Skip to Content
Closed now, next open tomorrow. Closed now, next open tomorrow.

Storage Jar with Horizontal Bands of Interlocking Scrolls

Round ceramic jar with large black S-shaped geometric designs on cream ground.
CC0 Public Domain Designation

Image actions

  • Round ceramic jar with large black S-shaped geometric designs on cream ground.




Ancestral Pueblo (Anasazi), Black Mesa Black-on-white
Kayenta area, northeastern Arizona, United States

About this artwork

Ancestors of the modern Pueblo Indians, the Anasazi people flourished in the southwestern United States beginning about two thousand years ago. Ruins of their spectacular cliff dwellings and multistory towns of sandstone masonry are widely scattered in northern New Mexico, Arizona, and southern parts of Utah and Colorado. Skilled farmers, the Ancestral Pueblo (Anasazi) were also creative artisans, as seen in this large, striking olla, a storage vessel. Dramatically decorated in the black-on-white ground of the Black Mesa style, the vessel displays a continuous swirling band of barbed, interlocking S shapes. This strong rhythmic pattern is best perceived from above, suggesting that the olla’s usual placement was on the floor. Like most ollas, this vessel originally had a taller neck, which broke off and was ground down by its owner. In Ancestral Pueblo (Anasazi) tradition, as among the Pueblos today, ceramic vessels were primarily made by women. The potter’s wheel was unknown, and skilled artisans created the evenly thin walls of their vessels by the coiling method. In this technique, the pot is built up with successive coils of clay that are then patted and thinned to achieve the final globular shape. Designs are painted using liquefied clay slips with mineral colors before firing the vessel in an open environment instead of a kiln.


Currently Off View


Arts of the Americas


Ancestral Pueblo (Anasazi)


Storage Jar with Horizontal Bands of Interlocking Scrolls


Southwest (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.

875 CE–1130


Ceramic and pigment


43.2 × 45.7 cm (17 × 18 in.)

Credit Line

Tillie C. Cohn Fund

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