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

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

Date:

A.D. 875/1130

Artist:

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.

On View

Arts of the Americas, Gallery 136

Artist

Ancestral Pueblo (Anasazi)

Title

Storage Jar with Horizontal Bands of Interlocking Scrolls

Origin

Southwest

Date

875 AD–1130

Medium

Ceramic and pigment

Dimensions

43.2 × 45.7 cm (17 × 18 in.)

Credit Line

Tillie C. Cohn Fund

Reference Number

1976.307

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 .

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