ClayHound Web - Mogollon Pottery

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Gila Clif Dwellings, New Mexico


    Excellent information from the Logan Museum of Anthropology on line from Beloit, Wisconsin

All text and images are used courtesy of the Logan Museum of Anthropology, Beloit College
All objects illustrated are in the permanent collection of the Logan Museum.



Mogollon culture was fairly widespread and considerable variety exists within pottery. Archaeologists have categorized Mogollon pottery types into a number of wares, or groups of pottery types which share the majority of structural and decorative features. Within each ware, a historical sequence can be traced from the beginnings of Mogollon culture to the end. 

Mogollon Brown Ware
This utility ware is found throughout Mogollon territory. Mogollon Brown Ware is divided into several series, reflecting geographic variations. Even so, Mogollon Brown Ware is generally more homogeneous than Anasazi wares, with painted varieties being much closer to their utility ware counterparts.

Mimbres Series

The Mimbres represent a culturally distinct subgroup of the Mogollon. This series is treated in the Mimbres section of the site. 

Glenwood Series

The Glenwood Series includes some of the earliest of the Mogollon types. San Francisco Red was common throughout Mogollon history, while Mogollon Red-on-Brown and Three Circle Red-on-White were the earliest of the painted types.

Reserve Series

The Reserve Series includes the majority of Mogollon Brown Ware plainware types. The Alma, Reserve and Tularosa corrugated wares are often combined under the heading "Upper Gila ".

Rio Grande Series

Pottery made along the Rio Grande River basin fall into this series. Only one of our bowls derives from this area.

Cibola White Ware
Cibola White Wares are found in east-central Arizona and west-central New Mexico. The White Mountain Series is found in predominantly Mogollon territories.  The Cibola White Wares are perhaps the most difficult to properly identify because they are widespread and vary only subtly in painted decoration. Furthermore, the "Cibola" range covers both Anasazi and Mogollon areas, being found in eastern Arizona and western New Mexico. Series distinctions allow us to separate types which are primarily Mogollon from those which are Anasazi. The White Mountain Series is the primary Mogollon sequence, to which we add the Socorro Series. Within the White Mountain Series, distinctions rest almost exclusively on differences in painted decoration. At the Starkweather Ruin, from which most of our Cibola White Ware pottery derives, there is tremendous variety within vessels which have in the past been categorized as either "Reserve" or "Tularosa". For these two types, we have created "styles" rather than reclassifying the vessels to a different type altogether. For example, a vessel which shows characteristics of Puerco Black-on-white has been termed "Reserve Black-on-White, Puerco Style". Those examples which were not found at the Starkweather Ruin are categorized under the original types.

Material: The clay is white to dark gray 
Construction: Coiled-and-scraped
Paint: Mineral-based on white slip 
Firing: Reducing atmosphere
Forms: Bowls, jars, effigies, ladles, scoops, seed jars and canteens

White Mountain Series

Snowflake Black-on-White 1100 - 1250
Early Pueblo III

Designs on this Cibola White Ware type consist of rather busy patterns of interlocking solid elements and parallel lines that tend to meet at right angles.

Reserve Black-on-White 1030 - 1200
Late Pueblo II/Early Pueblo III

Several different painted styles exist within the Reserve distinction in the pottery from the Starkweather Ruin. these include the Red Mesa, Puerco, Escavada, Reserve, Wingate and Mimbres Styles.

Tularosa Black-on-White 1175 - 1300
Pueblo III

The Tularosa pottery from the Starkweather Ruin has been divided into three styles - Wingate, Snowflake and Tularosa - reflecting similarities in decoration with their source types.

Socorro Series

Socorro Black-on-White 950 - 1400
Early Pueblo II

Socorro Black-on-White is found between Albuquerque and Socorro, New Mexico, and was the predominant black-on-white type in that area for several centuries. 

White Mountain Red Ware
This ware is found in the east-central part of Arizona and west-central part of New Mexico.   The White Mountain Red Wares pose a problem similar to that of the Cibola White Wares. The range of this ware extends across both Anasazi and Mogollon areas, being found in eastern Arizona and western New Mexico. As with the Cibola White Wares, series distinctions allow us to separate types which are primarily Mogollon from those which are Anasazi, and again the White Mountain Series is the primary Mogollon sequence.

Material: The clay is white to gray, or yellow to orange 
Construction: Coiled-and-scraped
Paint: Mineral or organic-based, (glaze paints are late) on thick limonite or hematite slip. 
Firing: Oxidizing atmosphere
Forms: Bowls, jars, pitchers, dippers, canteens, effigies

White Mountain Series
Pinedale Polychrome 1275 - 1350
Late Pueblo III/Pueblo IV

The first glaze paints were used in this White Mountain Red Ware type, which have distinctive black interior designs and exterior motifs accented with white.

Cedar Creek Polychrome 1300 - 1375
Pueblo IV

This White Mountain Red Ware type has interlocking solid and hatched elements, one or both outlined in white.

Four Mile Polychrome 1325 - 1400
Pueblo IV

Interior patterns on this White Mountain Red Ware type are asymmetrical and outlined in white, while exteriors bands of regularized interlocking motifs.

Chihuahua Red Ware
This ware is found primarily in the northernmost parts of Mexico, but was traded into the southern parts of Arizona and New Mexico.