The University of Arizona

ASM Occasional Electronic Papers No. 1: Homol'ovi IV

Chapter Six:

E. Charles Adams

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The potential for accurately dating Homol'ovi IV is better than for the other villages in the Homol'ovi cluster. This is because it was occupied during a period when most of the other regions adjacent to Homol'ovi were still occupied. Therefore, the potential for cross dating using tree-ring dated pottery is greater than for the other Homol'ovi villages, all of which were occupied later than Homol'ovi IV. In addition to ceramic dating, tree-ring samples and radiocarbon samples were collected and analyzed from Homol'ovi IV. None of the tree-samples were datable (Adams and Hedberg 2002). Only two radiocarbon dates were submitted (Table 6.1). According to ceramic cross dating, the radiocarbon samples should date between 1250 and 1290. The last column indicates that this period falls within the range of probability for the samples. The large confidence interval causes the samples to be relatively useless in refining the Homol'ovi IV chronology, but both samples at least confirm the ceramic dating.

Table 6.1 Dated radiocarbon samples from Homol’ovi IV

Lab Number


Radiocarbon Age

13C% Correction

Calibrated Age

2 Standard Deviations (Probability)


Below Structure 5

540 +/- 70



1050-1330 (1.0)


Below Structure 5

440 +/- 70



1150-1430 (1.0)

Ceramic Cross Dating

Several datable types were recovered from Homol'ovi IV (Table 6.2). Goetze and Mills (1993) recently refined dates for many Southwestern ceramic types by synthesizing previous work and using new data from the Transwestern pipeline project. Some of these types were further refined and others were added in the research conducted by the Silver Creek Archaeological Research Project (Mills and Herr 1998) and at Homol'ovi III (Adams 2001; Lyons and Hays 2001) and at Homol'ovi IV (Lyons 2001). Ceramic production dates are provided in tables and text, and originate from these works unless otherwise noted.

Jeddito Orange Ware (defined by Colton and Hargrave (1937) as part of Tsegi Orange Ware) from Homol'ovi IV contained 1056 datable sherds (Table 6.2). This ware was produced from A.D. 1250 to A.D. 1325 and includes Jeddito Black-on-orange, Jeddito Orange, Jeddito Slipped, and Jeddito Polychrome. Ten sherds, each of Tusayan and Kiet Siel Polychrome are also present, wichi have narrower production dates at 1280-1290 and 1250-1300 respectively (Table 6.2).

Table 6.2 Prevalent Datable Types at Homol’ovi IV


Frequency (Percent)

Date (A.D.)


Tusayan Indented Corrugated

5600 (33.46)



Grapevine Brown

1213 (7.25)



Little Colorado Indented Corrugated

1133 (6.77)



Jeddito Black-on-orange

806 (4.82)



Sunset Red/Brown

164 (0.98)



Jeddito Orange

122 (0.73)



Tusayan Black-on-white

97 (0.58)



Jeddito Slipped

69 (0.41)



Jeddito Polychrome

59 (0.35)



Snowflake Black-on-white

48 (0.29)



Kayenta Black-on-white

42 (0.25)



Angell Brown

41 (0.24)



Flagstaff Black-on-white

40 (0.24)



Puerco Black-on-white

26 (0.16)



Moenkopi Corrugated

26 (0.16)



Wingate Black-on-red/Polychrome

21 (0.13)



Walnut Black-on-white

20 (0.12)



Reserve Black-on-white

18 (0.11)



Tularosa Black-on-white

17 (0.10)



St. Johns Polychrome

11 (0.07)



Kiet Siel Polychrome

10 (0.06)



Tusayan Polychrome

10 (0.06)



Pinto Polychrome

9 (0.05)



A total of 195 Tusayan White Ware sherds from five types with secure production ranges were identified at Homol'ovi IV. Tusayan Black-on-white (A.D. 1200 to A.D. 1300) was twice as common as any other typable Tusayan White Ware. The slightly earlier Flagstaff Black-on-white (A.D. 1150 to A.D. 1220) and the slightly later Kayenta Black-on-white (A.D. 1250 to A.D. 1300) were the next most common types. A small percentage of Dogoszhi Black-on-white (A.D. 1070 to A.D. 1180) was present, and a few other types were represented by a small quantity of sherds.

Little Colorado White Ware included 33 typable, datable sherds. Walnut Black-on-white (A.D. 1100 to A.D. 1250) was by far the most common (20 sherds). Other types are only minimally represented (1 to 7 sherds) and include Padre Black-on-white (A.D. 1100 to A.D. 1250), earlier Holbrook A and B Black-on-white, and later Leupp Black-on-white.

