Interactive Map

Topics and Categories

Popular Images

This widget requires Flash Player 9 or better

Tusayan Gray Ware

  • Medicine Gray

    Medicine Gray
  • Kana'a Gray

    Kana'a Gray
  • Tusayan Corrugated

    Tusayan Corrugated
  • Moenkopi Corrugated

    Moenkopi Corrugated
  • Kiet Siel Gray

    Kiet Siel Gray
  • No Image

    Lino Gray
  • Coconino Gray

    Coconino Gray
  • No Image

    Lino Fugitive Red
  • Lino Black-on-gray

    Lino Black-on-gray
Geographical Range
Most types occur over a large area which includes northwestern New Mexico, southern Utah, and northeastern Arizona. A few types are localized.

Date Range
A.D. 500 to 1300

By coiling

In a reducing atmosphere

Core Color
Light gray to dark gray (sometimes almost black with carbon)

Carbon Streak
Fairly frequent in some types, but generally characteristic

Abundant quartz sand, from medium fine to very coarse; occasional opaque fragments, gray or tan; occasionally feldspar grains in some types; temper usually conspicuous.

Surface Finish
Most types roughly scraped, not smoothed, not polished, usually pitted, scraping marks conspicuous; exterior surface plain, corrugated, tooled appliqué; no true slip on any type, but sometimes a fugitive red wash (Lino Fugitive Red).

Surface Color
Gray, blackened

Jars, bowls, pitchers, dippers.

Vessel Thickness
Bowls:2.5 to 9.7mm, average 5mm; Jars 2.5 to 9.7mm, average 5.2mm

Paint: Painted on Lino Black-on-gray only, dull black, occasionally brownish if thin

Pigments: Carbon

Design: Narrow lines, often ticked, isolated dots between narrow framing lines, crudely applied

Two dominant wares appeared in northern Arizona and continued until the end of Pueblo III (ca. 1300 A.D.). Known as Tusayan Gray Ware and Tusayan White Ware, they were made of the same materials, by the same techniques of construction, in the same region and by the same peoples. Separation of these two wares, on the basis of surface treatment, and function, is admittedly for convenience in study and identification.

Tusayan Gray Ware includes the utility cooking and storage pottery of the Kayenta Branch and Tusayan White Ware the pottery used for serving the food of the same people.

Tusayan Gray Ware had an early beginning. How, when and where it originated is not yet certainly known but it may have been the result of a contact between northern non-pottery-making people and southern pottery-making people. This is suggested by an early type named Obelisk Gray which resembles Mogollon Brown Ware in many ways and appears to be a connecting link. Regardless of the incidents of its origin, the earliest known type in this ware was perfectly constructed when it first appeared, although styles of forms of vessels and surface treatment changed over the years. Some of the types are useful in dating.

Compiled from the following sources:
Colton, Harold S., and Lyndon L. Hargrave (1937) Handbook of Northern Arizona Pottery Wares, Museum of Northern Arizona Bulletin 11, Flagstaff, Arizona.

Compiled by:
April Peters, Northern Arizona University Anthropology Laboratories.