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Chupicuaro Red Ware Bowl


Item Number: DR 208 Pre-historic Pottery
Artist: Unknown
Medium: Clay
Age: 200 BCE- 200 CE (Basket Maker II)
Dimensions: 3″ X 1 3/4″


SKU: DR 208 Categories: ,


This is a fine pre-Columbian round pottery bowl from Mexico’s Chupicuaro Valley decorated in a red slip with fire clouds.

Ceramics in Mexico date back thousands of years before the Pre-Columbian period, when ceramic arts and pottery crafts developed with the first advanced civilizations and cultures of Mesoamerica. These very early wares were not glazed, but rather burnished and painted with colored fine clay slips. The potter’s wheel was unknown as well; pieces were shaped by molding and hand coiling.

Chupícuaro is an important prehistoric archeological site from the late preclassical period.  It is located in the northern Mesoamerican border, west of the Mexican Plateau, near the Lerma River. Currently most of this area is under water by the Solis dam.

Little is known about the history of this site, and it was not until 1946, due to a dam construction, that the first explorations were performed, discovering pottery objects and tombs. Although the Chupicuaro Valley is under water, there are surrounding areas still being explored.  This development has been established between 500 BCE and 300 CE, although some scientists suggest an older development, possibly as far back as 800 BCE.  Chupicuaro was a major ceramic center, recognized as one of the best in Mesoamerica by the fine ceramic finishing and decoration, which were developed in multiple shapes and colors, some with geometrical drawings. It is believed that many of the inhabitants of this area eventually migrated north into southern Arizona and New Mexico.

This archeological site is potentially one of the most extensive and important of the country; there are more than a dozen pyramids built on an oval basement, only one has been partially explored, various flint stone objects, figurines and pottery were found. The rest of the structures remain to be explored. There are tombs, altars and other scattered remains in an estimated five hundred square mile area.

Condition: Excellent, for its age. This little bowl is in original condition, with no repairs or reconstruction.
Provenance:  Acquired by my mother from the Museum of Science and History of Fort Worth in the 1960s and maintained in the family gallery; authenticated by Walter Knox of Scottsdale Auctions and Appraisals.

Additional information

Weight 6 oz