Document Type


Date of Award


Degree Name

Master of Arts (MA)



First Advisor

Randall H. McGuire


A wealth of archaeological surveys and excavations has been conducted in Sonora, Mexico within the past century. Despite the establishment of Centro INAH Sonora, and numerous binational projects, little attempt has been made to synthesize the state’s growing literature. This thesis provides the first detailed study of indigenous ceramics from Sonora, Mexico. Archaeological projects within Sonora have been bifurcated by nation-state boundaries and divergent academic schooling—both possessing their own distinct research goals and methodologies. On a pragmatic level, a synthesis of prehistoric and protohistoric Sonoran pottery is necessary to establish a methodological consensus for classifications and typologies. On a broader level, prehistoric Sonora rests at the center of two long-standing debates: (1) the relationship between nascent pottery production, agriculture, and sedentism and (2) the state’s prehistoric connectivity with the Southwest/Northwest and Mesoamerica. Systematic analysis of ceramics from the entire state provides critical information for answering these large-scale questions.