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.

House Types

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. 

Tusayan Gray Ware
Mogollon Brown Ware
Cibola White Ware
White Mountain Red Ware
Chihuahua Red Ware

Mogollon Brown Ware

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.

Glenwood Series

The Glenwood Series includes the earliest of the Mogollon Brown Wares.

San Francisco Red
San Francisco Red is considered a diagnostic type for the Mogollon, as it persists throughout the life of the culture. It was the first slipped ware of the Mogollon, and was often well polished.

Found throughout Mogollon history

Mogollon Red-on-Brown — 700 - 900
Mogollon Red-on-Brown is one of the earliest of the Mogollon painted wares. Designs are rectilinear and are usually composed of multiple parallel lines.

San Francisco Phase

Three Circle Red-on-White — 750-900
Three Circle Red-on-White was contemporaneous with late Mogollon Red-on-Brown. Three Circle vessels have a heavy white slip on the interior. Painting is more refined and designs have more curvilinear and serrated elements.

San Francisco Phase

Mimbres Series

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.

Mimbres Plain
Mimbres Plain seems to be a late, local variant of Alma Plain, as Reserve Smudged was in the Reserve Series.

Mimbres Incised
Mimbres Incised seems to be a late, local variant of Alma Incised. The incised decoration can be narrow, as if drawn with a sharp tool, or wider, as demonstrated in our example.

Mimbres Corrugated
Mimbres Corrugated is related to Upper Gila Corrugated Types, such as Reserve Plain Corrugated, and later, Tularosa Patterned Corrugated.

Mangas Black-on-White
Mangas Black-on-White, (formerly Mimbres Bold Face), is characterized by bold designs and relatively wide linework, and is probably ancestral to Mimbres Black-on-White.

Mimbres Black-on-White Figural
Mimbres Black-on-White is perhaps the most recognizable of the southwestern types, most likely because it is the only type which consistently bears figural subject matter. However, geometric motifs are at least as common.

Mimbres Black-on-White Geometric
Mimbres Black-on-White is perhaps the most recognizable of the southwestern types, most likely because it is the only type which consistently bears figural subject matter. However, geometric motifs are at least as common.

Mimbres Red-on-White
Mimbres Red-on-White is a late variety of Mimbres Black-on-White, being refired in an oxygenizing atmosphere to completely oxidize the paint to a red color.

Mimbres Polychrome
Mimbres Polychrome is identical to Mimbres Black-on-White in all respects except that a yellowish slip has been added to some area to create a three-color composition.

Reserve Series

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.

Alma Plain — 400 - 900
Alma Plain wares were by far the most prevalent cooking ware throughout most of Mogollon history.

Georgetown and San Francisco Phases

Alma Neck Banded — 600 - 900
Alma Neck Banded ware was a variant of Alma Plain ware, but there is an added neck composed of wide flat coils, numbering from three to six and occasionally smoothed.

Georgetown and San Francisco Phases

Alma Incised — 600 - 900
Alma Scored ware was a variant of Alma Plain ware, but there is additional decoration added to the exterior surface in the form of scored lines in regular and irregular patterns.

Georgetown and San Francisco Phases

Alma Punched — 600 - 900
Alma Punched ware was a variant of Alma Plain ware, but vessles were then further decorated by tooling the exterior surface, either in a general, allover fashion or by creating some form of linear patterning.

Georgetown and San Francisco Phases

Three Circle Neck Corrugated — 850 - 1025
Three Circle Neck Corrugated was the descendant of Alma Neck banded, but vessels tended to be larger and the bottom row of coils elaborated.

Three Circle Phase

Reserve Smudged — 900 - 1125
In the Reserve region, little painted pottery appears to have been locally made. Smudged pottery may have been the alternative service and table ware.

Three Circle and Reserve Phases

Reserve Plain Corrugated — 800 - 1125
This type forms the basis for a number of later types. It developed out of Alma Neck Banded, but usually has much finer corrugations.

