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

Chapter Eight:
Ceramics

Trixi Bubemyre

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Introduction

Homol'ovi IV is a 150-room pueblo constructed on the top and sides of a steep hill just north of Winslow, Arizona, and occupied during the late Pueblo III through the early Pueblo IV period.

Although surface appearances suggest that much of the site had been vandalized, excavations resulted in the recovery of a large quantity of ceramic artifacts from an assortment of undisturbed proveniences. These ceramics originate from a variety of plain and decorated wares of local and nonlocal types.

This report first discusses methods of analysis followed by a description of the assemblage. Then, ceramic production dates are used to suggest the overall range of occupation at the site. Production dates and provenience data are used to explore variability within the site, and these dates are used with our understanding of local and nonlocal types to investigate temporal trends in regional interactions between the occupants of Homol'ovi IV and the surrounding region.

Change in regional interactions at a broader scale is also investigated by comparing ceramic assemblages from Homol'ovi IV, Homol'ovi III (early occupation A.D. 1280-1300, middle/late occupation A.D. 1330-1375), and Homol'ovi II (A.D. 1350-1400). It is of interest to probe differences in regional interactions among people who settled in this area during slightly different times, and who probably had diverse origins.

Methods of Analysis

Sherds were fractured, and approximately the first half of the sherds analyzed were examined with a 10-power hand lens. The second half of the analysis was aided by the use of a binocular microscope with magnifications of 20 to 40 power. Sherds were sorted into wares based on paste color, temper, and surface treatments such as paint and slip. Type designations relied on surface treatments (e.g., paint and slip) and stylistic characteristics (e.g., design, corrugation type) as outlined by Colton (1956), Smith (1971), Douglass (1987), Crown (1994), and Hays (1991); in some cases typology was aided by a system of flow charts adopted from Mills and Goetze (1993).

The Assemblage

Excavation at Homol'ovi IV resulted in the recovery of a large quantity of sherds, 16,734 of which were analyzed. The sampling strategy focused on undisturbed proveniences, and from these proveniences, contextual variety was sought.

Ceramic artifacts were recovered from a variety of contexts, including the fill, subfloor fill and features of six rooms, a midden area (distinct from deposits below rooms), and several plaza surfaces or extramural activity areas and extramural features. An examination of the ceramic artifacts within these areas is discussed below.

The ceramics at this site encompassed sixteen wares: Tusayan Gray Ware, Tusayan White Ware, Tsegi Orange Ware (which includes the Jeddito series from the Hopi Mesas area), White Mountain Red Ware, Roosevelt Red Ware, Homol'ovi Orange Ware, Homol'ovi Gray Ware, Winslow Orange Ware, Jeddito Yellow Ware, Alameda Brown Ware, Mogollon Brown Ware, and San Francisco Mountain Gray Ware (Table 8.1). A total of 237 sherds were indeterminate plain ware, and 109 sherds were indeterminate decorated ware. In addition, some fragments of unfired clay were recovered.

Table 8.1 All analyzed ceramics from Homol’ovi IV

Ware

Frequency

Percent

Winslow Orange

3044

18.19

Tsegi Orange

1146

6.85

Jeddito Yellow

80

0.48

Hopi White

312

1.86

Tusayan White

903

5.40

Little Colorado White

161

0.96

Cibola White

437

2.61

White Mountain Red

73

0.44

Roosevelt Red (Salado Red)

38

0.23

Unknown Decorated

109

0.65

Subtotal Decorated

6303

37.67

Tusayan Gray

6094

36.42

Little Colorado Gray

1133

6.77

Homol’ovi Orange

367

2.19

Homol’ovi Gray

252

1.51

Alameda Brown

2335

13.95

Mogollon Brown

12

0.07

San Francisco Mountain Gray

1

0.01

Unknown Plain

237

1.42

Subtotal Plain

10431

62.33

TOTAL

16734

100.00

Winslow Orange Ware is the predominate decorated ware representing about 18 % of the assemblage, with Tsegi Orange Ware and Tusayan White Ware each comprising around 6 %. The remaining six identifiable decorated wares represented between 0.23 % and 3 % of the ceramic assemblage.

Tusayan Gray Ware comprised over 36% of the assemblage, and Alameda Brown Ware composed nearly 14 % (Table 8.1). The five remaining identifiable plain wares were present in proportions varying from between less than 0.01% to nearly 7 % of the assemblage.

Around 73 % of the ceramic artifacts recovered were jar sherds. (Table 8.2). Bowl sherds were about 24 % of the assemblage, and ladle sherds were 1 % of the assemblage (Figure 8.1).

Table 8.2 Distribution of vessels by form

Form

Frequency

Percent

Jar

12169

72.72

Bowl

3954

23.63

Ladle

181

1.08

Other

9

0.05

Indeterminate

419

2.51

Seed Jar

2

0.01

TOTAL

16734

100.00


Ladles and ladle handles of Tuwiuca black on orange, and Jeddito black on orange

Figure 8.1 Ladles and ladle handles of Tuwiuca black on orange, and Jeddito black on orange

The other category includes fragments of effigies, perforated plates, and worked sherds (Figures 8.2 and 8.3).

A,e bird effigies, b-knobbed jar, e- applique coil, d-small jar with applique

Figure 8.2 A,e bird effigies, b-knobbed jar, e- applique coil, d-small jar with applique


A, b-miniature vessels, c, d-perforated plates, e-Bidahochi black-on-white worked sherd, f. g. h-plain plate, Tusayan white ware

Figure 8.3 A, b-miniature vessels, c, d-perforated plates, e-Bidahochi black-on-white worked sherd, f. g. h-plain plate, Tusayan white ware

Indeterminate sherds comprised over 2.5 % of the assemblage.

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