White Sands Missile Range Museum Exibits
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Photo 17 of 17
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Ancient Pottery


Pot found on White Sands Missile Range in January 2001


A man hunting Oryx found this pot sticking out of a sand dune in the northeast part of the Range.  Realizing its significance and knowing that it's illegal to remove artifacts from federal lands, the finder didn't touch the pot.  Instead, he marked the spot, called the game warden and recorded his mileage so the site could be found again. 

WSMR Archaeologist Bob Burton was called and went to the site and carefully removed the pot.  Burton was able to free the pot intact, whereas if the finder had pulled it out, the artifact could have broken, because it was filled with sand.

Burton said it is a Chupadero Black-on-White Olla water jug, dating back as far as 1300 A.D.   It was probably used by the Jornada Mogollon culture that inhabited this area from 200 to 1450 A.D.

The pot may have been left behind because of a small hole in it, which appears to have been patched once.

Iron paint was used for the beautiful geometric and hatchured design.