Snowflake Black-on-white

Snowflake Black-on-white pitcher from the Museum of Northern Arizona collections. Click the image to open the Snowflake Black-on-white gallery.

Snowflake Black-on-white is type of Cibola White Ware commonly employing stepped elements in rectilinear designs.

Archaeological Culture: Ancestral Puebloan

Date Range: ca. A.D. 1100-1275.

Construction: By coiling.

Firing: In a neutral to reducing atmosphere.

Core Color: Dark to light gray.

Carbon Streak: Occasional.

Temper: Fine crushed sherd and/or fine sand.

Surface Finish: White slipped and unslipped; well-polished.

Surface Color: White to light gray.

Forms: Jars, seed jars; bowls relatively rare.


  • Paint: Black.
  • Pigments: Mineral, occasionally mixed with some organics.
  • Design: Solid bold lines; interlocking rectangular scrolls; stepped sides, not barbed; lacks hatching.

Comparisons: Similar to Escavada Black-on-white, but has stepped sides rather than barbed; Reserve Black-on-white is also similar, but has hatched elements; Roosevelt Black-on-white designs are more elaborate; occasionally similar to Sosi Black-on-white, which has carbon-based paint.

Compiled from the following sources:
Zedeño, María Nieves. (1994) Sourcing Prehistoric Ceramics at Chodistaas Pueblo, Arizona: The Circulation of People and Pots in the Grasshopper Region. Anthropological Papers No. 58, University of Arizona Press, Tucson.

Compiled by:
Meghann M. Vance, Northern Arizona University Anthropology Laboratories.