American pottery dinnerware design dating
The figurative painting on the bowls—sophisticated composite animals and complex scenes and stories—sets Mimbres pottery apart from that of neighboring cultures, where geometric shapes dominated.
The Swarts Ranch site was chosen because it was relatively intact.They also painted feathered serpents and other mythical creatures.They portrayed ceremonial and everyday human scenes, too: a ritual dancer; a hunter bringing home a kill, trailed by dogs; a mother birthing a baby.Their foundational work soon resulted in Harvard’s Peabody Museum asking the pair to lead detailed excavations at the Swarts Ranch site in southern New Mexico.Their investigation lasted from 1924 to 1927 and included the recovery of almost 700 Classic black-on-white bowls.They smoothed the insides with stones, applying a fine white clay slip over brown clay, and then brushed on black paint made by mixing ground iron ore and a plant-derived binder, probably with yucca brushes.
Animals depicted include prey species such as deer, pronghorns, and jackrabbits; insects such as grasshoppers; spiders; snakes; and fish.
Mogollon is one of three major cultures of the ancient American Southwest, along with the Anasazi, also referred to as the Ancestral Pueblo, and the Hohokam.
The Ancestral Pueblo are known for large, sophisticated village sites and road systems, such as Pueblo Bonito at Chaco Canyon.
Thereafter, archaeological work stalled until the 1970s, though looting of Mimbres sites persisted.
When pothunters began to use heavy machinery in the 1970s, destroying sites in the process, Le Blanc formed the Mimbres Foundation, which helped restart work on the culture at sites such as Mattocks Ruin in the southwestern corner of New Mexico.
The Mimbres region stretched east to the Rio Grande and west to the Gila River Valley, in what is today southwestern Arizona. People built pueblos, living in densely packed villages along the Mimbres River Valley, with a large increase in population during that time bringing their total numbers as high as 6,000.