Three Circle and Reserve Phases

Reserve Incised Corrugated — 900 - 1125
This type is little more than a later version of Alma Neck Banded and Alma Incised wares. The combination of neck-banding and incising is a later development.

Three Circle and Reserve Phases

Reserve Punched Corrugated — 900 - 1125
Like Reserve Incised Corrugated, this type is a fusion of Reserve Plain Corrugated and an earlier Alma type, Alma Punched.

Three Circle and Reserve Phases

Reserve Indented Corrugated — 900 - 1125
The corrugations of this type have been carefully indented with a finger, perhaps to help consolidate the coils.

Three Circle and Reserve Phases

Tularosa Patterned Corrugated - 1100 - 1250
This type is a combination of plain corrugated and indented corrugated types, with the indented areas forming patterns or bands around the vessel.

Tularosa Phase

Tularosa Fillet Rim — 1100 - 1250
This type is not unlike Reserve Smudged, with its plain exterior and smudged interior, but here three to five coils have been left corrugated and indented to create a filleted rim.

Tularosa Phase

Tularosa White-on-Red — 1200 - 1300
This type is based on Tularosa Fillet Rim, but now the area of the bowl below the filets has been given a red slip, and is painted with bold white linear designs.

Tularosa Phase

Starkweather Smudged Decorated  1200-1300
The basis for this type is Tularosa Fillet Rim, with its filleted exterior and smudged interior, but here white-line decoration has been added to the interior of the vessel.

Tularosa Phase

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. 

Three Rivers Red-on-Terracotta - 1100-1300
This type is defined by its terracotta orange clay base, painted over with fine-line patterns of parallel lines and spirals.

Tularosa Phase

El Paso Polychrome — 1200 - 1400
El Paso Polychrome has such an even balance of red, black and yellow that it is often difficult to recognize that the black and red were applied to a brown ground.

Tularosa Phase

Cibola White Ware

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 
Construction: Coiled-and-scraped
Paint: Mineral-based on white slip 
Firing: Reducing atmosphere
Forms: Bowls, jars, effigies, ladles, scoops, seed jars and canteens

White Mountain Series

Snowflake Black-on-White — 1100 - 1250
Designs on this Cibola White Ware type consist of rather busy patterns of interlocking solid elements and parallel lines that tend to meet at right angles.

Early Pueblo III

Reserve Black-on-White — 1030 - 1200

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

Red Mesa Style
Several of the earliest vessels at Starkweather have designs that clearly derive from Red Mesa Black-on-White, including woven bands with elongated triangles lined with dots.

Puerco Style
Puerco Black-on-White is derived from Red Mesa Black-on-White, but lacks the pendant dots. Hatched areas separate panels of solid designs, and banded designs are common.

Reserve Style
Reserve Black-on-White is defined as having a balance of solid and hatched interlocking designs, with hatched areas slightly larger than solids.

Wingate Style
Wingate Black-on-Red has a balance of solid and hatched designs, rectangular or jagged triangular, with hatched areas slightly larger than solids.

Mimbres Style
Mangas Black-on-White has bold solid designs in which a single motif tends to fill the entire bowl. Mimbres Black-on-White has much finer linework and smaller scall design elements. The Mimbres Style, as defined here, covers both types.

Eccentric Styles
Escavada Black-on-White designs are solid, bold and based on interlocking triangles. This style is related to Sosi Black-on-White of the Anasazi Tusayan White Wares. The style also appears in Puerco and Showlow Black-on-Reds.

Tularosa Black-on-White — 1175 - 1300

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.

Pueblo III

Snowflake Style
Several of the vessels from Starkweather have designs that seem to derive from Snowflake Black-on-White pottery. Designs in the Snowflake Style appear as though they are tiled - made up of small panels laid out in grid, checkerboard or herringbone patterns.

Wingate Style
The Wingate Style is named for two related design types that are found consistently on Wingate Black-on-Red pottery. These both consist of matched solid and hatched elements, one rectilinear in nature, the other a jagged, triangular pattern.

