Ancestral Pueblo: Greater MogollonGreater SaladoUpper Gila (Highland Salado)Gila (Salado) Utility Ware

Ware Name: Gila (Salado) Utility Ware

First posted by C. Dean Wilson 2012

Most of the pottery from Salado period sites in Southwest New Mexico represent brown utility wares exhibiting similar ranges of surface treatments and shapes as noted in contemporaneous sites in surrounding regions also attributed to the Salado (Lekson 2002; Nelson and LeBlanc 1983; Wilson 1998). Similarities in the utilitarian pottery produced over wide areas in the fourteenth century seem to be sometimes obscured in the wide assortment of plain ware traditions used to describe similar pottery in areas that were associated with different regional traditions. While in previous studies I have simply utilized descriptive names for the variability of utility wares in areas of the Eastern Salado (Wilson 1998), the assignment of utility local to this area into a "Cliff" group has also been used as a means to convey information relating to characteristics of plain utility wares assumed to have been produced in the easternmost areas of the Salado. Efforts to identify a possible eastern variant of Salado Utility indicative of material and techniques employed in the eastern most areas of the Salado are reflected by the definition of Cliff Plain Wares at Salado sites in the Mimbres Valley (Nelson and LeBlanc 1986). It is possible that this utility ware does display clay and temper resources similar to those utilized earlier in the production of Mogollon brown wares, although the consistent differentiation of utility wares produced in this area from those produced in other regions of the Salado is problematic without detailed temper or compositional analysis (Wilson 1998). The wide range of treatments employed in the production of utility wares at Salado sites resulted in the identification of a number of utility ware types that were largely described based on combinations of paste and surface characteristics. Given this web-site is oriented toward types produced in New Mexico, categories described here will include discussions of pottery previously assigned to a Cliff utility ware grouping defined for some areas in SoutheasterN New Mexico.

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