University of Virginia Library


Old Bonitian 71, 78, and 86 were formerly adjoined on the east by
their contemporaries, Rooms 69, 80, and 87, but these latter had been
demolished during the Late Bonitian modernizing program and the
wreckage of their partially razed walls was left where it fell and substitute


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rooms were built above. Third-type Late Bonitian masonry
is presently most conspicuous throughout this whole rebuilt section,
but second-type masonry preceded it.

Pepper's figure 123, for example, shows the east end of Old
Bonitian Room 86 rebuilt with dressed sandstone blocks of rare
uniformity and thinly chinked in the manner I would classify as
second-type, while the opposite side of that same wall, as seen in
figure 124, is a composite stonework, a blend of laminate and dressed
friable sandstone, irregularly banded and separated by one to four
layers of laminate chips. The upper-wall masonry in Room 87, as
in 86, more nearly meets the specifications of my third type, and this
is even more apparent in the second and third stories. Here as elsewhere
replacements were made with salvaged building stone.

Pepper (1920, p. 288) includes his figure 124 to illustrate "walls
of an angular room under Room 87." Limited testing convinced us
that two of those subfloor walls are Old Bonitian. That at the far
end, plastered and smoke-stained, is the exterior of original Old
Bonitian Room 86, its outer corner rounded and abutted by the
somewhat later Old Bonitian stonework that had enclosed Rooms 87,
77, and beyond (fig. 3). Wedged in to the right of that old stonework,
under Pepper's pile of potsherds, is the north foundation of the Late
Bonitian room that supplanted original 87. In the angle where the
two old walls meet, their foundations vary from 7 to 18 inches thick
and overlie several large, irregular sandstone blocks fallen from the
north cliff. These blocks rested upon clean sand, 9 feet 10 inches
below the floor of Late Bonitian Room 87.

At lower left in Pepper's figure 124 one notes the protruding
south-wall foundation of the later room, built mostly of slabs from
Old Bonitian walls and standing upon the original Old Bonitian floor,
6 feet 4 inches below that of Room 87 but 17 inches above floor level
in orginal Old Bonitian Room 86, adjoining on the west. As this
17-inch difference may approximate the time interval between construction
of original 86, with its convex outer northeast corner, and
erection of original 87, so the 7-foot-9-inch difference in floor levels
between original 86 and Late Bonitian Room 87 may provide a clue
to the time that elapsed before Late Bonitian architects introduced
their third-type masonry.

Pepper's descriptive data for Rooms 80, 69, 68, and 82 and our
own sporadic testing in them evidence other Old Bonitian stonework
paralleling that under Room 87. Clearly the east arm of crescentic
Old Bonito formerly extended at least this far eastward before it


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was razed and replaced by the Late Bonitians. How much farther it
extended I do not know, but there is a hint of it in the subfloor walls
and storage bins of Room 62 and Pepper's figure 107 (p. 260)
shows an arc of plastered first-type masonry underlying the south
side of Room 76 with an intrusive Late Bonitian slab-lined fireplace

Similarly, crossed walls under the floor of Room 66 were "evidently
part of the old building" (ibid., p. 248). I cannot follow
Pepper's notes on adjoining Room 65, but his figure 103 shows what
appears to be Old Bonitian stonework under the northeast corner—
stonework I have hesitated to chart on our figure 3.

Again, in Room 64 "a series of walls was found under the floor"
(ibid., p. 237), and one of them, seen in unpublished negative No. 225
deep below the much-plastered and much-smoked Late Bonitian
masonry on either side, is a cross wall that is more likely Old Bonitian
than otherwise. Also, what I judge to be portions of other old house
walls appear, in Pepper's unpublished negative No. 253, below the
east half of Kiva 75 and under both ends of its west-side vault.

Three sections of indubitable Old Bonitian stonework, their associated
floor at depth of 8 feet 2 inches, were exposed by our trenches
at the west end of Room 314. Opposite, in the northeast corner, are
more old walls sooted and plastered, some of which surely extend
subfloor into Room 74, at the southwest corner of Late Bonitian
Kiva 75. Finally, 7 feet 2 inches beneath the floor of Room 290 we
came upon a well-marked pavement with associated Old Bonitian
stonework that was 11 inches thick, unplastered on the exterior but
both plastered and sooted inside.

These several observations, together with Rooms 315 and 316,
lend substance to my belief that the right wing of Old Bonito extended
at least this far to the east before it was razed to provide
space for the Late Bonitian walls now standing.

