Ceramic Field Identification Manual
Agua Fria National Monument Project

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Jeddito Yellow Ware - Type: Jeddito Black-on-yellow


PERIOD: Pueblo IV to Historic

DATES: A.D. 1350- historic


GEOGRAPHIC RANGE: Produced in the Hopi villages, primarily on Antelope and Third Mesas. Traded extensively across the Southwest, though primarily in northern, central, and east-central Arizona.


See Ware Desription, except:

Temper: Usually characterized as having no temper visible at 10x magnification (Lyons and Hays-Gilpin 2001:157). When inclusions are present, composed of sparse, very fine quartz sand, rarely visible to the naked eye (Hays 1991:24). Finely crushed sherd very rare (Smith 1971:479). Clay may be self tempered with small amounts of very fine sand or, occaionaly, naturally ocurring small red ferruginous particles (Smith 19971:479). Over time, temper was gradually phased out in yellow ware production (Lyons and Hays-Gilpin 2001:151).

Core Color: Generally creamy yellow, pinkish in rare cases (Colton and Hargrave 1937:151). Both core and surface colors relatively homogenous with 90% of the Homol'ovi II samples within 10YR Munsell color chart: 60% within range of yellow to pale brown, 30%white to very light yellow; very few characterized as reddish yellow, outside 10YR Munsell color page (Smith 1971:476).

Surface Appearance: Very smooth and highly polished.

Surface Color: Creamy yellow predominates, though darker, buff color can occur. over-fired specimens tend to be more orange or metallic (Colton and Hargrace 1937:151). No contrast in color between core and surface, homogenous throughout.

Thickness: Bowls range in thickness from 3.7 to 10 mm, averaging about 6.1 mm. Jar walls range in thickness from 4.3 to 9 mm, averaging about 6 mm (Colton and Hargrave 1937:151). These measures based on data before Awatovi Black-on-yellow was split out of Jeddito Black-on-yellow, and so includes both types.

Vessel Forms: Primarily bowls and ladles, jars much less common. Bowls: oblate hemisphere with incurved rim (see Ware description). Jars: same as Awatovi Black-on-yellow except more squat; framing lines with "ceremonial break" located above and below body design; high, sharply curving shoulder (Hays 1991:25).

Rims: Bowls: incurved, maximum diameter 2 to 3 cm below rim. Jars: often flaring, or s-shpaed rims painted on inner, exposed surface with line or geometrical design (Hays 1991:25).

Paint Type: Black paint composed of iron-manganese with iron-oxide pigments (Shepard 1971:182), varying in density and color from black to brown, but relatively homogenous when compared to Awatovi Black-on-yellow (Smith 1971:478).

Decoration: Vary greatly in skill of execution of designs. Bowl interiors and jar exteriors always decorated; bowl exteriors sometimes decorated; jar interiors somtimes painted on interior of flared lip (Colton and Hargrave 1937:147). Designs: Primarily open, free-flowing disigns; life-forms relatively common. In later styles, paint spattering is common and designs are still open but with more compact black elements and "underworld" figures comprised of squiggle lines and filled circular "heads."

Awatovi Black-on-yellow. Colton (1956) had made a distinction between early and late styles of Jeddito Black-on-yellow; Smith (1971) formalized this distinction by creating a new type for the early style: Awatovi Black-on-yellow. Smith (1971) and Hays (1991) corroborates this distinction as well, both noting the difference in temper (Awatovi Black-on-yellow had less homogenous fine sand temper with red angular fragments), paste (Awatovi Black-on-yellow displayed a greater variability in the range of paste color, firing occasionally to slight red tones), paint (Awatovi Black-on-yellow displayed a greater variability in the range of paint color), and design styles (Awatovi Black-on-yellow was dominated by symmetrical, geometric designs) (Benitez 1998; Hays 1991; Smith 1971). Smith (1971:476) noted a statistical difference in color range between Awatovi and Jeddito Black-on-yellow types: Jeddito Black-on-yellow was more homogenous in paste and surface color. Jeddito Black-on-yellow paste and surface color is lighter in color; the paste is finer with no visible temper (generally); and designs are more open, often employing less precise brushwork, and often depicting asymmetrical designs and life forms. Yet, because Awatovi Black-on-yellow represents a transitional type (Smith 1971), paste texture, temper, surface color, and design styles (to a lesser degree) vary along a continuum, so that an integrade category exists - an Awatovi-Jeddito Black-on-yellow (Lyons and Hays-Gilpin 2001:151).

Jeddito Stippled and Jeddito Engraved are variant types that develop about the same time as Paayu Polychrome and some of the other variants, sometime after A.D. 1350. This period seems to be marked by an inventiveness or experimentation with new design techniques. While designs are very similar, how they are represented varies by density of paint applied (Paayu Polychrome), splattering or sponge-like application of paint (Jeddito Stippled), or engraved designs from painted regions (Jeddito Engraved).

Jeddito Black-on-yellow is distinct from related polychrome types. Where Paayu Polychrome employs different densities of black paint to achieve a multi-colored vessel, Jeddito Black-on-yellow displays similar density of paint across the whole vessle (meaning the same density of paint is applied across the whole vessel design, appearing homogenous rather than multi-colored or mult-densitied). Similarly, while design styles may be similar to Paayu Polychrome or early Sikyatki Polychrome, Jeddito Black-on-yellow does not use actual, or illusory, paint of different colors.

REMARKS: Jeddito Black-on-yellow roughly coeval with Sikyatki Polychrome, though perhaps slightly earlier (Lyons and Hays-Gilpin 2001; Smith 1971)

Authored by: Elizabeth Nichols

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

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