Saturday, February 16, 2008

Some Ceramic Oddities

Most of the ceramics we have found here so far are fairly straight forward, like the Colorado Buffware rim sherd that is pictured above. Most everything we have seen has either been one of these buffwares (though some have a red slip) that were made east of here along the Colorado River or Tizon Brownware that was made in the mountains to the west of us.

There are a few things we've seen that are a little different that I thought I would show you.

The sherd above shows a technique we have seen here that is referred to as stucco coat. On some utilitarian wares, after the pot was air dried, another coat of rough clay was applied to the bottom prior to firing. It's speculated that this stucco coat was used to strengthen the bottom of the pot or perhaps to help it hold heat.

This is a ceramic pendant. A sherd from a broken pot was ground to a nice circular shape and a hole was drilled at one end so it could be suspended by a cord around someone's neck. In this one you can see the remains of the broken hole at the top and the bottom is rough where the pendant has been broken. In my thesis research on Anasazi (Ancestral Pueblo) sites near Mesa Verde these were fairly common, but this is the only one we have seen here.

Finally here is a picture of another drilled sherd. This was commonly used as a repair technique for cracked pots. If a crack appeared running perpendicular to the rim, two holes were drilled on either side of the crack. Then a cord was run through the holes and tied off to pull the edges together. We've seen a fair number of these.

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