Skip to Content
Today Open today 10–11 members | 11–5 public

Jar with Horned Serpents and Interlocking, Hatched-and-Black Stepped Designs

A work made of ceramic and pigment.
CC0 Public Domain Designation

Image actions

  • A work made of ceramic and pigment.




Ancestral Pueblo (Anasazi), Socorro Black-on-white
West-central New Mexico, United States

About this artwork

Horned or plumed serpents, mythical entities associated with the life-giving power of water, have an ancient history in the art of the American Southwest, Midwest, and Southeast. On the shoulder of this vessel, twin highly abstract serpents stretch out from a central point, from which rises a series of superimposed stepped chevrons. The chevron is a symbolic motif widely associated with mountains, springs, rivers, and rising thunderstorms. The overall composition of this jar suggests the symbolic representation of a sacred landscape and the ritual summoning of water.


On View, Gallery 136


Arts of the Americas


Ancestral Pueblo (Anasazi)


Jar with Horned Serpents and Interlocking, Hatched-and-Black Stepped Designs


New Mexico (Object made in)

Date  Dates are not always precisely known, but the Art Institute strives to present this information as consistently and legibly as possible. Dates may be represented as a range that spans decades, centuries, dynasties, or periods and may include qualifiers such as c. (circa) or BCE.

950 CE–1400


Ceramic and pigment


42.6 × 41.3 cm (16 3/4 × 16 1/4 in.)

Credit Line

Gift of Edward and Betty Harris

Reference Number


IIIF Manifest  The International Image Interoperability Framework (IIIF) represents a set of open standards that enables rich access to digital media from libraries, archives, museums, and other cultural institutions around the world.

Learn more.

Extended information about this artwork

Object information is a work in progress and may be updated as new research findings emerge. To help improve this record, please email . Information about image downloads and licensing is available here.


Sign up for our enewsletter to receive updates.

Learn more

Image actions