Rooms 315 and 316 are portions of Old Bonitian structures that
were reduced in floor area and otherwise altered when Late Bonitian
architects built in a substitute northeast side, 8½ feet high, partially
to serve as foundation for a third-type wall enclosing Rooms 290,
291, 74, and 314 and overhanging the north arc of Kiva L. In both
315 and 316 that built-in substitute consists largely of dressed blocks
of friable sandstone and abuts plastered Old Bonitian stonework at
either end. Both rooms had been roofed at a height of 7 feet, but
the Room 315 ceiling rested upon two 8-inch longitudinal beams while
that in 316 was supported by four similar beams placed transversely.

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Fig.4 -Ground plan showing the initial Late Bonitian addition
to the pueblo with abandoned second-type walls and known

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Plate 18

Left: A deep,
"fire pit" of unknown
function on
the terrace north of
the Kiva Z enclosure,
west of Kiva

(Photograph by
O. C. Havens,


Right: Before
alteration and replacement,
the east
end of Old Bonitian
Room 86 was
abutted by another,
its floor 6 feet 4
inches below that
of Room 87.

(Photograph by
Neil M. Judd,

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Plate 19

The northeast corner of Room 14a retains plaster and a 4-pole
storage shelf.

(Photographs by Victor Mindeleff, 1887. Courtesy of the Smithsonian Institution.)


The north doors of Rooms 14b (with blanket) and 301 had been forced
open by unknown persons.

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Plate 20

Upper: Post-and-mud south and west walls of second-story Old Bonitian Room 53.


Lower: The southwest corner of Room 327 with remnant of its post-and-mud south wall survives
with blocked door to Room 325.

(Photographs by O. C. Havens, 1924.)

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Plate 21

Upper: Northeast wall of Room 92 (behind figure), with open door to Room 3d at lower left.


Lower: North door, Room 300B, with secondary jambs and lintel recessed for doorslab.

(Photographs by Neil M. Judd, 1923.)


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Despite Late Bonitian alterations and repairs, both 315 and 316
possess architectural features that seem to identify them as orginally
Old Bonitian. In Room 315 a slab-lined fireplace occupies the
southeast quarter while on a floor 6 inches lower another fireplace,
masonry-lined and ash-filled, was half buried under the Late Bonitians'
built-in northeast foundation. Cut into that same earlier floor
and continuing under the south corner of the room to an external
shaft is a masonry-lined ventilator duct. This latter, 26 inches wide
by 29 inches deep, was originally 7 feet long but had been reduced
to 22 inches when a masonry partition was introduced and the duct
floor beyond was raised 15 inches.

At the northwest end of Room 315 an unplastered masonry partition
now 25 inches high and half as thick, screens an alcove with
floor 4 inches above that of the main room. Midway of that partition
is a 15-inch opening, its sill at the alcove floor level and its south
jamb a 5-inch-diameter post that may have propped the southernmost
of the 2 main roofing beams. Three small poles against the
northwest wall and 4 feet 9 inches above the alcove floor had formed
a room-wide shelf 22 inches-deep—a fixture believed to be unusual
in an Old Bonitian room. One inch above the alcove floor and 40
inches from its west corner a 13-by-16-inch-high ventilator pierces
the southwest wall.

In the south corner of the alcove, cut into a floor 10 inches lower
and connecting with an extramural shaft, is a masonry-lined ventilator
duct measuring 19 inches NW-SE by 17 inches wide and 21
inches deep. It had been filled with ashy earth and floored over. On
that same lower floor but in the opposite corner a slab-lined fireplace
partially underlies a 6-foot section of first-type stonework that juts
forward 18 inches and is there abutted by the Late Bonitian construction
that provides a northeast side for Old Bonitian Rooms 315 and

Room 316 likewise has at least one fixture usually associated with
esoteric practices, a subfloor ventilator duct. Such a duct, 15 inches
wide by 24 inches deep, underlies the south corner of the room and
connects with an outside air intake that rises 6 feet 2 inches and thus
equals the present height of the southwest wall. This latter is especially
interesting since it consists of Old Bonitian stonework veneered
by second-type Late Bonitian masonry. The adjoining southeast
wall, indefinite as to type, is later and had replaced the convex
curve of Kiva L. In the northwest corner a slab-lined fireplace 25
inches in diameter had been abandoned, floored over, and replaced by


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one of rectangular form. This latter, also slab-lined but with mudrounded
corners, was ash-filled and contained three sandstone firedogs
in a row.

