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The Mogollon Culture begins with the addition of pottery to the last phase of the Cochise Culture. Pottery was the last distinctive element to be added, for architecture and agriculture had been a functioning part of the culture for perhaps a thousand years or more. There can be little doubt that pottery was introduced from outside the area, for the earliest ceramic complex appears as a thriving industry with well established techniques. Technically this pottery is well made, and although only a limited number of shapes occur, it is by no means primitive.
The main outline of Mogollon pottery development can be summarized briefly. The earliest horizon yet known contains polished brown and polished red wares. These wares, or variations of them, continue as basic wares of the ceramic complex throughout Mogollon history.