The Mogollon Culture evolved in the southwestern corner of New Mexico and extended along the Mogollon Rim into east-central and southeast Arizona and southward into the Chihuahua region of northern Mexico. Within this large area, several different pottery traditions are found — their locations are indicated on the map.
The Mogollon seem to have developed from an earlier culture, the Cochise, an archaic culture of small nomadic bands who lived in the more mountainous parts of the territory. The introduction of pottery, probably from the south, signals the beginnings of the culture we call Mogollon. The people grew corn and beans, and were also hunters and gatherers. Villages consisted of small pithouse or pueblo groupings, and usually had a large ceremonial structure known as a kiva. A variety of burial practices were used, most often in shallow pit-graves either intramurally, (inside the dwellings), or in the refuse heaps surrounding the villages.
Early Mogollon pithouses were quite deep and usually round or oval. During the middle of the period, houses became rectangular with rounded corners, and were generally not as deep. By the end of the period, surface pueblos had been adopted, presumably under the influence of the Anasazi to the north.
Mogollon pottery tends to be constructed of iron-rich volcanic clays, which almost invariably fired to a dark brown. Vessels were constructed using the coil-and-scrape technique. These were at first unpainted and decorated only with tooled corrugations. Later red-on-brown and red-on-white types became popular. Eventually, black-on-white types took hold.
Mogollon Brown Ware is divided into several series, reflecting geographic variations. Even so, Mogollon Brown Ware is generally more homogeneous than Anasazi wares, with painted varieties being much closer to their utility ware counterparts.
The Glenwood Series includes the earliest of the Mogollon Brown Wares.
The Mimbres Series of Mogollon Brown Ware includes the characteristic types found in the Mimbres area. Generally considered a subgroup of the Mogollon, we have treated them separately due to the significant difference in lifestyle and pottery.
Due to the excavations at the Starkweather, Hudson and Wheatley Ridge Ruins, the Reserve series is one of the best represented in the Logan Museum Collections.
Rio Grande Series
One bowl was found at the Mattocks Ruin, a Mimbres site, which was clearly an import. It was identified as Three Rivers Red-on-Terracotta, originating well east of the Mimbres Valley in central New Mexico.
The Cibola White Wares are perhaps the most difficult to properly identify because they are widespread and vary only subtly in painted decoration. Furthermore, the "Cibola" range covers both Anasazi and Mogollon areas, being found in eastern Arizona and western New Mexico. Series distinctions allow us to separate types which are primarily Mogollon from those which are Anasazi. The White Mountain Series is the primary Mogollon sequence, to which we add the Socorro Series. Within the White Mountain Series, distinctions rest almost exclusively on differences in painted decoration. At the Starkweather Ruin, from which most of our Cibola White Ware pottery derives, there is tremendous variety within vessels which have in the past been categorized as either "Reserve" or "Tularosa". For these two types, we have created "styles" rather than reclassifying the vessels to a different type altogether. For example, a vessel which shows characteristics of Puerco Black-on-white has been termed "Reserve Black-on-White, Puerco Style". Those examples which were not found at the Starkweather Ruin are categorized under the original types.
Material: The clay is white to dark gray
White Mountain Series
Several different painted styles exist within the Reserve distinction in the pottery from the Starkweather Ruin. these include the Red Mesa, Puerco, Escavada, Reserve, Wingate and Mimbres Styles.
Late Pueblo II/Early Pueblo III
The Tularosa pottery from the Starkweather Ruin has been divided into three styles - Wingate, Snowflake and Tularosa - reflecting similarities in decoration with their source types.
The White Mountain Red Wares pose a problem similar to that of the Cibola White Wares. The range of this ware extends across both Anasazi and Mogollon areas, being found in eastern Arizona and western New Mexico. As with the Cibola White Wares, series distinctions allow us to separate types which are primarily Mogollon from those which are Anasazi, and again the White Mountain Series is the primary Mogollon sequence.
Material: The clay is white to gray, or yellow to orange
All Casas Grandes pottery types fall into the category of Chihuahua Red Ware.
Material: The clay is brown to light tan.