This jar is especially interesting, as both its shape and its painted decoration indicate a strong connection between its maker and the ancient people who inhabited the Kayenta area of northeastern Arizona. Archaeologists refer to this vessel form a “submarine pot” or a “football pot” and assume that such objects were used as canteens. Vessels of this shape were absent from central and southern Arizona before the depopulation of parts of northeastern Arizona by the people archaeologists refer to as the Kayenta culture. When Kayenta groups moved southward, they contributed much to the ceramic tradition associated with the Salado archaeological phenomenon. The northerners brought their native vessel shapes, vessel manufacturing techniques, and also painted design styles. The vessel in this photograph bears the characteristic “Kayenta bat-wing design” brought to southern Arizona by ancient immigrants.
Patrick D. Lyons and Kelley Hays-Gilpin; Photographer: Kai Little