Winslow Orange Ware and the ancestral Hopi migration horizon

TitleWinslow Orange Ware and the ancestral Hopi migration horizon
Publication TypeThesis
Year of Publication2001
AuthorsLyons, P
Academic DepartmentAnthropology
UniversityUniversity of Arizona
KeywordsAncestral, Arizona, Hopi, Migration, Winslow Orange Ware

This project involved instrumental neutron activation analysis of 428 ceramic vessels and clays, typological analysis of 1135 vessels, and stylistic analysis of more than 400 bowls. Most of the items analyzed were recovered from the Homol'ovi villages, a group of eight Pueblo III-Pueblo IV (circa A.D. 1250-1400) sites located near Winslow, Arizona. These studies were conducted in order to address the question of the origin(s), geographically speaking, of the ancient inhabitants of the Homol'ovi villages.

The results of the compositional analysis indicate local production of Winslow Orange Ware at Homol'ovi and in the Petrified Forest. Circulation of Winslow Orange Ware to the Anderson Mesa area, the Tonto Basin, and the Verde Valley is also evident. Furthermore, among the earliest ceramic assemblages from the Homol'ovi sites were found locally-produced versions of ancestral Hopi pottery types and vessel forms. The compositional data also point to local production of Roosevelt Red Ware at Homol'ovi and in the Petrified Forest.

The whole vessel study resulted in the observation that most Winslow Orange Ware vessels represent attempts to produce Jeddito Orange Ware using materials indigenous to the Middle Little Colorado River Valley. An examination of the dating and distribution of different kiva forms revealed that Homol'ovi ceremonial architecture reflects western Kayenta and Tusayan patterns, supporting the ceramic-based inference of ancestral Hopi migration. Placing these results in broader context, it is possible to discern an ancestral Hopi migration horizon which corresponds with what has been called the Salado archaeological culture or the "Salado phenomenon."

By examining Hopi oral texts, it was observed that many include information that correlates with archaeological and anthropological models of Hopi origins. By hypothesizing that these accounts represent significantly restructured texts, it is possible to resolve apparent disconformities between Hopi oral tradition and anthropological inferences. This conception of Hopi migration accounts allows resolution of conflicting interpretations of Homol'ovi, i.e., the idea that it is an ancestral Hopi place because its inhabitants moved to the Hopi Mesas circa A.D. 1400, versus the notion that it is an ancestral Hopi place because its inhabitants were immigrants from the Hopi Mesas.