Tularosa Black-on-white

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

Tularosa Black-on-white is a Cibola White Ware type with dense, compact designs that often cover the entire surface of painted vessels, as demonstrated on the olla pictured above. This olla is also interactive!

Archaeological Culture: Ancestral Puebloan

Date Range: ca. A.D. 1200-1325.

Construction: By coiling.

Firing: In a neutral to reducing atmosphere.

Core Color: White to light gray; sometimes darker in the center.

Carbon Streak: Occasional.

Temper: Crushed sherds with sparse to heavy sand.

Surface Finish: Smooth; thick, crackled, and polished white to light gray slip; occasional fireclouds on jars.

Surface Color: White to light gray.

Forms: Bowls, jars, ollas, pitchers, tri-lobed vessels, ladles, mugs, effigies.

Vessel Wall Thickness: 0.3 to 0.6 cm; average 0.4 cm.


  • Paint: Matte or subglaze (rare) black to greenish-black, brown, red-brown, and orange-red.
  • Pigments: Mineral, occasionally mixed with some organics.
  • Design: Balanced opposed solid and hatched designs, including curvilinear scrolls, rectangular bands, and interlocking scrolls; tight, closely spaced designs; oblique fine line hatching common, with occasional longitudinal and cross hatching or basket weave.

Comparisons: Tularosa Black-on-white designs are more compact, and the hatching is parallel to the framing lines and more closely spaced; in Reserve Black-on-white, the hatching intersects the framing lines at a 45 degree angle; Reserve Black-on-white pitchers have shorter necks and more globular bodies.

Tularosa Black-on-white is considered to be the black-on-white version of St. Johns Black-on-red.

Compiled from the following sources:
Kintigh, Keith, Greg Schachner, and Josh Watts. (2003) El Morro Valley Prehistory Project Ceramic Guide (link opens in new window), Arizona State University, Tempe.

Rinaldo, John B., and Elaine A. Bluhm. (1956) Late Mogollon Pottery Types of the Reserve Area. Fieldiana 36(7):149-186.

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