July 4, 2016 - Ellie Whitney
The Museum was recently given this important early Anasazi bowl.
The Anasazi were native to the ‘four corners’ area of the USA. The region, bounded by the Rio Grande to the East, the Colorado river to the North, and the Little Colorado river to the West is where the modern day States of Arizona, Colorado, New Mexico, and Utah meet. Although the lands they once inhabited are now populated by the Navajo, they are the ancestors of today’s Hopi, Zuni, and other Pueblo peoples, in fact the name ‘Anasazi’ comes from the Navajo word for ‘enemy ancestors’. The Anasazi are famed for their achievements in architecture and painted pottery, of which this bowl is a beautiful example. It is made from White ware, which, coupled with its decoration, allows us to date it to after A.D.1000, the ‘Pueblo II’ period, which represents the height of Anasazi culture as well as pottery making. During this era the Anasazi communities built and lived in large multi-roomed apartment buildings constructed of masonry blocks covered with adobe plaster. The biggest, Pueblo Bonito in Chaco Canyon, covered more than three acres, could house more than a thousand people and was the largest ‘apartment house’ the world had seen until it was eclipsed by a New-York skyscraper in 1882.
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