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Excavations
at
Valshni
Village,
Arizona

Cover
Copyright

2002 Editor's Foreword

1973 Editor's Foreword

Author's Preface

Table of Contents

List of Figures

List of Tables

Regional & vicinity maps

Introduction

Habitat

Methods

Dating

Architecture
Vamori
Topawa
Non-architectural Features
Pottery
Local
Intrusive
Misc. Clay Objects
Burial

Stonework

Bonework

Shellwork

Summary and Conclusions

Appendix: Canal

Bibliography

2000 notes

Valshni Village logo


Pottery

Intrusive

Intrusive Pottery

[Ed. Note: The following two pottery varieties, Trincheras Purple-on-red (specular iron paint) and Trincheras Purple-on-red (non-specular iron paint) are now being questioned. DiPeso concluded that the difference was a function of the grinding of the paint (1956:361), while Johnson concluded that surface treatment was the determining factor,that polishing over the paint tended to eliminate the specular quality (1960:65). Bowen (manuscript) writes:


In short, the effects upon the specular quality of the pigment of grinding, polishing over the decoration, or firing conditions have not yet been adequately established. Until the ambiguities can be resolved, it does not seem unreasonable to suppose also that paints prepared by different potters or at different times contained varying quantities of specular particles.


Owing to Bowen's comment and Withers' feeling that there may have been a time difference between the two varieties, the descriptions which follow have been left intact.]


Trincheras Purple-on-red (Specular iron paint variety)

Paste

Color:

Red-orange through buff. Dark grey to black in fire-clouded areas.

Range:
9'-i (Ridgeway, Plate XIV)
13'-k (Ridgeway, Plate XV)

Carbon streak often present.

Temper:

Water-worn and angular sand particles, varying in size from small to large. Temper generally rather coarse and a large amount of it was used in the proportion to the amount of clay.

Fracture:

Fairly brittle.

Hardness

3.5

Surface

Color:

Dark red through light red to light red-brown.

Range:
9'-h (Ridgeway, Plate XIV)
7' -i (Ridgeway, Plate XIV)

Firing clouds present.

Interior of bowls generally a darker red than exteriors.

Evenness:

Bowl interiors even. Exteriors tend toward unevenness. Jar exteriors not as even generally as bowls. Jar interiors uneven.

Texture:

Interiors smooth on bowls. Bowl exteriors not as well polished as interiors. Jar interiors rough and unpolished and usually show a deep scoring made with reeds or some similar object.

Luster:

Dull to fairly high.

Slip:

Usually fairly heavy to cover coarse paste. Heavier on interior of bowls than on exterior.

Hardness:

3.5

Paint

Composition:

Inorganic. An iron paint containing a high percentage of specular iron crystals.

Color:

Black. Sometimes with a purplish cast.

Range:
59''''-m (Ridgeway, Plate LII)
69''''-k (Ridgeway, Plate L)

Luster:

The luster is high as the specular iron reflects a great amount of light.

Relief:

Paint often applied so thickly that it stands up in relief.

Hardness:

3.0

Evenness:

Paint often tends to cake, making it uneven.

Defects:

Abrasion.

Form

Bowls:

Great majority of vessels are bowls. These are hemispherical, a bowl forming slightly more than one-third of a hemisphere.

Diameter:
18 - 28 cm.

Wall thickness:
0.3 - 0.7 cm.

Rim types:
(Fig. 18, a - d)

Jars:

Rather rare. Have short straight necks or slightly recurved necks and wide mouths over a globular body.

Diameter at mouth:
24 cm.

Wall thickness:
0.3 - 1.0 cm.

Rim types:
(Fig. 18, e - g)

Figure 18. Trincheras Purple-on-red Rim Forms Figure 18. Trincheras Purple-on-red Rim Forms (Courtesy Arizona State Museum)
a - d, bowls
e - f, jars
g, seed jar

Design (Fig. 19, a - g)

Layout:

Designs are both curvilinear and rectilinear. Curvilinear designs tend to occur in all-over patterns, while rectilinear designs occur often in bands which run around the bowl interiors and leave the bottom open. Rectilinear and curvilinear types often occur in the same design. Small triangles are often pendant from the rim around the whole vessel. Sometimes the main design runs right to the rim. The rims are usually painted and often a broad line encircles the exterior of bowl at the rim. This is the only occurrence of exterior decoration.

Motifs:

Large, solid triangles, often with scrolls attached.

Chevrons.

Solid and cross-hatched diamonds, large and small

Repeated small elements.

Type Site:

LaPlaya, Sonora (Sonora: F:10:3).

