PERIOD: Possibly prehistory through the historic period (reservation era)
DATES: A. D. 1300-1500 to 1900 or A. D. 1700-1850 (Wood 1987).
See Ware Description, except:
Surface Appearance: Rough,
irregular, wiped, and "scummy" surface. Wiping occurs on interior
and/or exterior of the vessel. Wiping is irregular, occuring at random angles,
and overlapping (like that of Tizon Wiped). Sometimes specimens can be pitch
covered. Specimens are never slipped, smudged, or polished.
Surface Color: Reddish-brown to ashy gray to black.
Vessel Forms: Conical or pointed bottom jars with flaring rims and high
shoulders See Vessel Picture 1 and
Vessel Picture 2). There is
a close resemblance to Navajo ceramics. Bowls are very rare.
Decoration and Paint: Apache ceramics are never painted, but they can exhibit
incised lines and/or fingernail indentations.
Vessels with only two or three bands of fingernail indentations around the
shoulder or neck are of the Rim Rock Plain Variety. Vessels with all-over
fingernail indentations are of the Strawberry
Variety. Can also display notched rims, tooled rims, and additive rim
coils. Neck fillets are infrequent, however.
RANGE: Located in the Verde Valley, Payson Highlands, Sierra Ancha, and
the Mogollon Rim area. Could potentially be located anywhere within the Western
Apache aboriginal territory, which is bounded by the San Francisco Peaks to
the north, the Mazatzal Mountains to the west, the present day New Mexico/Arizona
border to the east, and the northern reaches of Chihuahua and Sonora, Mexico
to the south.
COMPARISON: Apache Plain sherds, without decoration, are very difficult
to distinguish from Tizon Wiped sherds. Not only are they similar in color
and surface appearance (see Vessel and
Surface Appearance Pictures),
but the core, temper, construction technique, and wall thickness are very
similar. Apache plain ceramics, like Tizon Brown Ware ceramics, are coiled
and then finished using either scraping or paddle and anvil.The core
is comprised of an extremely dark, fine, silty paste. Temper
is typically fine quartz and feldspar sand with organic inclusions, and is
only occasionally comprised of ground potsherds (Wood 1987). Also, the walls
of Apache Plain vessels are thin ranging from 0.3 to 0.8 cm and averaging
5.5 cm thick. According to Ferg (1992), however, the striations of Tizon Wiped
may be smoothed to a greater degree than Apache Plain, Tizon Wiped vessels
are usually slightly thicker on average than Apache Plain, and vessel form
is very different (see Vessel 1
and Vessel 2). These characteristics
apply to whole vessels, though, and are difficult to discern when analyzing
sherds. Can also closely resemble Paiute ceramics (Southern Paiute Brown Ware)
from southeast Nevada, northwest Arizona, and southwest Utah (Baugh and Eddy
CULTURAL ASSOCIATION: Western Apache.
Copyright 2001 Northern Arizona University.