The northeast quarter of 316 is occupied by a subfloor, masonrylined
passageway, 22 inches wide by 26 inches deep, that extends
to and under the corner of the room and there, with an abrupt angle,
turns to the right and continues an undetermined distance. At its
abrupt angle the passageway was roofed by three 2-inch poles spread
fanwise from its east side. A former southwest door had been
blocked to leave a 10- by-13-inch ventilator at floor level, and this
apparently was intended to be closed by a tabular metate left leaning
against the nearby wall. With all doors closed, Room 316, like its
neighbor, could have been entered only by means of a hatchway.

Recognition of Rooms 315 and 316 as possibly of ceremonial significance
raises the question as to whether these and other quadrangular
structures might have been adjuncts to circular subterranean kivas
in Old Bonitian rituals. Rooms 327 and 328 possess features paralleling
those in 315 and 316, and Pepper's description of Room 3a (97)
certainly sets it apart from purely secular buildings. Our Room 309
likewise possesses fixtures foreign to local living quarters but 309 is
a Late Bonitian chamber.

As previously stated, 327 is a one-story Old Bonitian room on
the west side of the West Court. Its rear wall is the exterior of
Old Bonitian 325, a living room; its south side is a combination of
small posts spaced 4-5 inches apart, packed between with adobe mud,
and surfaced with more mud (pl. 20, lower). The north and east
sides of Room 327 include a facing of rather crude, typeless stonework
that was added, apparently, just to support the second-type
Late Bonitian walls built above. All four sides were repeatedly
plastered and as often sooted. Both north and south walls abut the
thickly plastered exterior of Room 325 and thus evidence their later

The ceiling of Room 327 rested upon a single beam, its west
end seated in a former Room 325 ventilator and the opposite end
supported by a 6-inch post. Pine poles of uniform diameter lay
upon the beam and a layer of chico brush upon the poles. In the
northeast corner, however, the ceiling had been patched with cedar
splints, probably at the time the walls were raised for a second story.
Opposite, in the southeast corner, there was a 14- by-28-inch ceiling
hatchway and below it, perhaps as a step, a slab-covered traingular
bench, 28 inches high.


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A former west door, its sill slab 15 inches below floor level and
a like distance above a trampled surface that may be the original
floor, represents a former court-side passage to and from Room 325.
A companion east door, its sill 14 inches above the same trampled
surface, served for a time and then was blocked. As if to favor an
arthritic, a post step 11 inches in diameter and sill high had stood in
front of that east door and, in front of the post, a 6-inch-high stone
block as a second step. From this original floor a pine post reached
up to prop the ceiling and a masonry-sided bin occupied each corner
of the room except that at the northeast.

Subsequently that original east door was sealed, a second floor
was installed 30 inches higher, and a new east door was cut through
at floor level. The north jamb of this new passageway is a 2½inch
post that inclines outward at the top.

The post-and-mud wall in Room 327 curved south to form the
original east side of 328, 329, and possibly 330. At the time of
excavation in Room 328 the 2-inch posts in that old wall stood 39
inches high, 6-12 inches apart and were separated by adobe mud only.
In Room 329 wall-wide stonework rather than mud filled in between
posts. Post-and-mud walls at Old Bonito were never more than one
story high, so far as I know, with the possible exception of Room 53B
which may have been built upon a first-story fill but whose present
south and west sides preserve a core of upright posts with mud between
(pl. 20, upper).

Rooms 328 and 329 were both roofed, after the manner of 327,
with a layer of brush supported by selected ceiling poles and posts.
Four posts were required in 329, each standing in a slab-lined hole
and packed about with shale chips. Second-type masonry built against
the old post-and-mud wall of adjoining Room 327 rose from floor to
ceiling on the north side of 328, partly surrounding a ceiling prop
whose overlying beam had been retained as partial support for the
second-story wall above. Spurred by a bit of whimsy, some unknown
dawdler had crowned this post with a discoidal potrest made of squawbush
bound with strips of yucca leaf. A companion post stood
opposite the first, supporting a second beam.

Although the beams braced by these two posts belonged to the
original ceiling they had been augmented by two others at the same
height, 7 feet 3 inches, presumably when the Late Bonitians built
their second-story room above. A southeast corner hatchway undoubtedly
connected the upper and lower rooms, as in 327.

More than its neighbors Room 328 preserves the aura of a room


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once dedicated to secret cult or religious practices. At midfloor is a
25-inch-diameter fireplace, rimmed with clay and accompanied by
a shallow, scooped-out basin, probably intended for ashes. Sometime
during occupancy of the room this fireplace was divided and its south
half lined with slab fragments on edge but thereafter continued in use.

