University of Virginia Library


Page 125


The Pueblo III coresidents of Pueblo Bonito began their second
and more ambitious constructional program at the blocked west door
of Room 115. Here, midway in the row of 2-story houses they had
previously built to enclose crescentic Old Bonito, the Late Bonitians
introduced a new variety of stonework, splicing it into the secondtype
masonry of Room 115 and extending it southward in a widesweeping
curve to Room 337, at the extreme southwest corner of
the pueblo (fig. 5).

That new variety consists of larger building stones separated by
bands of inch-thick tablets of thin-bedded, laminate sandstone. Nowhere
about the village are the differences between second- and
third-type masonry more clearly portrayed than here at the blocked
west door of Room 115 (pl. 37, upper). The builders tore out the
south jamb of that blocked door and tied in their new stonework at
sill level, 3 feet 9 inches above the second-type foundation. Ten feet
to the south the newer stonework overhangs the older by 5 inches.

In its southward extension the substituted wall conceals a blocked
west door in Room 116 and curves outside the next 3 rooms, likewise
of second-type masonry but unnumbered and unexcavated. Blocked
west doors in two of these are to be seen in Room 117, their decayed
lintels 21 inches above its adobe floor. Triangular Room 117, unnumbered
on Hyde's plan of Pueblo Bonito (in Pepper, 1920, fig. 155),
is readily identified by unpublished Hyde prints No. 550 and 552.

Late Bonitian architects really got under way with Room 117 but
first they changed their minds a couple times. Their initial plan
was to add an external block of six contiguous rooms joined to the
older second-type masonry (fig. 5). They laid the foundations,
prepared for an east-wall tie-in, and actually started building. Then
they abandoned this first plan in favor of one whose outer west wall
abutted the southwest corner of Room 116, extending thence southward
on a foundation 29 inches wide by 34 inches high and now
underlying Rooms 117, 118, and 119.

Then this second plan was discarded. The builders abandoned
their 29-inch foundation and built a new one 3 feet outside, this
time dovetailing its masonry into the blocked door of second-type
Room 115, and bringing it down past 116 to form the present west


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side of Room 117. They spread an adobe floor over all the foundation
stonework previously laid, replaced with good third-type masonry
the second-type stonework stripped from the east side in anticipation
of the 6-room tie-in, and built a new south wall upon that floor.
Here, once again, the distinguishing characteristics of second- and
third-type masonry stand in juxtaposition (pl. 37, lower). A boardframed
south door of recent date probably marks the position of an
original, connecting with Room 118.

A narrow test pit in the southeast corner of Room 117 showed
its older east side masonry continuing 3 feet 10 inches below floor
level to a 21-inch-high foundation—figures that agree closely with
those outside Room 115 and southward where the same old secondtype
wall cuts through the northeast corner of Room 105 and subfloor
across 25, 106, and 336.

As reported in the previous chapter these three rooms, 25, 106,
and 336, are third-type dwellings erected upon the partially razed
walls of two second-type structures that were among those built by
the Late Bonitians to conceal the irregularities of Old Bonito. A
difference of approximately 4 feet separates the floor of second-type
Room 25 from its successor. In 106 and 336 some of the subfloor
walls are early while others are late. Third-type only was represented
under the floors of nearby dwellings.

Room 105, adjoining 25 on the west, is one of excellent third-type
stonework and was included in the constructional program that began
at the blocked west door of Room 115, replacing the 6-room unit
outside 117. Part of that unit was overlain by the foundationless
remains of a small kiva whose third-type masonry, reduced to 6 inches,
looks no older than that of Room 105 itself. Other third-type kivas,
large and small, underlie third-type Rooms 128 and 129, Kivas
V and W (fig. 5).

That beneath the floors of Rooms 128, 129, 340, and 341 is a
particularly fine example of its period. Its masonry, 2 feet thick
and plastered, consists of dressed sandstone, both friable and
laminate. Its bench, originally 24 inches wide by 29 inches high,
had been stripped of all facing stones. Nine feet above bench level
a 13-inch-wide encircling collar once held the distal ends of an
upper layer of roofing poles. Despite its depth, the kiva was more
than half filled with constructional debris.

At 7 feet 3 inches beneath Kiva V our test trench came upon the
floor of a predecessor, its stonework likewise third-type but razed
at a height of 30 inches. Remnants of a contemporary kiva, its


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24-inch-wide bench razed to within 10 inches of its associated floor,
were noted 5 feet 4 inches beneath Kiva W. The Late Bonitians had
no hesitancy in tearing down and replacing buildings, whatever their

Overlying second-type walls subfloor in Room 336 is still another
small third-type kiva. Like that in 105, its walls were razed to within
a few inches of their floor (pl. 74, lower). The earlier second-type
walls underneath may be connected with similar remains deep beneath
Kiva U and with the lower portion of a 16-foot-high wall between
Kivas U and W. But in every instance we came upon in this southwestern
quarter of the pueblo and eastward across the West Court,
third-type masonry was utilized to repair or replace second-type

