The Sinagua Culture evolved in a small area of central Arizona, extending from the area around Flagstaff south into the Verde Valley near Sedona.


The eruption of Sunset Crater in 1064 distributed a layer of ash over much of this area, and people were soon drawn to the much-improved growing conditions. The result was a mixture of Hohokam, Anasazi and Mogollon influences that never fully merged into a single distinctive culture. The character of Sinagua culture varied from site to site, depending on the degree of influence from the various other groups. Pottery construction, house types and the existence of ball courts all point to the Hohokam as the first settlers. Superficial similarities in the appearance of pottery with Mogollon types may be as much due to a commonality of raw materials rather than the importation of technology. Perhaps te best definition of the Sinagua is that it is none of the other major cultures and all of them at the same time.

House Types

Early Sinagua sites consist of shallow pithouses or surface dwellings with wooden upper parts. Later sites are more typical of the Anasazi surface pueblos, sometimes ranged around a kiva.


The pottery of the Sinagua is primarily plain ware, their painted wares being merely copies of contemporary local types. The earliest plain wares were much like Alma Plain of the Mogollon, except that they were made using the paddle-and-anvil method, and forms are more reminiscent of Hohokam types. Paddle-and-anvil construction was apparently the first technology introduced here, suggesting that it was the Hohokam who first expanded into this territory.

Alameda Brown Ware

Alameda Brown Ware

Sinagua utility pottery is categorized as Alameda Brown Ware. The only type represented in the Logan Collections is part of the Sunset Series.

Material: The clay is gray to brown and in early wares is characteristically tempered with abundant crushed sherd, while later wares have fine volcanic cinder.
Construction: Paddle-and-anvil
Firing: Oxidizing atmosphere
Forms: Flaring rims on both bowls and jars typical, and later vessels have a "Gila shoulder", an angled portion of the vessel's curvature which usually lies well below the center.

Sunset Red — 1000 - 1550
Sunset Red was the primary culinary type of the Sinagua. In appearance, it is similar to Reserve Smudged, but it was made with the paddle-and- anvil method.

Late Pueblo II to Pueblo IV