A floor-level ventilator 8 inches wide and 10 inches high pierced
the east wall of 328 directly above a subfloor, slab-lined ventilator
duct. This latter, 13 inches wide by 18 inches deep, was roofed at
floor level by sandstone slabs supported on small transverse poles;
at its proximal end, the customary air vent, 8 by 13 inches. The
probable air intake, in a masonry column 3 feet outside the east wall,
rises to West Court level, a vertical distance of over 7 feet. The
essential draft deflector between ventilator and fireplace, although
far out of line, must be the 6-stick section of wattlework joining
the south wall to a nearby ceiling prop (pl. 25, left).

Questions of origin and association arise in connection with the
under-floor ventilator in Room 328. Is it an Old Bonitian concept or
the result of Late Bonitian influence? For unknown reasons this
particular example had been blocked with masonry directly beneath the
floor-level, east-wall ventilator. Otherwise it was entirely open when
found and so was that above. Within the limits of my experience at
Pueblo Bonito the subfloor type of ventilator was a prescribed feature
of Late Bonitian circular kivas. For this reason I am of the opinion
that those we discovered in Rooms 316 and 328 and the one Pepper
(ibid., p. 257) describes in Room 71 reflect influence exerted at the
time Late Bonitian masonry was introduced at the second-story level
or nearby. The walls of 328B are of second-type Late Bonitian composition
while that at the northeast side of Room 316 was third-type
and so too, presumably, the rebuilt east end of Room 71. Here, in 71,
a 14-inch-wide ventilator duct extends from a central fireplace on an
earlier floor at depth of 6 inches to and beneath the southeast corner
of the room.

That the priesthood of Pueblo Bonito, early and late, maintained
rectangular cult rooms as adjuncts to their circular kivas seems indisputable.
Among others, there are 3a (97), 249, 309, 315, 316, 328, and
351 each with built-in fixtures that set it apart from ordinary dwellings.
Then, most puzzling of all, there is the remnant of a quadrangular
structure whose packed-clay floor we found outside and at
the east end of Room 28, 10½ feet below its second-story floor level.
The original foundation, here 21 inches high, had been built upon
that clay floor after its associated bench had been partially razed.

That bench, of relatively crude stonework 24 inches wide by
34 inches high (the upper 4 inches raised and rounded at the front),


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had been repeatedly plastered and smoke-stained and the final coat
whitewashed. From a point directly beneath the horizontal abutment
on the west side of the Kiva 16 enclosure (beyond which point we
did not venture) we bared the lower bench westward for 9 feet
8 inches where it turned abruptly north for 20 inches and there had
been demolished upon construction of the Room 28 foundation. The
above-bench wall on either side of that angle, razed to within an average
height of 7 inches, was merely the face of a cut clay bank. A
disturbed area just to the west of our test pit presumably marks the
limit of Hyde Expedition excavations in "Room 40."

Presumably that deep-seated, cutbank structure, with its adobe
floor and plastered bench, is pre-Old Bonito, but we found nothing to
identify its builders. It differs fundamentally from the two slab-lined
pit-houses exposed by our West Court trench, and it differs from
every P. I or P. II building of which I have knowledge except, possibly,
another remnant we discovered on a pavement 6 feet 3 inches
below the floor of Room 241 at the southeast corner of the pueblo.
In this case, however, the former structure was represented by a
section of adobe wall 8 inches thick and 16 inches high, topped with
sandstone and buried under a layer of water-borne silt.

Describing Late Bonitian Room 100, Pepper (1920, p. 318) suggests
that the north half of its east wall, protruding about 2 feet,
"may have been a part of the old building," but I would guess that
what he saw was actually the Late Bonitian foundation for that north
half. On the other hand, the under-floor construction in Room 56 was
undoubtedly Old Bonitian as were the walls built above. But nowhere
short of Rooms 80 and 87 do I detect among Pepper's published
field notes positive evidence of Late Bonitian replacement of Old
Bonito's ground-floor dwellings. Late Bonitian architects surrounded
the west wing of the old town with rooms of their own devising; in
the east wing they razed and rebuilt.

It seems significant that the Late Bonitians confined their initial
reconstruction activities to the east wing of the Old Bonito crescent.
Their architects added second stories to the court-side row of groundfloor
structures from Room 28 west and south to 329 or 330 but they
ventured no replacement in that section. Pepper mentions none. We
cleared 11 Old Bonitian west-wing rooms and observed no subfloor
wall in either of them. Not until Late Bonitian architects had developed
their second variety of masonry (my third type) did they
undertake a major constructional program for the west side of the
enlarged pueblo and by this time they were ready to replace all the
walls they had previously built in the east wing above razed Old
Bonitian rooms.