Apachean (Southern Athapaskan)Southwest ApacheanSouthern ApachePeloncillo Brown WareSierra Plain

Type Name: Sierra Plain

Period: 1500 A.D. - 1900 A.D.
Culture: Apachean (Southern Athapaskan)
Branch: Southwest Apachean
Tradition: Southern Apache
Ware: Peloncillo Brown Ware

First posted by C. Dean Wilson 2014
Revised by Deni Seymour 2015

Sierra Plain refers to a type of Apachean pottery produced over large areas in Southeastern Arizona, Southern New Mexico, West Texas known to have been occupied by Chiricahua and Mescalero Apache groups ( Seymour 2002, 2004, 2008). Sierra Plain was described by Seymour (2002) and is distinguished from "Apache" gray wares by red to brown pastes indicative of the use of high-iron clays (Seymour 2008). The presence of dark gray paste of some example may indicate the use of organic rich clay deposits or low firing temperatures as is typical of this period (Seymour 2002, 2008). Temper is sometimes represented by angular quartz and white feldspar and the combination of brown pastes and temper is sometimes similar in Jornada Mogollon Brown Wares and results from the use of similar clay sources that are largely self tempered. Surfaces are unpolished. Vessel shape when evident indicates pointed bottom wide-mouthed vessels with Apache shape.

Seymour, Deni J.
2002 Conquest and Concealment: After the El Paso Phase on Fort Bliss. Manuscript submitted to Conservation Division, Directorate of Environment, Fort Bliss, Texas. Lone Mountain Report 525/528.
2003 Protohistoric and Early Historic Temporal Resolution. Conservation Division, Directorate of Environment, Fort Bliss. Lone Mountain Report
560-003. This document can be obtained by contacting martha.yduarte@us.army.mil.
2004 A Ranchería in the Gran Apachería: Evidence of Intercultural Interaction at the Cerro Rojo Site. Plains Anthropologist 49(190):153-192.
2008a Apache Plain and Other Plainwares on Apache Sites in the Southern Southwest. In "Serendipity: Papers in Honor of Frances Joan Mathien," edited by R.N. Wiseman, T.C O'Laughlin, C.T. Snow and C. Travis, pp 163-186. Papers of the Archaeological Society of New Mexico No. 34. Archaeological Society of New Mexico, Albuquerque.
2008b Surfing Behind The Wave: A Counterpoint Discussion Relating To “A Ranchería In the Gran Apachería.” Plains Anthropologist 53(206):241-262.
2012 Isolating a Pre-Differentiation Athapaskan Assemblage in the Southern Southwest: The Cerro Rojo Complex. In From the Land of Ever Winter: Athapaskan Migrations from the Subarctic to the American Southwest, edited by Deni J. Seymour, pp. 90–123. University of Utah Press, Salt Lake City.
2013 Apache Platform Cave-Cache Encampments: Implications for Mobility Strategies and the Earliest Athabascans. Journal of Field Archaeology 38(2):161-172.
Aeymour, Deni J. and Tim Church
2007 Apache, Spanish, and Protohistoric Archaeology on Fort Bliss. Conservation Division, Directorate of Environment, Fort Bliss. Lone Mountain
Report 560-005.