New Prehistoric Pottery display at the Pioneer Museum

Pottery is an important part of many Southwestern Native American cultures, and most visitors see many examples across the region. While pottery was used by prehistoric people in Wyoming, the state is not known for its pottery. Most people are surprised that Wyoming has pottery at all.

A new exhibit at the Pioneer Museum in Lander examines pottery used by Native Americans in Wyoming. The display has a large map showing what styles were used where, and several reproductions of pottery that would have been used. There are a number of sherds of actual pottery recovered by archeologists in Wyoming. “Unfortunately broken pieces are what are found,” said Museum Curator Randy Wise. “It is rare that intact vessels are found, and the history of Wyoming pottery is still being figured out.”

The exhibit was created with the help of the University of Wyoming    Archaeological Repository and Curation Facility. The shards on display are part of the collection held by the Repository.

The pottery exhibit is part of the Native American section of the Lander museum, which has seen several new exhibits developed over the last year.

“Pottery was used by people in Wyoming, and while it wasn’t as extensive as other places, it does help us understand people’s lives from long ago,” Wise said. According to Wise several Southwestern styles of pottery have been found in southern Wyoming, probably arriving in the state as trade goods from other states.

The Pioneer Museum’s hours are Monday through Saturday from 9 a.m. until 4 p.m.

Call the museum at 307-332-3373 for more information, or visit the museum Facebook page: Pioneer Museum Lander Wyoming.