Ceramic Field Identification Manual
Agua Fria National Monument Project

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Jeddito Yellow Ware - Type: Bidahochi Polychrome



DATES: A.D. 1315 – 1375


GEOGRAPHIC RANGE: Produced in the Hopi villages and widely traded to early PIV sites (Colton 1956, Ware 7B – Type 5). This includes sites in northern and central Arizona.


Construction: Coil built.

Thinning: Thinned by scraping

Finishing: Smooth and highly polished, compacted, occasionally few whitish or yellowish flakes visible on surface (Colton 1956, Ware 7B – Type 5). Never slipped. Interior surfaces were carefully wiped, with scraping striations nearly obliterated. Neck interiors were usually polished, although many are bumpy and less even than exterior surfaces.


Temper: Fine quartz sand, rarely visible to the naked eye, occasionally reddish angular fragments; sand temper rarely visible without glasses either in cross-section or on vessel surfaces (Colton 1956, Ware 7B – Type 5). See pictures of temper on the Awatovi Black-on-yellow and Jeddito Black-on-yellow type description pages.

Core Color: Surface color is yellow, pinkish in some specimens, and occasionally orange or metallic (if oven-fired). Surface and core do not contrast except in over-fired specimens (Colton 1956, Ware 7B – Type 5). Smith (1971: 561) identified the following paste colors of Bidahochi Polychrome based on analysis of specimens from Awatovi Pueblo: light red, pink, very pale brown, reddish-yellow, and yellow. Proportions of specimens exhibiting the variety of colors were very similar to those of Awatovi Black-on-yellow.

Clay: Very finely to finely granular (Colton 1956, Ware 7B – Type 5; Smith 1971: 562).

Core Texture: Vessel walls are strong (Colton 1956, Ware 7B – Type 5; Smith 1971: 562)

Fracture: Shattering

Surface Appearance: Decorated surfaces were described as “slick” (Smith 1971: 561).

Surface Color: Surface color is yellow, pinkish in some specimens, and occasionally orange or metallic (if oven-fired). Surface and core do not contrast except in over-fired specimens (Colton 1956, Ware 7B – Type 5)

Firing Clouds:

Thickness: Jar walls: 5 to 8.3 mm, average about 6.5 mm (Colton 1956, Ware 7B – Type 5). Bowl walls: 3 to 7.4 mm; greatest individual range recorded, 2.2 mm; average thickness 6 mm (Colton and Hargrave 1937).

Weathering and Use Wear Patterns:

Vessel Forms: Bowls, jars and ladles (Colton 1956, Ware 7B – Type 5; Smith 1971: 562) are all represented, with bowls the most common vessel form. Maximum bowl diameter at Awatovi Pueblo was 24 cm, with ladles measuring to between 10 and 12 cm in diameter. Vessel bottoms were slightly flattened with heights less than diameters. Jars appear to be relatively small in size.

Rims: Vessels exhibit direct as well as slightly incurved rims. Vessels also have rounded rim lips, and a slight thickening on the inside. Specimens may also exhibit rim beveling as well as moderate tapering with a very slight outward flare (Smith 1971: 562; Colton 1956, Ware 7B – Type 5).

Paint Type: Black and white that is probably derived from minerals; white paint always used in outlining black paint. Black was almost always dense and matte, with clean-cut edges. At Awatovi Pueblo, the “black” paint, however, was only a true black color approximately one-third of the time. The paint of another one-third of the specimens was a dark reddish brown, with the remaining specimens a dusky red or very dusky red color. Some specimens reported by Smith exhibited the following colors: dark reddish gray, dark reddish brown, reddish brown, weak red and reddish yellow. The white paint is generally thick and does not appear thin or ghostlike (Smith 1971: 561). Designs include solid, geometric black elements with white outlines (Hays 1991: 26, 46). Decoration is present on jar interiors as well as the interior and sometimes exterior surfaces of bowls (Colton 1956, Ware 7B – Type 5).

Decoration: Designs are geometric and also include isolated elements in open layouts. Bowl interiors: Bowls exhibit framing lines below the rim, which were often broken. Bowl interior layouts are both zonal and radial. Designs on zonal layouts include simple filling elements, such as corbelling superimposed on a series of circumferential lines or rows of opposed stepped triangles. Among the many radial layout designs are offset-quartered and off-set tri-quartered by double, re-entrant radii forms (Smith 1971: 563). Bowl exteriors: Designs are large, independent, isolated elements, in a rectangular fret or S-figure, with stepped or keyed terminals. Exterior designs are painted in black with white outlines (Smith 1971: 563). Jar Designs: Decoration generally consists of broad black bands; solid, stepped triangles; cross-hatched panels; multi-circuit, narrow-line, rectangular involutes; and longitudinal hatching. Thin lines of white paint outlines black designs (Smith 1971: 563).

Varieties: None

COMPARISON: Bidahochi Polychrome is similar in design and technological attributes to Awatovi Black-on-yellow, differing only in the application of a white outline in designs elements in the former. Bidahochi Polychrome is also very similar in design and technology to Bidahochi Black-on-white, with the major difference between these types being firing atmosphere (oxidizing versus reduced) and number of colors used in the vessel (polychrome versus bichrome) (Smith 1971).

REMARKS: Bidahochi Polychrome is similar to Awatovi Black-on-yellow, both technologically and stylistically, differing only by the addition of a white outline in design elements. Colton (1956, Ware 7B – Type 5) reports that Bidahochi Polychrome designs follow from those of Kayenta Polychrome of the 1200s. White outlining on designs is also present on the later White Mountain Red Wares and Homol’ovi Polychrome (Hays 1991: 45). Bidahochi Polycrhome is most often confused with Homol’ovi Polychrome, which is softer, has more temper, is not as yellow in color, and was fired at a lower temperature. Huckovi Polychrome has similar designs and paste characteristics but has bright orange paste. Kokop Polychrome has a red to orange slip on yellow paste.

* For more Bidahochi Polychrome information and images, see Beloit College's Logan Museum website.


Authored by: Jeanne Stevens Shofer

Authored by: 2005 NAU Ceramic Analysis class and Prof. Kelley Hays-Gilpin
Northern Arizona University - Anthropology Department

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