San Francisco Mountain Gray Ware
PERIOD: Pueblo I-II
DATES: Pre-700 to 1150 (1200?) A. D.
Construction: Ring-built. In this technique the potter may start with a
slab as the base of the vessel and then adds thick coil rings, one at a time,
to the body of the vessel.
Finishing: Bowls and jars often show scrape marks.
Jar interiors and bowl exteriors may be polished and compacted. Interior jar
surfaces are fairly-well smoothed but often exhibit anvil impressions.
Firing: Usually in a reducing atmosphere. Some San Francisco Mountain Gray
Ware appears oxidized, suggesting poor control of firing atmosphere.
Temper: Abundant fine quartz and feldspar
rich sand, angular to sub-rounded. Occasional black vitreous grains may be
present. Fine mica/biotite particles common. Very few volcanic grains present.
Core Color: Carbon streak sometimes present, core usually gray in color.
Clay: Non-basaltic derived clay. Clay likely comes from a sedimentary source.
The Kaibab and Moenkopi formations are potential source areas.
Core Texture: Fine.
Surface Appearance: Jar exteriors and bowl interiors may be polished, not
slipped. Fine mica or faceted quartz particles glitter
Surface Color: Generally gray, may also be brown or buff if oxidized during
firing. Fugitive Red pigment sometimes present.
Firing Clouds: Rare.
Thickness: Bowls 4 mm to 7 mm.
Weathering and Use Wear Pattern: Surfaces generally not exfoliated.
Vessel Forms: Shallow bowls, jars with handle attached to rim, not added
below the rim as in most other southwestern wares.
Rims: Jar and rims are almost always rounded and vary from vertical to somewhat
flared. Bowl rims also rounded, usually vertical but occasionally flared.
Decoration and Paint Type: Unpainted or painted with black organic paint.
Painted designs appear on interior of bowls, occasionally on jar exteriors.
Decoration parallels Tusayan White Ware during the Pueblo I-II period. Exterior
vessels surfaces sometimes covered with Fugitive Red
RANGE: Bounded by the Grand Canyon to the north,
grades into Prescott Gray Ware south of Ash Fork and Williams, Arizona, grades
into Tizon Brown Ware west of Ash Fork towards Kingman, Arizona, bounded by
the Sinagua culture and Alameda Brown Ware to the east near Flagstaff, Arizona.
COMPARISON: Similar to Alameda Brown Ware in that both were manufactured
by paddle and anvil. Similar to Tusayan White Ware in that San Francisco Mountain
Gray Ware often has painted designs and Fugitive Red pigment.
CULTURAL ASSOCIATION: Prehistoric Cohonina Culture.
Copyright 2001 Northern Arizona University.