From the receiving end: A ceramic analysis of Pueblo Alamo (LA 8)




Barkwill Love, Lori Lee

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Traditionally, archaeologists believed the Mesa Verde inhabitants migrated to the Northern Rio Grande at the end of the thirteenth century. However, little research has been conducted on thirteenth century sites in the Northern Rio Grande to assess the possibility of this migration. To this end, I undertook a study of the social identity of the Pueblo Alamo community. Pueblo Alamo (LA 8) is a thirteenth century site located in the Santa Fe/Galisteo Basin area of the Northern Rio Grande.

Specifically, this thesis examined whether one or more social groups resided at Pueblo Alamo during its occupation. To accomplish this, I examined the architectural data and conducted an attribute, temper, and petrographic analysis of a sample of decorated (white ware) and utility ware ceramics from Pueblo Alamo. Unfortunately, my analysis of the architectural data and ceramic analysis by roomblock and stratigraphic context were inconclusive in determining the presence of different social groups.

However, following recent theoretical and methodological approaches to technological style and social boundaries, I examined the local white ware to explore issues of social identity on a regional level. Through my analysis of the technological and design attributes of Galisteo and Santa Fe Black-on-white, I was able to suggest that the potters of Galisteo Black-on-white were from a different ethnic/cultural background than the potters of Santa Fe Black-on-white.


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Ceramics, Coalition Period, Galisteo Basin, Northern Rio Grande, Petrographic Analysis, Pueblo Alamo