Artifacts have come to the Museum through its scientific expeditions, but also through its Ceramic Repository (created in the 1930s), which attracted donations from scholars, avocational archaeologists, and institutions around the country. This painted earthenware ceramic bowl was collected by someone named Kiefer in the Lower Arkansas Valley and eventually made its way with other objects to the Pennsylvania Historical Commission State Museum. When that museum decided to deaccession the collection in 1948, this bowl was offered to the Ceramic Repository with 155 other objects from Arkansas and Peru. Despite the lack of provenience information, this vessel is valuable because it is a rare complete example of late prehistoric painted pottery. The hand-built earthenware bowl was originally decorated with red and (very poorly preserved) white pigment. If you look closely, you can see traces of the white pigment on the exterior in the center of this image.
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.