Rio Grande Glaze A

Rio Grande Glaze A bowl sherd exterior. Click the image to open the Rio Grande Glaze A gallery.

Rio Grande Glaze A is one of six varieties of the Rio Grande Glaze series of Rio Grande Glaze Ware.  The varieties are based on rim shape, with Glaze A having incurved rims with rounded or square lips.

Archaeological Culture: Ancestral Puebloan

Date Range: A.D. 1300-1500.

Construction: Coiling, followed by scraping,

Firing: In an oxidizing atmosphere.

Core Color: Deep red to light gray and buff-gray.

Temper: Usually mixed igneous rock, occasionally with sherds mixed in; may be olivine diabase.

Surface Finish: Thin to thick slip on exterior of jars and interior and exterior of bowls; polish ranges from streaky to well-polished; red slip may be a self-slip; slip ranges in color.

Surface Color: Yellow to buff, sometimes reddish.


  • Paint: Thin glaze ranging from a thin matte with small streaks of vitrification to a shiny glaze; color usually intense black but may be grayish; paint is well controlled, not runny.
  • Design: Thick parallel lines, slashes, crosses, pendant triangles, lines, squiggle hatching, cross-hatching, steps, dots ,ticks, checkerboards, eyes, feathers, occasionally anthropomorphs.

Comparisons: Glaze A is differentiated from variants B-F primarily by rim attributes.  San Clemente Glaze Polychrome is a Glaze A type painted with black glaze paint.

Compiled from the following sources:
Eckert, Suzanne L. (2008) Pottery and Practice: The Expression of Identity at Pottery Mound and Hummingbird Pueblo. University of New Mexico Press. Albuquerque.

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