DATES: ca 900-ca 1100 A.D. (Colton 1958). Also given as 1050 to 1130 A.D. (Downum 1988), 1060+ to 1178 A.D. (Breternitz 1966), and 1000 to 1100 A.D. (Ambler 1985; Mills et al. 1993).

See Ware Description, except:

Surface Appearance: Bowl interiors and jar exteriors are usually polished but may be bumpy. They are sometimes slipped. Slip ranges from a thin wash to a thick slip. Decorations also typically appear on the inside of bowls and the outside of jars.

Surface Color: Usually dead white, but occasionally has a bluish tint

Vessel Forms: Bowls, jars, pitchers, jugs, bird effigies. Dippers occur rarely.

Rims: Usually rounded, can be flat or beveled. Bowls have straight necks while jar neck forms vary.

Decoration and Paint: Paint is a fairly dense, dull black carbon paint that often appears to have a slightly brownish tint. Paint may occasionally be slightly watery. Designs typically appear on bowl interiors and jar exteriors. Bowl bottoms, jar bases, and rims are undecorated. Design styles vary greatly. Common design elements include stripes and wide (greater than 5 mm), straight horizontal lines that are typically rectilinear. Large opposed triangles sometimes form rows of open diamonds. Triangles are often elongated isoscles triangles. Solid areas and lines frequently have pendant dots. Common designs include interlocking scrolls and frets at line endings. Checkerboard designs also commonly occur. Curved lines appear occasionaly. Design layout is usually banded. Parallel vertical lines running perpendicular to the rim may divide the design into segments. Stepped elements and solid squares appear rarely.

RANGE: See Ware Description

COMPARISON:Types with similar design styles include Red Mesa Black-on-white and Puerco Black-on-white, both of which have mineral paint; Holbrook A Black-on-white, which has a thick white slip, dark gray (iron-rich) paste, and sherd temper; and Deadmans Black-on-gray, which is not polished, has fine, very clear quartz sand with mica temper, and exhibits paddle-and-anvil construction. Kana-a Black-on-white has more narrow lines that overlap at junctions, less even linework, smaller black areas, and ticks rather than pendant dots. Wepo Black-on-white has been identified by some analysts as a stylistic and temporal integrade between Kana-a and Black Mesa. Wepo displays elements of both styles, often combining thin Kana-a style linework with the pendant dots, large filled triangles, and segmented design layout common to Black Mesa (although any combination of characteristics is possible). Wepo correlates to what many early analysts have referred to as "Early Black Mesa". Sosi Black-on-white has more precise linework, less closely massed elements, triangles are more often isolated or combined in a series to make a serrated pattern, and pendant dots are never present.

CULTURAL ASSOCIATION: Anasazi, Kayenta Branch

REMARKS: The Black Mesa design style is more widespread than the geographic range of Tusayan Black Mesa Black-on-white. Black Mesa Black-on-white has also been referred to as Deadmans Black-on-white.

© Copyright 2001 Northern Arizona University.

Black Mesa Black-on-white