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

Ware Name: Northern San Juan White Ware

First posted by C. Dean Wilson 2012

Northern San Juan or Mesa Verde White Ware types represent the principal decorated ceramics in most areas of the Northern San Juan region for all periods except the Pueblo I, during which red wares were the dominant decorated type over much of the western part of this region. With the exception of the Pueblo I period during g which white ware frequencies decline due to the dominance of red wares, there is a general increase in the overall proportion of white wares through time (Wilson and Blinman 1995). Since all of the white ware design styles can leave large areas of the vessel unpainted, the presence of polish is usually sufficient to classify a sherd as a white ware. Pastes tend to be light gray to gray and often fire white to pink colors in oxidizing atmosphere. Temper in early white ware type usually consists of crushed andesite or diorite. Sherd temper becomes increasing common during the early part of the Pueblo II period, and later types often display a combination of crushed rock and sherd temper. With the exception of an increase in use of organic paint during the early Pueblo I period most San Juan White Wares were decorated with organic paint until the Pueblo III period. There is a gradual increase in the use of organic paint during the late part of the Pueblo II period, and white wares produced in most areas of the Mesa Verde region are decorated with organic paint in most areas of the Northern San Juan. An exception to this is areas in the western portion of the Northern San Juan region where mineral paint continued to be use through the Pueblo III period. Types within the white wares are distinguished primarily on the basis of design style along with technological changes which are reflected by trends similar to those noted for other regions defined for the Central Anasazi.

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