Ancestral Pueblo: Greater Upper Rio Grande ValleyNorthern Rio GrandePecos ValleyPecos Valley Gray Ware

Ware Name: Pecos Valley Gray Ware

Updated by C. Dean Wilson 2018

It is assumed that many of the utility gray ware pottery from sites in the area surrounding Pecos Pueblo were locally produced, given the utilization of similar sand and sandstone temper. Most previous discussions of this pottery are based on broad descriptive categories (Kidder and Shepard 1936 Powell 2002). The utility ware from Pecos Pueblo and other sites in the surrounding area have so far received very little attention, and the sequence of change is still poorly understood (Powell 2002; Kidder and Shepard 1936). Utility ware vessels produced in the Pecos Valley for the most part exhibit surface characteristics like those noted in sites in surrounding areas of the Rio Grande although some differences particularly for forms associated with later occupations have been noted. Excavations by Kidder (1958) at Lightning Fork Pueblo indicate that the earlier utility ware was a plain variety, followed by corrugated, and blind indented forms with most of these forms thought to have been produced form A.D. 1100 to 1500. During later periods utility ware from Pecos tend to exhibit striated surfaces that gradually become more distinct through time (Kidder and Shepard 1936). Gray wares exhibiting similar characteristics as defined here for the Pecos Valley may also been produced in settlements along drainages in areas settled by Pueblo groups in drainages across much of the northeastern portion of areas occupied by Ancestral Pueblo groups. This sequence of change is similar to that noted in surrounding areas of the Rio Grande and the pottery assigned here is distinguished from these types by the use of sand or sandstone often with relatively large with poorly sorted fragments in a dark to reddish paste often with little or no mica fragments. While sand and sandstone temper was utilized in gray utility ware produced over a extremely wide area to the west including the Middle Rio Grande and Cibola region in the Four Corners, pastes tend to reflect the use of clays with high iron content, and there may be some differences in the sand sources utilized in gray wares produced in the Pecos Valley although this still needs to be documented. For the descriptions presented here, pottery representing the long production of a local tempered utility wares produced within present-day Pecos National monument and surrounding drainages are assigned to a series of descriptive types that include both the designation within a Pecos Valley production tract and a descriptive name.

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