior Variety) Micaceous

Type Name: Sapawe (Late Polished Interior Variety) Micaceous

Period: 1550 A.D. - 1675 A.D.
Culture: Ancestral Pueblo: Greater Upper Rio Grande Valley
Branch: Northern Rio Grande
Tradition: Greater Tewa Basin (Northern Tewa)
Ware: Northern Rio Grande Micaceous Utility Ware

First posted by C. Dean Wilson 2013

Various forms of polished micaceous utility ware appear to have been first produced during the very late Classic and through much of the Spanish Colonial period and reflect major transitions in Pueblo utility wares also reflect by the sequences of change of which Potsuwi’I Incised and Sankawi Black-on-cream are a part. Sapawe Micaceous Late Variety refers here to a late form of Sapawe Micaceous Utility. While earlier forms of Sapawe Utility were produced during the very late Classic period (Wendorf 1953), by the beginning of the seventeenth century Tewa potters, adopted conventions earlier practiced in the Jornada and Rio Abajo regions to the south, and started to manufacture a distinct form, with exteriors slipped with mica over a partially obliterated surface (Snow 1982).

Exterior surfaces exhibit treatments that are similar to some examples of either Sapawe Micaceous Washboard as well as to very late forms of Smeared Corrugated manipulations common in pottery produced during much of the Classic period. Exterior surfaces range from tan, brown, to reddish colors. Interiors surfaces are polished and smudged and moderately to well-polished. Most sherds assigned to this type appear to represent large wide mouth jars that are everted near the rim. Walls tend to be thick compared to earlier utility ware types. Exterior treatments used to this define this type almost never occur in contexts dating before the late Classic period or later than the very Early Spanish Colonial period and appear to have been produced from the latter half to the sixteenth and first three quarters of the seventeenth century. This type appears to have developed into later slipped micaceous forms and represents the essential cooking vessel form produced by Northern Tewa potters during all of the Spanish Colonial, Mexican and the early part of the Territorial periods.

Snow, David
1982 The Rio Grande Glaze, Matte-Paint, and Plainware Tradition. Southwestern Ceramics: A Comparative Review. edited by Albert Schroeder, The Arizona Archaeologist no. 15, edited A.H. Schroeder, pp 235-278. Arizona Archaeological Society, Phoenix.

Wilson C. Dean
2011 Historic Indigenous Ceramic Types. In Settlers and Soldiers: The Historic Component at El Pueblo de Santa Fe (LA 1051), by S. C. Lentz and M. J. Barbour, pp 223 -234. Archaeology Notes, 438. Office of Archaeological Studies, Museum of New Mexico, Santa Fe.

Wendorf, Fred
1953 Salvage Archaeology in the Chama Valley, New Mexico. School of American Research Monograph No.17, Santa Fe.

Related Photos

Sapawe (Late Polished Interior) Variety jar sherd

Sapawe (Late Polished Interior Variety) Micaceous jar sherd

Late Sapawe Micaceous jar