Artifact Gallery - Mug

Black-on-white 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.

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Last updated: October 27, 2017

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