Range:

From Gila River (Gladwin, Haury, Sayles, Gladwin, 1937:218) to region of lower Bacavachi and Sonora Rivers, and from San Miguel de Horacitas drainage basin west nearly to the Gulf of California (Brand, 1935:299).

Remarks:

The sample used in this study was too small to make this description wholly complete. The full description and history of this ware can only be told by the excavation of a site where it was made locally. All of the Trincheras Purple-on-red found at Valshni Village is known to be intrusive from the region to the south and across the International Boundary. As yet, no site where this pottery occurs indigenously has been reported outside of Sonora, Mexico.

The flow of this ware into sites in southern Arizona, as shown by the work at Valshni Village, was fairly constant over a long period of time. The best association for this type occurred in the trash mounds,and these placed it as being strongest in the Vamori Phase. There were minor occurrences in the Topawa associations. This would give it a known time range of approximately 800 - 1200 A. D. with a noticeable dwindling toward the end of this period. Evidence at Jackrabbit Ruin where no occurrence of this type was found would further point to a top date of 1200 A.D. for Trincheras Purple-on-red.

Trincheras Purple-on-red (Non-specular iron paint variety)

Paste

Same as specular variety.

Carbon streaks more likely to be absent.

Surface

Red through yellow-brown.

Range:

9'-h (Ridgeway, Plate XIV)
9'-j (Ridgeway, Plate XIV)
11''-i (Ridgeway, Plate XXVIII)
15''-h (Ridgeway, Plate XXIX)

Average color browner than specular variety.

Hardness:

3.5

Paint

Composition:

Inorganic. No specular iron.

Brown with red or purple cast.

Range:
7''''-i (Ridgeway, Plate XLV)
69''''-k (Ridgeway, Plate L)
69''''-m (Ridgeway, Plate L)

Evenness:

Evenness: More even than specular variety.

Hardness:

4.0

Form

Bowls:

Predominant. Shape same as other variety.

Color:

Jars:

More numerous than other variety.

Seed jars:

Rare but occur

Design (Fig. 19, h - k)

Layout:

Less curvilinear designs.

Design goes to rim.

Exterior often decorated on upper part, sometimes just broad band around rim.

Motifs:

Broad parallel lines - parallel to rim.

Cross hatching, thin to medium to broad lines.

Solid triangles.

Chevrons.

Small to large cross-hatched diamonds.

Type Site:

LaPlaya, Sonora, Mexico.

Range:

Same as specular iron variety.

Remarks:

This type occurs hand in hand with the specular iron variant except that none was found associated with Topawa Phase material, This would indicate that this variety died out somewhat sooner than the other. In northern Sonora sites have been found where this variety occurs without the specular iron type. This and the fact that its decorative type is cruder might point to an earlier origin for this type than for the other. However, little can be said without actual evidence from excavation in Sonora. A numerical analysis of these two variants shows that their distribution in the three Vamori Phase mounds was about equal.

Figure 19. Drawings of Trincheras sherds Figure 19. Trincheras sherds (Courtesy of Arizona State Museum)

Trincheras Polychrome

Alternate name:

Nogales Polychrome (Clarke, 1935).

Paste

Color:

Reddish-brown. Always a wide carbon streak in core.

Inclusions:

Gravel particles.

Texture:

Granular and friable.

Fracture:

Irregular and generally oblique to vessel surface. The fractured surface is rough and granular.

Hardness:

3.5.

Surface

Color:

Orange-red on exterior.

Range:
9'-j (Ridgeway, Plate XIV)
17'''' (Ridgeway, Plate XLVI)
Black and red on white interior, 19''-f (Ridgeway, Plate XXX)

Hardness:

3.0

Evenness:

Uneven on exterior.

Texture:

Smooth to rough.

Slip:

Thick, creamy white slip applied to interior only.

Defects:

Abrasion and peeling of slip.

Paint

Composition:

Inorganic. Black paint full of iron specularite.

Color:

Black

Range:
59''''-m (Ridgeway, Plate LII)

Orange-red

Range:
9'-k (Ridgeway, Plate XIV)

Luster:

High in black paint due to specular iron. Dull in red.

Relief:

Paint sometimes applied so thickly it gives low relief.

Hardness:

Red:
2.5

Black:

Evenness:

Uneven.

Defects:

Abrasion.

Form

Made only in bowl form. Bowls would make approximately one-third of a sphere.

Diameter:

22 - 26 cm.

Wall thickness:

0.4 0.6 cm.

