Pottery Pieces from the Past

Growing up in the Sonoran Desert, with it’s long history of human habitation (extending back at least 9,000 years), I learned early on to look for clues. Whether hiking or horseback riding my eyes constantly scanned the desert floor for lithics or sherds. I scrambled over boulders looking for petroglyphs and metates. I studied the landscape looking for human alterations.

Seldom was I disappointed, this area is rich with hints of those who have gone before. My fascination with those distant lifeways had a profound influence on me, it ultimately led to my degree in Archaeology. While I don’t work in that field I am just as interested as ever.

So imagine how delighted I was to find these sherds in my own backyard! I had always hoped to find something on this property but after six years, I had given up.

Based on the undecorated and unrefined surfaces this was probably plain ware, meant for everyday use. Two slight ridges running parallel suggest the vessel was made using the coil method. My thumb fits perfectly in one of the depressions – did the potter’s thumb fit there, too? We’re separated by hundreds of years yet I can picture the capable hands; coiling and smoothing.

These aren’t the most beautiful fragments, they aren’t large or painted or stylized, but I think they’re wonderful!IMG_2762

Categories: Observations


  1. I think they’re wonderful too, and so honored to have been there when you found the first two!


  2. I think you brought me luck! I can’t tell you how many times I’ve walked through that area and didn’t see a thing…


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