Pueblo III Artifacts

The people of the Pueblo III period are best known for their beautiful white ware pottery. They made bowls, jars, ollas, and dippers.

Pueblo III white ware pottery.

Pueblo III white ware pottery.

In addition, Pueblo III potters started making two new kinds of white ware vessels: mugs and kiva jars. The Pueblo III period was the only time in Pueblo history when mugs and kiva jars were made. These special vessels might have been used in rituals or ceremonies.

Pueblo III white ware vessels were highly polished and heavily slipped, resulting in a smooth, bright surface. Potters painted elaborate designs in black paint.

Pueblo III corrugated gray ware pottery.

Pueblo III corrugated gray ware pottery.


The corrugated gray ware pottery during this period was similar to the corrugated pottery of the Pueblo II period, except that the rims were more flared.

No red ware pottery was made in the Mesa Verde region during the Pueblo III period, and almost no pottery was traded from outside the area.

Slab metate and two-hand mano.



Pueblo people still used metates and two-hand manos to grind their dried corn, but the style of metate changed. Instead of having a trough, Pueblo III metates were flat or almost flat. Archaeologists call them "slab metates."

Slab metates in metate bins.

Slab metates in metate bins.


Slab metates were often set inside stone bins that held the metate at the proper angle for grinding. These bins are called "metate bins."

This photograph shows two metate bins with their slab metates at a Pueblo III site excavated by Crow Canyon.

Bow and arrow.


Pueblo people still used the bow and arrow to hunt wild animals.

Stone axe.

Stone axes were common during the Pueblo III period. People used axes to chop trees for construction and firewood. They also used them to clear sagebrush from farm fields. Some archaeologists believe that smaller axes might have been used as weapons.

Turkey feather blanket (replica).

Replica of a turkey feather blanket.


At many Pueblo III cliff dwellings, archaeologists have found fragile artifacts that don't usually survive in less-protected sites. These items include sandals and baskets made of yucca, mats made of reeds, and blankets made of rabbit fur or turkey feathers.

Ancient cotton cloth.

Cotton cloth made by Pueblo Indians
during the Pueblo III period.



Archaeologists have also found cloth made of finely woven cotton! Cotton was not grown in the Mesa Verde region, but it was grown by other Pueblo people to the south and traded into the region.