Mixed Me­dia "The Late Sur­vival of Río Grande Glaze Wares,” a lec­ture by James L. Moore

Pasatiempo - - CONTENTS - — Paul Wei­de­man

One of the un­ex­pected find­ings from ar­chae­o­log­i­cal digs per­formed be­fore con­struc­tion of the Drury Plaza Ho­tel in­volves Río Grande Glaze Ware. This is a type of Pue­blo pot­tery pre­vi­ously thought to have faded out at the time of the 1680-1692 Pue­blo Re­volt. “Glaze wares are a late-pre­his­toric and early-His­toric Pe­riod type of ware pro­duced by the Pue­b­los, mostly the Keres and pue­b­los in the Gal­is­teo Basin, and they have de­signs made with a lead glaze,” said James L. Moore, project di­rec­tor of the Mu­seum of New Mex­ico’s Of­fice of Ar­chae­o­log­i­cal Stud­ies (OAS). “The Re­volt was prob­a­bly part of the death knell for the type, but glaze wares do seem to have con­tin­ued in pro­duc­tion into the early 1700s, prob­a­bly dis­ap­pear­ing by the end of the sec­ond decade, at the very lat­est.”

Moore goes into de­tail about the find­ings from the 2008-2014 ex­ca­va­tions in a free talk, “Into the Eigh­teenth Cen­tury: The Late Sur­vival of Río Grande Glaze Wares.” Part of the OAS Brown Bag series, the talk is at noon Tues­day, March 21, at the Cen­ter for New Mex­ico Ar­chae­ol­ogy (7 Old Co­chití Road; 505-476-4044).

A prob­a­ble fac­tor in the demise of Río Grande Glaze Ware was Na­tive pot­ters us­ing re­fined lead from Span­ish set­tlers: The pot­ters may have lost, or forsaken, the tech­nol­ogy that formerly de­pended on col­lect­ing lead ore — or the Span­ish may have with­held the sup­ply of re­fined lead. “I’m not a ceram­i­cist, but I got in­ter­ested in this be­cause the Span­ish Colo­nial de­posits at the Drury site look like they date to the first cou­ple decades of the 1700s,” Moore said. “They con­tain a siz­able per­cent­age of Río Grande Glaze Ware, as well as a lot of Tewa wares, and since we had fairly firm dates for the Mex­i­can ma­joli­cas that were oc­cur­ring in the same de­posits, we could tell that these glaze wares post-dated the Pue­blo Re­volt.” His team also un­cov­ered foun­da­tions of sev­eral Sis­ters of Char­ity build­ings, in­clud­ing an 1853 sem­i­nary and an 1890 or­phan­age.

Moore is also di­rec­tor of the OAS lab for an­a­lyz­ing chipped-stone ar­ti­facts, such as Na­tive Amer­i­can hide-scrap­ers and ham­mer­stones and Span­ish strike-a-light flints. A to­tal of 7,479 ar­ti­facts dat­ing from the 17th to early 20th cen­turies were un­earthed at the Drury site. Among them were a chert bi­face (hand axe) and 80 other chipped-stone ob­jects. Many chipped-stone tools were used by the Span­ish as sub­sti­tutes for metal tools, which were ex­pen­sive and dif­fi­cult to ac­quire un­til the es­tab­lish­ment of the Santa Fe Trail in 1821. Moore’s data­base of chipped­stone ob­jects in­cludes more than a quar­ter of a mil­lion ar­ti­facts dat­ing back to the Fol­som tra­di­tion in the Pa­le­oin­dian Pe­riod, about 10,000 years ago.

Both ves­sels are ex­am­ples of Río Grande Glaze Ware from San Lazaro Pue­blo. The piece above is a late pre­his­toric San Lazaro Poly­chrome ves­sel; the other is a 17th-cen­tury Ko­ty­iti Glaze-on-yel­low jar; photos Eric Blin­man, cour­tesy For­rest Fenn

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