Technological Behavior in the Southwest: Pueblo I Lead Glaze Paints from the Upper San Juan Region

Abstract

Although widely employed in Eurasia, lead glazes were produced in only two small regions of the Americas prior to European contact, both in the Southwest. Southwestern glaze paints are unique in that they developed as decorative elements instead of as protective surface coatings. The first independent invention of glaze paints was in the Upper San Juan region of southwestern Colorado during the early Pueblo I period (ca. 700-850 CE). Despite recent interest in the later Pueblo IV glaze paints of New Mexico (ca. 1275-1700 CE), there have been no technological analyses of the Pueblo I glaze paints. This research project presents the first analysis and technological reconstruction of the Pueblo I glaze paints. It is in the production of the glaze paints that the potters were innovating and experimenting with materials. These early glaze paints have the potential to provide important information regarding both technology of production as well as the relationships and interactions of potters during this period in the Upper San Juan region. Preliminary results reveal a pattern of traits that involves raw materials, processing, properties and performance of the final product suggesting the existence of a patterned technological behavior.

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Correspondence to Brunella Santarelli.

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Santarelli, B., Killick, D. & Goff, S. Technological Behavior in the Southwest: Pueblo I Lead Glaze Paints from the Upper San Juan Region. MRS Online Proceedings Library 1656, 3–8 (2014). https://doi.org/10.1557/opl.2014.813

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