Tularosa Style
Classic Tularosa Style designs are based on spirals, considered a diagnostic feature of the type. The spiral-stairstep motif appears to be the most advanced development.

Socorro Series

Socorro Black-on-White — 950 - 1400
Socorro Black-on-White is found between Albuquerque and Socorro, New Mexico, and was the predominant black-on-white type in that area for several centuries.

Early Pueblo II

White Mountain Red Ware

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 
Construction: Coiled-and-scraped
Paint: Mineral or organic-based, (glaze paints are late) on thick limonite or hematite slip. 
Firing: Oxidizing atmosphere
Forms: Bowls, jars, pitchers, dippers, canteens, effigies

Pinedale Polychrome — 1275 - 1350
The first glaze paints were used in this White Mountain Red Ware type, which have distinctive black intrior designs and exterior motifs accented with white.

Late Pueblo III/Pueblo IV

Cedar Creek Polychrome — 1300 - 1375
This White Mountain Red Ware type has interlocking solid and hatched elements, one or both outlined in white.

Pueblo IV

Four Mile Polychrome — 1325 - 1400
Interior patterns on this White Mountain Red Ware type are asymmetrical and outlined in white, while exteriors bands of regularized interlocking motifs.

Pueblo IV

Chihuahua Red Ware

All Casas Grandes pottery types fall into the category of Chihuahua Red Ware.

Material: The clay is brown to light tan.
Construction: Coiling-and-scraping
Firing: Oxidizing atmosphere
Forms: Bowls and jars, effigies.

Mata Red-on-Brown
Mata Red-on-Brown grew out of the earlier Victoria Red-on-Brown. These both developed from the textured wares prevalent during the Viejo period.

Viejo Period

Dublan Polychrome
Dublan Polychrome is found only in a narrow band along the Santa Maria River from just southeast of Paquimé up into southern New Mexico. The type probably grew out of Medanos Red-on-Brown, and is transitional to Ramos Polychrome.

Medio Period

Playas Red Incised
Playas Red Incised is found in the immediate vicinity of Paquimé, and along the Santa Maria valley to the southeast. This type is a later plain ware advancement over the earlier corrugated wares which had their origins in Mogollon land.

Medio Period

Corralitos Polychrome
Corralitos Polychrome Incised has a relatively small range, being found around Paquimé and a short distance to the south. It appears to be the polychrome version of Playas Red Incised.

Medio Period

Madera Black-on-Red
Madera Black-on-Red is found throughout the same range as Babicora Polychome, primarily to the south of Paquimé.

Medio Period

Babicora Polychrome
Babicora Polychrome was produced mainly in the region to the south of Paquimé, but it is found all the way into southern New Mexico.

Medio Period

Carretas Polychrome
Carretas Polychrome designs are similar to Babicora Polychrome, but are generally limited to a single band rather than multiple bands. The type is found primarily to the north and west of Paquimé.

Medio Period

Huerigos Polychrome
Huerigos Polychrome is identical to Carretas Polychrome, except that in addition to the red and black painted decoration, a white slip is also present.

Medio Period

Escondida Polychrome
Escondida Polychrome is very similar to the Salado Polychromes being produced in southeastern Arizona.

Medio Period

Villa Ahumada Polychrome
Villa Ahumada Polychrome is probably a precursor to Ramos Polychrome. Its range is nearly as wide, but it centers not in Paquimé but further to the east. Although the painted decoration is well executed, the slip is chalky and often flakes off.

Medio Period

Ramos Polychrome
Ramos Polychrome represents the pinnacle of achievement in Casas Grandes ceramics. Although the focus is around Paquimé, the type is more widespread than any other, covering the entire range of the Casas Grandes culture.

Medio Period

Ramos Black
Ramos Black can be found over a wide range, from the Santa Maria valley to southern New Mexico and Arizona, but it is highly concentrated in the area around Paquimé.

Medio Period