Provenance and microprobe assays of phyllite-tempered ceramics from the uplands of Central Arizona

David Abbott, Andrew D. Lack, Mark R. Hackbarth

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

8 Scopus citations


The ceramics in use across a broad upland zone of central Arizona during the early Classic period (ca. A.D. 1100-1300) were characterized by a lack of mineralogical variability; nearly all of the clay containers were tempered with one rock type, phyllite. Consequently, nearly all of the upland pottery is assigned to a single pottery type, Wingfield Plain. This compositional uniformity has frustrated ceramic provenance studies, and, as a result, little has been learned previously about the organization of ceramic production and exchange in the upland territory. There are, however, considerable and interpretable chemical differences in the phyllite-tempered wares, as shown with microanalyses of the temper fragments and pottery clay fractions with an electron microprobe. The chemical patterning is useful for investigating issues pertaining to the upland zone, including the organization of ceramic manufacture, community arrangements, and pottery transactions during a time of prevalent hostilities in central Arizona.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)213-242
Number of pages30
Issue number2
StatePublished - 2008

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Archaeology
  • Archaeology
  • Earth and Planetary Sciences (miscellaneous)


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