Holbrook B Black-on-white

Holbrook B Black-on-white bowl from the Museum of Northern Arizona collections. Click the image to open the Holbrook B Black-on-white gallery.

Holbrook B Black-on-white is a type of Little Colorado White Ware found primarily along the Little Colorado River from the Petrified Forest National Monument area to the San Francisco Mountains.  While Holbrook A has design characteristics similar to the Black Mesa Black-on-white type of Tusayan White Ware, Holbrook B is more similar to Sosi Black-on-white.

Archaeological Culture: Ancestral Puebloan

Date Range: A.D. 1025-1140 (per Christian Downum, Northern Arizona University).

Construction: By coiling.

Firing: In a reducing atmosphere.

Core Color: Gray.

Carbon Streak: None.

Temper: Abundant opaque angular fragments, sherd, gray or tan, varying size mostly fine, occasional grains of quartz sand.

Surface Finish: Interior and exterior bowl surfaces coated with moderately heavy white slip; sometimes chalky and fugitive on exterior surface; interior surface fairly well polished, sometimes coarsely crazed, scraping marks noticeable through slip on undecorated surfaces, exterior surface not smoothed, not polished, sometimes bumpy, often pitted.

Surface Color: Gray or white.

Forms: Bowls.

Vessel Thickness: 3.7 to 5.9 mm.


  • Paint: Black to gray organic paint, soaks into the slip.
  • Pigments: Carbon.
  • Design: Holbrook B displays design elements that are similar to Sosi Black-on-white, particularly elongated triangles, and broad line designs.

Comparisons: Sosi Black-on-white is similar but has abundant quartz sand temper, no conspicuous slip, and no sherd temper.  Holbrook A, though generally the same in manufacture and overall appearance, has designs more consistent with Black Mesa Black-on-white.

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.

Hays-Gilpin, K., and Eric Van Hartesveldt. (1998) Prehistoric Ceramics of the Puerco Valley: The 1995 Chambers-Sanders Trust Lands Ceramic Conference. Museum of Northern Arizona, Flagstaff, Arizona

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