The Casas Grandes Culture evolved between AD 1150 and AD 1450 along the river valleys of northern Mexico, extending northward into extreme southern New Mexico and Arizona. The cultural center was the town of Paquimé, also known as Casas Grandes, located along the Rio Casas Grandes. The developmental boom of Casas Grandes culture did not occur until after about 1300.
The people of Casas Grandes seem to have been more closely affiliated with the Mesoamerican peoples to the south than the Mogollon or Hohokam to the north. Platform mounds and ballcourts for ritual activities are characteristic features of Central American cultures at this time. Family groups lived along the river drainages, and developed extensive irrigation systems. The town of Paquimé was a major trading center, through which such luxury items as shells, copper, macaws and pottery made their way into Arizona and New Mexico from Central America.
Early Casas Grandes sites consist of groups of shallow pithouses arranged around a larger community house. Square contiguous surface rooms followed at a later period. The pithouses and surface rooms were constructed of an advnced form of jacal, a type of wattle-and-daub construction. The plaza grouping became more prevalent and probably housed lineages, groups of people with common ancestors. Ultimately, a form of poured adobe walls was developed.
Early Casas Grandes pottery was similar to the red and brown wares of the Mogollon. These are often decorated with red geometric designs, usually banded. Later, distinctive polychrome varieties appeared, perhaps under the influence of West Mexican Nayarit or Jalisco pottery.
Chihuahua Red Ware
All Casas Grandes pottery types fall into the category of Chihuahua Red Ware.
Material: The clay is brown to light tan.