During the Aztec period in the Valley of Mexico, black-painted orange earthenware bowls, basins, plates, and tripod vessels (see also Day 59) were among the most common household ceramics. The sherds shown here date to the Late Aztec period (AD 1350–1520). They were collected at site of Culhuacan, an urban center located about 6 miles south of the imperial capital of Tenochtitlan in the southern part of the Valley. Although at first glance Late Aztec Black-on-Orange ceramics appear highly uniform, analyses of stylistic motifs and chemical composition indicate that they were produced in multiple workshops throughout the Valley of Mexico. The rows of painted circles on these particular sherds are common on ceramics found in the southern Valley of Mexico; these ceramics may have been manufactured in Culhuacan.
In honor of the University of Michigan’s 2017 bicentennial, we are celebrating the remarkable archaeological and ethnographic collections and rich legacy of research and teaching at the Museum of Anthropological Archaeology by posting one entry a day for 200 days. The entries will highlight objects from the collections, museum personalities, and UMMAA expeditions. The Kelsey Museum of Archaeology is also posting each day for 200 days on Twitter and Facebook (follow along at #KMA200). After the last post, an exhibition on two centuries of archaeology at U-M opens at the Kelsey. Visit the exhibit—a joint project of the UMMAA and the Kelsey—from October 18, 2017 to May 27, 2018.