Following the yellow brick road: Yellow slip clays and the production of Rio Grande Glaze Ware in north central New Mexico

Suzanne L. Eckert, Kari L. Schleher, David H. Snow

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

1 Scopus citations


This provenance study of yellow-firing clays in north central New Mexico examines whether clays recovered in the vicinity of Tunque Pueblo (LA 240) may have been used as slip clays at contemporaneous San Marcos Pueblo (LA 98). A sample of 72 ceramic sherds, bricks, and clays were analyzed through chemical characterization using laser-ablation inductively coupled plasma mass spectrometry (LA-ICP-MS). We argue that Tunque potters were using a subset of clays available at their village to produce pottery. Although San Marcos potters appear to have possibly been using clay from Tunque Pueblo to slip their vessels, these clays were not the same as those used by Tunque potters. Given San Marcos potters’ apparent reliance on this slip clay over time, we argue our findings demonstrate that extremely stable social networks were developed and sustained among Rio Grande Pueblo households and communities across north central New Mexico during the late prehispanic and early colonial periods (1400–1680 CE).

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)565-574
Number of pages10
JournalJournal of Archaeological Science: Reports
Publication statusPublished - Oct 2018



  • American Southwest
  • Ceramic slips
  • Pottery
  • Provenance
  • Rio Grande Pueblos

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Archaeology
  • Archaeology

Cite this