Artifact Gallery -- Mug
This mug, made in the 13th century (A.D. 1200s), represents the exceptional artistic expression of the Ancestral Puebloan people. Mesa Verde pottery typically featured black geometric patterns applied with a yucca paintbrush on a grayish white background. These patterns were remarkable for their balance and design.
Pottery first appeared in Mexico, and by A.D. 400 to A.D. 500, it was made in Mesa Verde. Ancestral Puebloans experimented with adding a tempering material such as sand or finely ground grit from the region to keep pottery from cracking as it dried. The pottery was then fired and decorated using dye from Beeweed, which satisfied both utilitarian and aesthetic uses.
Did You Know?
In 1891, Swedish scientist Gustaf Nordenskiold studied, explored, and photographed many of Mesa Verde’s cliff dwellings. Considered by many to be the first true archeologist at Mesa Verde, his book, "The Cliff Dwellers of the Mesa Verde," was the first extensive record of its cliff dwellings.