PERIOD: Prescott and Chino Phases (Colton 1939:31-32), also earlier phases in the development of the Prescott Tradition (Jeter 1977; Wood 1979, 1980 [others])

DATES: at least A.D. 800, and possibly earlier, to 1400

See Ware Description, except:

Firing: Firing atmosphere apparently more controlled for reduction and consistently gray colors than for plain Prescott Gray.

Decoration and Paint: Painted designs on interior bowl surfaces (occasionally on exterior), exterior and occasionally interior surfaces of large jars; almost always painted on the inside of necks of large jars.  Paint is black, dull, usually thin but occasionally thick and opaque. Paint is usually organic [organic/silica? see 1980 def.], occasionally mineral or a combination of the two.  Designs are generally broad-lined.  Elements include angular and curvilinear scrolls; chevrons; solid triangles; hooked triangles; large or small dots; circles; dots within squares or circles; straight, zigzag or wavy lines; simple crosses.  Scrolls may be isolated or interlocking.  Dots and triangles may be pendant from lines or angular scrolls.  Dots are sometimes splattered irregularly over interior of jar or bowl.  Chevrons may be nested.  Curvilinear motifs appear similar to those of Sacaton Red-on-buff; other design motifs may be similar to those of Black Mesa, Sosi, Flagstaff and Walnut Black-on-white or uniquely Prescott (Higgins MS 1996).   Execution and symmetry are generally imprecise.  Vessels lack a planned design layout and sometimes an extra element or motif was just thrown in to fill a void.    Paint density and line widths are often uneven.   Jar interiors often have drips, splotches and broad trailing lines and in many cases, interior rim decoration is reduced to a ragged dripline of paint;  jar exterior decoration often appears to consist primarily of haphazard patterns and unrelated brush strokes.  Designs on later vessels appear to be better "organized" and more elaborate.

RANGE: See ware description.


Aquarius Black-on-orange has a clear, bright orange exterior surface with scum finish and an aluminum gray interior.  It is harder, usually finer, and better fired than Prescott Black-on-gray.

Deadmans Black-on-gray has fine quartz temper, smoother surfaces, often polished, and is usually thinner than Prescott Black-on-gray.  Designs have finer lines and are more carefully executed, though not as precise as Black Mesa Black-on-white, which it most closely resembles. Deadmans Black-on-gray designs almost always resemble Black Mesa Black-on-white in terms of line width, design elements, layout, and scale, and although Prescott designs sometimes contain similar elements, these other attributes are very different.  Prescott lines are wider, element scale is larger, and layout is less structured.  Deadmans/Prescott intergrades do occur, however (see Kirkland Gray).


REMARKS: Synonyms are Verde Black-on-white (Gladwin and Gladwin 1930), Verde Black-on-Gray (Colton 1958), Prescott Black-on-Plain (Jeter 1977; Wood 1979, 1980)

© Copyright 2001 Northern Arizona University.

Prescott Black-on-gray