Rim form:

(see Fig. 20)

Figure 20. Trincheras Polychrome Rim Forms (bowls only) Figure 20. Trincheras Polychrome rim forms (Courtesy Arizona State Museum)

Design (Fig. 19, o)

Layout:

Decorated only on interior. The design occurs in variously alternating bands of black and red. Sometimes the bands are made up of repeated small elements, sometimes of continuous lines. Small triangles are usually pendant from the rim, occurring in black or in alternating black and red. A heavy black line often circles the vessel below the pendant triangles and above the banded motifs. Also, there is usually a band in black paint of varying width around the rim on the exterior.

Motifs:

Continuous lines made by joining small, solid or cross-hatched diamonds. Individual diamonds, both solid and cross-hatched. Small solid triangles. Broad lines.

Type Site:

LaPlaya, Sonora.

Range:

Outlined by Boquillas, Altar, and Arroyo Seco tributaries of the Rio Magdalena from the north (Brand, 1935:300).

Remarks

On the basis of its association at Valshni Village and elsewhere in southern Arizona, Trincheras Polychrome may be said to be contemporaneous with the Santa Cruz Phase of the Hohokam and the early portion of the Vamori Phase in Papagueria. The time range would be approximately 700 to 900 A.D., with the possibility that it may go earlier.

This type is closely related to the other Sonoran types intrusive here, especially to Purple-on-red (specular iron variety). it differs from the usual Trincheras ceramic type only in the addition of the white slip. It bears analogies to Santa Cruz Red-on-buff with its designs of bands of small repeated elements.

Trincheras Polychrome, as far as is known, was made locally only in the Altar Region of Sonora, although several whole vessels have been found in the vicinity of Nogales, Arizona, and several were recently discovered near the Calabasas School south of Tumacacori National Monument.

Altar Polychrome

Paste

Color:

Brown to red brown.

Range:
9'-k (Ridgeway, Plate XIV)
9''''-k (Ridgeway, Plate XLV)

Inclusions:

Sometimes gravel.

Texture:

Granular and friable.

Fracture:

Slightly irregular, rough and granular.

Hardness:

4.0

Surface

Color:

Brown

Range:
13'-b (Ridgeway, Plate XXIX)
15''-d (Ridgeway, Plate XXIX)

Hardness:

3.5

Evenness:

Exterior even; interior uneven on jars and usually heavily scored.

Texture:

Slick to rough.

Luster:

Uniformly lustrous.

Slip:

Thin brown slip.

Defects:

Abrasion.

Paint

Composition:

Inorganic.

Color:

Light red.
8'-k (Ridgeway, Plate XIV)
11' (Ridgeway, Plate XXVIII)

Black
9''''-i (Ridgeway, Plate XLV)
14''-k (Ridgeway, Plate XXIX)
67''''-m (Ridgeway, Plate L)

Black contains no specular iron and often has a purplish cast.

Luster:

Uniformly lustrous.

Hardness:

Red:
2.5

B1ack
3.5

Evenness:

Even.

Defects:

Red
Abrasion.

Black
Abrasion and peeling.

Form

Bowls:

Occur but are rare.

Jars:

Heavily predominant.

Design (see Fig. 19, 1 - n)

Patterns and motifs: Alternating broad lines of black and red with a space between. Large, cross-hatched diamonds in black bounded by red. Designs usually bold and crudely executed.

Type site:

LaPlaya, Sonora.

Range:

So far as is known, Altar Polychrome has the same range as Trincheras Polychrome.

Remarks

This is a new pottery type and is known only from sherds. It follows closely the Trincheras ceramic tradition and, except for the addition of red, is much like Trincheras Purple-on-red (non-specular iron variety). At Valshni Village this type occurred only in Mounds 1 and 2, placing it in the early Vamori Phase. An end date of approximately 900 A.D. may be assigned to it. Altar Polychrome may extend well back into Trincheras Chronology, but this can only be told from actual work in that region. It occurs along with Trincheras Polychrome but apparently dies out slightly earlier. As this type is found almost solely in the jar form and Trincheras Polychrome exclusively in the bowl form, it may be that the two types are closely allied and that their differences are due to form rather than anything else. Both were undoubtedly made by the same people at the same time.

Discussion of Ceramics

Throughout the known time of pottery manufacture in Papagueria, there have been two main trends. Figure 21 shows that the popularity of decorated wares, although fluctuating by types internally (Fig. 22), did not fluctuate significantly from a low percentage relative to the popularity of all other wares. There was evidently a marked increase in the relative popularity of redwares with a corresponding decrease in the popularity of plainwares.


