All of the discs and scrapers were made of potsherds, while the molded objects were made of clays which correspond to the clay used in the potteries. The completed discs,whether perforated or not were generally well finished,with the edge ground smooth. There were two exceptions: one, a Vamori Phase perforated disc had a groove around the edge; the second exception was left rough. The drilling of the perforations had been started on the partially perforated discs, but not competed. The twenty-five completed discs were made of a variety of pottery types. Thirteen plainware, one redware, and one Trincheras Purple-on-red constituted the unperforated specimens. The perforated group was composed of plain and redwares.
There appears to be a trend from unperforated discs in the Vamori Phase to perforated discs during the Topawa Phase (see Table 5)
[Ed. Note: Also, there appears to be a marked difference in the size of the two types of discs. The unperforated group has a wider range of diameters (2.2 cm. to 6.0 cm.) which encompasses the range of the perforated group (2.8 cm. to 4.5 cm.). The measurements of individual specimens are not available.]
The use of the potsherd discs is not known. Some of the perforated ones may have been used as spindle whorls; but on many the perforation is some distance off center. The perforation on others has been drilled at such an angle that it destroyed the disc's usefulness as a spindle whorl. The suggestion has been made that the discs were used as counters in a game (Gladwin, et al., 1937:243).
The discs, which are so widespread in the United States Southwest, may also have had some ceremonial or religious significance. Many articles of unknown use have been relegated to this category, but in this case the placement seems valid. Winchester Cave in the Winchester Mountains west of Willcox, Arizona, produced a great number of these unperforated sherd discs. The cave had served as a shrine, and the discs were associated altogether with objects of a ceremonial nature. Nine pairs of these discs were discovered together with cotton or fiber string (Fulton, 1941:24).
[Ed. Note: Considering the vast areal distribution of sherd discs and their great time depth, it may be wise to look back into the older desert cultures for their origin (see Irwin-Williams, 1967). The use of sherds may have been a substitution of material for wood, stone, or bone. With the differentiation of cultural groups, there also may have been differentiation in the function of these discs.]
The eight scrapers were all made of potsherds. Five of the specimens were rectangular; one was oval; while the seventh was small and triangular. The eighth was broken beyond classification. Two of the scrapers were made from Red-on-buff sherds intrusive from the Gila Basin area. The remaining six were produced from plainwares.
The molded spindle whorls at Valshni Village probably represent the early occurrence of their type in Papagueria. They occur frequently during the succeeding Sells Phase at Jackrabbit Ruin (Scantling, 1940:38). The two found at Valshni Village were represented by an ellipsoidal plainware specimen of the late Vamori Phase or early Topawa Phase, and a conical redware specimen of the Topawa Phase. The conical specimen was slipped and polished.
The unidentified molded object was a plainware cylinder 0.8 cm. in diameter. It was broken and may have been the leg of an animal effigy.
The Valshni Village excavation produced seven classes of clay objects. Pottery, already discussed, was represented by over eighty thousand sherds. The remaining six classes were represented by a total of forty-one specimens. Four of these six classes and thirty-eight specimens were products of the reworking fragments of broken pottery. The remaining two classes and three specimens were individually molded and not the aftermath of breaking a pot. Clay, outside of the production of pottery, was not utilized to any important degree.