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Galleries & Exhibitions

Ceramics & Tradewares

Scheduled for completion in May 2022

Broken pieces of ancient pottery (sherds) are scattered over the ground at archaeological sites across the Verde Valley. These small pieces of the past provide a great deal of information about the lives of those who made and used this pottery.

Vessels were the tools of daily living, used to store food and the seeds for the next year’s crop, to cook and serve meals, to carry items from place to place. Vessels also provided surfaces upon which people could paint messages about religion, clan, or history. Moreover, making pottery required time—time to socialize with friends, compete with rival potters, and teach the next generation. Many vessels were—and are—things of beauty, to be bartered over, gifted, or buried with a loved one.

This exhibit will display a variety of ceramic vessels and discuss the diagnostic importance of sherds.

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