Production for Local Consumption and Exchange: Comparisons of Early Red and White Ware Ceramics in the San Juan Region


ceramic, archaeology, Northern San Juan region, prehistoric southwest, pueblo


Archaeologists have long recognized that different kinds of ceramics were distributed very differently in the prehistoric Southwest; some appear to have been widely exchanged, whereas others had a much more restricted and localized distribution. Ceramic exchange and its implications for regional economic systems have been the focus of recent research (e.g., Doyel 1991; Plog 1986; Toll 1991). However, the production of those ceramics—including whether and to what degree production was specialized—has received much less attention (though see Bishop et al. 1988; Crown 1994; Graves 1994). Our goal here, as part of this volume, is to focus specifically on understanding ceramic production in relation to distribution and exchange.

This chapter addresses the problem by comparing ceramics that were distributed at different scales in the prehistoric Southwest. Specifically, the focus is on red and white ware ceramics in the Northern San Juan region (fig. 2.1) during the ninth and early tenth centuries A.D., the late Pueblo I and very early Pueblo II periods. The white ware types appear to have been made and used locally, whereas the red ware types were distributed well beyond their zone of production. We proceed by first examining data on ceramic distribution. Then we consider compositional data to gain information about production sources. Finally, we evaluate the standardization of the ceramics to understand the organization of production in more detail.

Original Publication Citation

Michelle Hegmon, Winston Hurst, and James R. Allison 1995 Production for Local Consumption and Exchange: Comparisons of Early Red and White Ware Ceramics in the San Juan Region. In The Organization of Ceramic Production in the American Southwest, edited by Barbara Mills and Patricia Crown, pp. 30-62. University of Arizona Press, Tucson.

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Book Chapter

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University of Arizona Press




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