Fig. 21. Trends in ceramic classes Figure 21. Graph showing the apparent trends in the relative popularity of plainware, redware and decorated wares for the defined phases in Papagueria. The dating follows the same criteria as used in the initial dating of the different phases.

Decorated potteries at Valshni Village did not fluctuate significantly from an approximate 3% of the total ceramic output throughout the Vamori and Topawa Phases. However, there is a significant rise in the popularity of local decorated wares at the expense of the intrusive wares, especially Hohokam Red-on-buffs, although the Trincheras series was affected also (Fig. 22).

The origin of the idea for painting pottery is not known. The local pottery makers do not appear to have copied the design elements from the intrusive types. There is a resemblance of Vamori Red-on-brown with some Yuman types which occur in desert areas bordering the lower reaches of the Colorado River. Some of the Vamori sherds look like copies of Yuman vessels (Rogers, 1936); however, no sherds found at Valshni Village could be identified as Yuman. The suggestion is made here that the idea of painting pottery was obtained from the people to the west of Papagueria and then applied to the local Sells Plain.


Fig. 22. Decorated ware, popularity by class Figure 22. Graph showing the relative popularity of local Red-on-brown, Hohokam Red-on-buff and Trincheras Purple-on-red at Valshni Village. The Trincheras Polychromes not shown on the graph did not exceed 0.8% at the peak of their popularity. The dating follows the same criteria as used in the initial dating of the Vamori and Topawa Phases.

Once the idea of painting was introduced, the local pottery at Valshni Village shows a steady development from the Vamori through Sells Phases. This growth was stimulated at times by the introduction of ideas from ceramically more productive centers.

Changes in decorated pottery helped to define the beginning of the Topawa Phase, Polishing was used on all of the locally made red-on-brown pottery while a satisfactory mixture of paint appeared for the first time. Topawa Red-on-brown shows a strong influence from the Tucson area in technique, design, and vessel form. This apparent influence continued throughout the Topawa Phase and into the Sells Phase. The Tanque Verde Red-on-brown of the two areas (Papagueria and Tucson) are very difficult to tell apart. During the Topawa Phase, Papagueria was the recipient of ceramic ideas with no apparent transfer of ideas from Papagueria to the Tucson area. This situation changed during the Sells Phase when Sells Red and other articles were traded into the Tucson and other areas.

The locally produced Red-on-browns at Valshni Village, until the last part of occupation, constituted less than 35% of the decorated wares. The remaining 65% was made of Hohokam Red-on-buffs and Trincheras series types.

Generally, the Hohokam Red-on-buff was identifiable as originating in the Gila Basin. During the Vamori Phase however, a small amount (approximately 7% of the decorated ware) was found which had a coarser paste than that of the Gila Basin pottery. No data is available for the area it is suspected to have been made in, somewhere between Tucson and Florence, Arizona. [Ed. Note: Greenleaf also makes reference to this ware at Punta de Agua with the same comment (Greenleaf, Manuscript).]

Trincheras decorated pottery (Sauer and Brand, 1931) filtered steadily into Valshni Village during the Vamori Phase. Trincheras Purple-on-red occurred most frequently. Based on the data gathered at Valshni Village, this type has been divided into two varieties, being differentiated on the basis of paint (specular and non-specular) and design variations. The validity of the breakdown must be demonstrated on actual excavations in the Trincheras area.

The redware, Valshni Red, is of undetermined origin. Redwares are not known in the areas adjacent to Papagueria on the west, north, or east, at the time Valshni Red was produced during the Vamori Phase. San Francisco Red of the Mimbres area is unlike Valshni Red.

The Papaguerian redware developed rapidly after approximately A.D. 1000. The peak production was reached with the stylized forms of Sells Red during the Sells Phase. At this time, it accounted for approximately 55% of the total ceramic production.




. Local pottery
Top of page



Table of Contents
Misc. clay objects .


Table of Contents
(Sequencing left to right, top to bottom)

Cover

Copyright

2002 Editor's Foreword

1973 Editor's Foreword

Author's Preface

Table of Contents

List of Figures

List of Tables

Regional & vicinity maps

Introduction

Habitat

Methods

Dating

Architecture

Vamori Architecture

Topawa Architecture

Non-architectural Features

Pottery

Local pottery

Intrusive pottery

Misc. Clay Objects

Burial

Stonework

Bonework

Shellwork

Summary and Conclusions

Appendix: Canal

Bibliography

2000 notes



Walter 'Dutch' Duering
PO Box 8429
Phoenix, AZ 85066-8429
United States

duering@stockmorehouse.com