Tizon Brown Ware
PERIOD: Prehistory through the early historic period (reservation era) of
DATES: Approximately A. D. 700 to 1890. The early date is based upon associations
with Lino Black-on-gray at Willow Beach on the Colorado River (Schroeder 1952).
However, if this ware is the creation of Pai groups in Arizona, then A. D.
1100-1500 would be the beginning date range.
Thinning: Scraping or paddle-and-anvil.
Finishing: Smoothed due to scraping. Sometimes irregularly surfaced on the
interior of large sherds and whole vessels due to anvil marks.
Firing: Poorly controlled oxidizing atmosphere. Some examples illustrate
the use of a reducing atmosphere, as well.
Temper: Coarse to medium-fine textured, poorly sorted, sub-angular opaque
quartz, feldspar, and ocassional mica inclusions (see Temper pictures 1,
2, 3, and 4).
The types Cerbat, Sandy, and Aquarius differ in terms of temper and color.
Cerbat and Aquarius differ from Sandy in that Sandy is tan in color and has
less abundant and finer temper. Cerbat differs from Aquarius in that Aquarius
can have a coarser temper.
Core Color: Black, gray, brown, or red
(Cerbat and Aquarius). Tan to warm gray (Sandy).
Clay: Possibly redeposited decomposed granitic rock (Gilpin and Phillips
Surface Appearance: Typically a plain ware with no evidence of polishing,
slipping, or smudging. One type, Tizon Wiped,
is finished with irregular wiping. Three types, Cerbat Red-on-brown, Cerbat
Black-on-brown, and Aquarius Black-on-brown, are painted. Another type, Orme
Ranch Plain is finished with obliterated, vertical corrugations (Breternitz
Surface Color: Light tan (Sandy) to brown and reddish-brown (Cerbat and
Aquarius), except in reduced firing atmospheres, which result in colors ranging
from gray to black.
Firing Clouds: Rare (Sandy) to frequent (Cerbat and Aquarius).
Thickness: 4.0 to 20.0 mm, averaging 6.0 mm (Cerbat); 5.0 to 13.0 mm, averaging
7.7 mm (Sandy); 4.0 to 7.9 mm, averaging 5.8 mm (Aquarius).
Weathering and Use Wear Pattern: Exfoliation of the surface due to use is
Rims: Either rounded or flat. Usually straight or slightly inverted or everted.
Decoration and Paint Type: Decoration of any kind is rare. However, paint,
when used, is either red or black (i.e., Cerbat Red-on-brown and Cerbat Black-on-brown
and Aquarius Black-on-brown) and is used to form simple narrow lines (Aquarius
Black-on-brown and Cerbat Black-on-brown) and poorly executed broad lines
and large dots (Cerbat Red-on-brown).
RANGE: Extends from the Colorado River to the north and west and to the
Gila River to the south. Easternmost range includes the Mogollon Rim, White
Mountains, and Tonto National Forest. A more westerly enclave of this ware
also occurs in southern California in Digueno territory (Harner 1957).
COMPARISON: Closely resembles the paste and temper used in both San Francisco
Mountain Gray Ware and the Wingfield Plain variant of Prescott Gray Ware.
However, SFMGW contains substantially more amounts of mica and Wingfield Plain
contains a type of schist, phyllite, that is not present in Tizon Brown Ware.
Also closely resembles Lower Colorado Buff Ware (Schroeder 1952). Plain wares
of the Paiute (Southern Paiute Brown Ware) and Apache
(Quemado Gray Ware) also closely resemble this ware in terms of paste,
temper, surface treatment, and color (Baugh and Eddy 1987).
CULTURAL ASSOCIATION: Most often associated with the Yuman groups of Arizona,
especially the Hualapai, Havasupai, and Yavapai. Euler and Dobyns (1985) suggest
the Havasupai made Tizon Wiped and that the Yavapai may have made Cerbat and/or
Aquarius Brown. Breternitz (1960) proposed that the Yavapai also made Orme
Ranch Plain. Schroeder (1959) also links the Yavapai with the production of
Orme Ranch Plain
Copyright 2001 Northern Arizona University.