Ancestral Pueblo: Southern Colorado Plateau (Anasazi)Central AnasaziSouthern CibolaWhite Mountain Red WareTechado Polychrome

Type Name: Techado Polychrome

Period: 1260 A.D. - 1290 A.D.
Culture: Ancestral Pueblo: Southern Colorado Plateau (Anasazi)
Branch: Central Anasazi
Tradition: Southern Cibola
Ware: White Mountain Red Ware

First posted by C.Dean Wilson and Matthews A. Peeples 2014

Techado Polychrome was defined by Smith, Robertson, Tawater, and Osburn (2009) based on observations and dates from Techado Springs and surrounding areas from which similar pottery was recovered (McGimsey 1980). Most characteristics described for examples assigned to Techado Polychorme are similar to those commonly noted for other contemporaneous White Mountain Red Ware types including St Johns Polychrome and Springerville Polychrome, but this type can be distinguished by a distinct combination of bands of white slip decorative styles indicative of a very short span of production (A.D. 1260 and 1290) and a limited area of production largely at Techado Springs Pueblo and the surrounding Marianna Mesa region east of Quemado, NM (Smith and others 2009). Chemical compositional studies suggest it was also produced in lower frequencies in the El Morro Valley and on the Zuni Indian Reservation (Peeples 2011). The great majority of examples assigned to this type consists of bowls but may also include ollas, ladles, and rare forms (tea-cups and effigies). As is the case for other contemporaneous White Mountain Red Ware types, pastes are light in color and tempered with crushed sherd fragments. All of the bowl interior and most of the bowl and jar exterior are covered with a thick red to orange moderately to polished slip identical to those noted on St Johns Polychrome.

While most vessels are decorated in a black matte paint similar to that noted for St Johns Polychrome, a significant frequency are decorated in a finely executed black glaze paint similar to that noted on early glaze ware types such as Heshotautla Polychrome and Pinedale Polychrome. Designs of bowl interiors are commonly organized in wide bands characteristic of the Tularosa style. Painted decorations on red slipped surfaces are similar to that described for St Johns Polychrome and commonly consist of opposing solid and hatched triangles, stepped triangles, or ribbons that are organized into scroll or rectilinear elements that cover much of the vessel surface. Techado Polychrome is distinguished from other contemporaneous White Mountain Red Ware types by the additional presence of a white slipped band decorated with black paint similar to that noted on the red slipped areas. In most cases, this white band is organized horizontally around the vessel, and applied in a streaky to thick white slip clay that ranges from 1.8 cm to over 11cm in width. While the upper portion of the white slipped bands in some examples began at the rim, most begin just below the below the rim (ranging from 1.8 to over 11cm in thickness). Motifs on bowl exteriors usually consist of combinations of medium to broad lines along with solid elements. The bands of white slip are heavily filled with designs in black mineral or glaze paint, often creating negative designs. Designs include step triangles, interlocked keys, closely spaced zigzag lines, thin chevron lines, pendant dots and hachured elements. Designs on bowl exteriors may also include separate designs in white clay paint over red slip similar to that noted in examples of St Johns Polychrome.

McGimsey, Charles R. III
1980 Mariana Mesa: Seven Prehistoric Settlements in West-Central New Mexico. Papers of the Peabody Museum of Archaeology and Ethnology, Harvard University, Press, Cambridge.

Peeples, Matthew A. (2011). Identity and Social Transformation in the Prehispanic Cibola World: A.D. 1150-1325. PhD Dissertation, Arizona State University, Tempe, AZ.

Smith, Jimmy E., II, Louis Robertson, Art Tawater, Bryan Jameson and Glynn Osburn
2009 Techado Spring Pueblo: West-Central New Mexico. Special Publications No. 3. LER & Sons, Publications, Dallas, TX.

Related Photos

Techado Polychrome bowl sherd (exterior surface)

Techado Polychrome bowl sherd (interior surface)

Techado Polychrome bowl sherd (exterior surface)

Techado Polychrome bowl sherds (interior surface)

Techado Polychrome bowl sherds (exterior surface)