Cibola White Ware at Homol'ovi IV contained six types (122 sherds) with known production dates (Table 6.2). Forty-eight Snowflake (AD 100-1275) and 17 Tularosa Black-on-white (AD 1180-1300) sherds were recovered. Slightly earlier Puerco (A.D. 1030 to A.D. 1200) and Reserve Black-on-white (A.D. 1100 to A.D 1200) are also common types. Even earlier types Red Mesa and Escavada Black-on-white are present in very small quantities.

White Mountain Red Ware totaled 33 sherds including 21 Wingate Black-on-red/Polychrome sherds (A.D. 1050 to A.D. 1200), 11 St. Johns Black-on-red/Polychrome (A.D. 1200 to A.D. 1300), and 1 Pinedale Black-on-red/Polychrome (A.D. 1290 to A.D 1330). Slightly later Roosevelt Red Ware includes nine Pinto Polychrome sherds (A.D. 1280 to A.D. 1330) and six Gila/Tonto Polychrome sherds in styles dating from AD 1300 to 1400.

Indented Corrugated varieties of Tusayan Gray Ware (5600 sherds) and Little Colorado Gray ware (1133 sherds) are common at Homol'ovi IV and have production dates ranging from A.D. 1040 to A.D. 1300+ and A.D. 1040 to A.D. 1250+, respectively. Twenty-six sherds of Tusayan Gray Ware type Moenkopi Corrugated (A.D. 1075 to A.D. 1300) were also present.

Over 14400 sherds of Alameda Brown Ware types Angell Brown, Grapevine Brown, and Sunset Red/Brown were recovered. All have similar production date ranges (A.D. 1064 or 1066 to A.D. 1400). Three sherds of early Rio de Flag Brown were noted. Single sherds of Deadmans Gray (A.D. 775 to A.D 1200) and a Showlow Black-on-red (A.D. 1030 to A.D. 1200) were also recovered.

Although the broadest possible production range for ceramic types recovered from Homol'ovi IV spans at least 800 years beginning in A.D. 650 with Rio de Flag and ending in A.D. 1400 with Gila/Tonto Polychrome, the ceramic collection suggests that the actual occupation of Homol'ovi IV was more temporally restricted.

Three of the four most common types in the collection (Tusayan and Little Colorado Indented Corrugated and Grapevine Brown) offer production date ranges spanning from 210+ to 334 years beginning in the mid A.D. 1000s and ending at A.D. 1250+ to 1400. Jeddito Black-on-orange is the most prevalent decorated type with a secure production range (A.D. 1250 to A.D. 1325), shared with other Jeddito Orange Ware types -- Jeddito Orange, Slipped, and Polychrome (Table 6.2). Several datable Tsegi Orange Ware types, including Tusayan A and B and Kiet Siel Polychrome have a tighter date range ending at 1300. The production dates for a variety of common white ware types overlap with the production of Jeddito and Tsegi Orange wares, excepting Puerco (A.D. 1000 to A.D> 1175) and Flagstaff Black-on-white (A.D. 1150-1220). However, the beginning production dates for these white wares is generally earlier (excepting Kayenta Black-on-white, A.D. 1260) ranging from A.D. 1000 to A.D. 1200.

Ceramic production ranges indicate a population occupying Homol'ovi IV by the mid to late A.D 1200's, certainly no broader than 1250-1300. Although there are a dozen sherds having beginning dates for production after 1300, including six sherds of Gila/Tonto Polychrome, one sherd of Bidahochi Polychrome, and five of Jeddito Black-on-yellow. Their presence could easily be explained by the reuse or revisitation of Homol'ovi IV by nearby inhabitants of Homol'ovi II or III, both occupied when these later types were produced. Given that production of all of these types begins after A.D. 1325, this seems to be the most parsimonious explanation. The preponderance of St. Johns Polychrome (1200-1300) over Pinedale Polychrome (1290-1330), represented by one sherd, the presence of Pinto Polychrome (1280-1330), and of various Tsegi Orange wares whose manufacture end date is around 1290-1300, suggests an end date of about A.D. 1290 for the occupation of Homol'ovi IV. Similarly, the preponderance of Jeddito and Tsegi Orange wares in the decorated assemblage of Homol'ovi IV, all of whose beginning date for manufacture begins at 1250, suggests a beginning date for the occupation of Homol'ovi IV at no earlier than 1250. A maximum date range for the occupation of Homol'ovi IV based on tree-ring dated ceramics can be placed at 1250-1300 and a minimum range at 1260-1290.

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