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

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

See Ware Description, except:

Decoration and Paint: Decorative surface treatments are rare, but include applique, modeling, punctate designs, fingernail indentation, incising. 

RANGE: See ware description.


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

In a large sherd collection, some extreme examples of Prescott Gray can resemble Verde Brown, but may be identified by the following attributes. Verde Brown is usually brown, and contains more feldspar than quartz.  It usually has fine gold/copper-colored mica flecks, while Prescott tends to have silver mica that appears as poorly sorted fine to coarse, but mostly coarse, flat plates.  Verde Brown has a moderate to coarse texture that is rarely as coarse as most Prescott sherds. When a fresh break is examined with a hand lens, Prescott Gray appears to have more temper than clay; Verde Brown has abundant temper but appears to have more clay than temper. Temper particles tend to be more rounded  in Verde Brown, and more angular in Prescott Gray.  Verde Brown jar rim exteriors often show scraping marks. Temper seldom shows on the surface of Verde Brown (unless exfoliated which often occurs), but temper frequently shows on Prescott Gray.  Intergrades between Prescott Gray and Verde Brown not only occur but are quite frequent in some areas.

Kirkland Gray is defined as a morphological (not cultural) intergrade between Prescott Gray and Deadmans Gray.  It has finer paste than Prescott Gray, and when mica occurs, it is finer than that of Prescott Gray.  Kirkland Gray tends to be thinner than most Prescott Gray, and its surface is smoother.

Wingfield Plain always has phyllite temper, and Prescott seldom does.

Aquarius Brown, the coarsest type in the Tizon Brown Ware, may be confused with Prescott Gray.  Intergrades are frequently encountered in the area west of Prescott.  Aquarius Brown is usually brown, ranging to black or gray and occasionally reddish, but does not oxidize orange, as Prescott Gray does.  It tends to be harder than Prescott Gray with a cleaner fracture; temper contains little to no mica and is usually somewhat finer than Prescott.  Aquarius Brown is coarse version of Cerbat Brown, not a fine version of Prescott Gray.  Aquarius Brown often has a scum surface; Prescott Gray has this feature occasionally.

Cerbat Brown is finer and harder, with a cleaner fracture, and little to no mica.  It is usually thinner than Prescott Gray.  Cerbat Brown is usually brown, sometimes black to gray, sometimes reddish, not orange.  It has a smoother surface than Prescott Gray, and sometimes has a flat surface. Temper is finer, less obvious, and rarely visible on the surface. 

Gila Plain, in Central Arizona, has finer temper than Prescott Gray, with more mica.  The abundant fine mica makes Gila Plain's surfaces shiny.  It is usually brown, rarely gray.  It tends to be more clearly oxidized, with thinner walls.  Gila Plain has a wider range of vessel forms than Prescott Gray.


REMARKS: synonyms are Verde Gray (Colton 1958), and Prescott Plain (Jeter 1977; Wood 1979, 1980).

© Copyright 2001 Northern Arizona University.

Prescott Gray