Ancestral Pueblo: Southern Colorado Plateau (Anasazi)Central AnasaziNorthern San JuanNorthern San Juan Gray Ware

Ware Name: Northern San Juan Gray Ware

First posted by C. Dean Wilson 2012

Pottery associated with the long sequence of gray wares produced in the Northern San Juan region is primarily distinguished from that found in surrounding regions by the presence of relatively temper derived from crushed igneous porphyries ultimately derived from the San Juan Mountains. Some gray wares, including those produced in "beanfield" area along the Colorado-Utah border are tempered with crushed sandstone, forming a distinctive production tract in the center of the region. There is a general decline in their total frequency through time, gradually decreasing from over 90 percent of the total assemblage during the Basketmaker III period to about half during the Pueblo III period (Wilson and Blinman 2005). Surface treatment may range from coarsely to finely scraped exteriors and interiors to carefully executed neckbanding and corrugation, and there is limited use of surface polish. The range of paste characteristics is very wide, and appears to be the result of the high diversity of clay sources available to and exploited by prehistoric potters in this region. Paste and surface colors of sherds and vessels are extremely variable, ranging from white, gray, and black to reddish colors. Dark cores are often present in the cross section of gray wares, indicating the common use of carbonaceous clays.

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