Room 335, which adjoins 106, offers a superb example of thirdtype
masonry, repeatedly photographed and undoubtedly the finest in
all the village (pl. 27, right). Below its floor are other third-type
walls but they are decidedly inferior. More than half the rooms in
Pueblo Bonito have been classed, rightly or wrongly, as of thirdtype
construction but relatively few of them exhibit the skill and
the patience evidenced in the walls of 335, 334, and some of their

Throughout this whole southwestern quarter perfectly good walls
gave way to others that appear no better either from an esthetic or
structural point of view. All are of third-type masonry. Four rooms,
128, 129, 340, and 341, were built above the remains of a perfectly
serviceable kiva; Room 343, a third-type dwelling with central fireplace,
was abandoned as such and refitted to provide a ventilator for
Kiva 130. Huge T-shaped, courtward-facing doors in Rooms 334,
336 and the two next on the south were blocked with over-sized stones
before Kivas T, V, and W were built out in front (pl. 16, left).

The period represented by the Late Bonitians' second addition was
one of marked constructional activity. It was the period in which
Pueblo Bonito assumed, or began to assume, its final unique ground
plan; the period, perhaps, during which the Bonitians attained the
very apex of their far-ranging prestige. Earlier buildings were razed
and replaced in prodigal fashion and stones salvaged from razed
walls were incorporated in their replacements. Much of this construction
and reconstruction took place in the north and east sections
of the pueblo.

Over 5 feet of blown sand had piled up against the slanting exterior
of Old Bonitian Room 10 before Late Bonitian builders began


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their second-type storeroom, 304, adjoining. Ceiling beams from
Room 10 protrude through its north wall at floor level of 304. Old
Bonitian rooms were remodeled and their first-type stonework replaced
with second-type. Subsequently third-type masonry replaced
the second throughout most of this area.

Perhaps 30 Old Bonitian dwellings and storerooms east of 71, 78,
and 86 were razed and replaced by those of second-type masonry
during the Late Bonitians' initial constructional program. Many of
these latter, in turn, were replaced by a successor program that began
in the unnumbered room immediately north of 86 (pl. 22, upper)
and, continuing east, left some of its foundations subfloor in Rooms
87, 88, 295, and others. Ultimately the third-type walls now standing
replaced all that had gone before (fig. 5).

From these standing walls and their predecessors it seems obvious
that Late Bonitian architects were actuated by an urge to surround
Old Bonito with stonework of their own. Each succeeding change
appears, knowingly or otherwise, to have preserved the original
crescent of Old Bonito. If the Late Bonitians sought to join the
arms of that crescent and close in the space between it was their
own idea, one that never occurred to the occupants of Old Bonito.
East and west, Late Bonitian rooms overlie the remains of earlier
Late Bonitian walls. Those crossing the two courts subfloor south of
Kiva A are later and shallower than those on the north side and
their stonework includes more salvaged material.

Our first undertaking in 1921 as we sought to discover the history
of Pueblo Bonito was a stratigraphic section of the principal
village refuse mound, the western (pl. 6, left). We profiled that
20-foot-deep accumulation four separate times, 1921-1924, and always
with the same result: Fragments of early and late domestic pottery
and incredible quantities of constructional waste were intermixed,
top to bottom. There seemed no plausible explanation for this admixture.
Finally, in desperation, I determined to seek solution within the
ruin itself. Anticipating the next season we moved our major equipment
to the West Court in the late summer of 1924 and laid bare
its last occupation level, 6 feet 5 inches above the floor of Old Bonitian
Room 330 (pl. 17, upper).

Beginning our 1925 program, we extended the West Mound trench
to Room 136 and thence north to Kiva Q (pl. 6, right). That exploratory
trench, 40 feet from the straight east side of the Court
and 5 feet wide not only solved the mystery of the intermixed village
debris but revealed far more of village history than we had anticipated.


Page 129

The West Mound had a north retaining wall as well as one on the
south side. Between that on the north and Room 136 was a 12-footdeep
floodwater channel, filled with sand, silt, and household sweepings,
the bottom of it about 8 feet below the valley plain (fig. 7).
Two feet 4 inches north of 136 we came unexpectedly upon the inner
south face of Room 350, an unusual structure 5½ feet deep with
an unrimmed fireplace and a northeast-corner ventilator shaft rising
to court level. On the floor, a plain half-gourd ladle (U.S.N.M.
No. 336372) and several late hachured potsherds.

Room 351, another sunken chamber, was separated from 350 by a
14-inch-thick masonry wall (pl. 64, lower). Like 350, Room 351 was
provided with an unrimmed fireplace and a northeast-corner ventilator.
Unlike that in 350, however, the Room 351 ventilator had an external
air shaft. Although crude and unusual, both rooms were probably
of late construction; both were decorated inside, Room 351 by a
white rectangle painted with seven "saw teeth" on the upper edge and
350, with two human hands, a human foot, and miscellaneous lines
carelessly incised on the south and west wall plaster.

North of 351 our trench exposed the first of two pairs of crosscourt
walls described in the previous chapter, the pavement between
being only 2 feet beneath the surface. Above Station 255 on figure 7
sandstone slabs a foot high marked the edge of a P. I pit-house
floor 11 feet 9 inches below the Court surface or 6 feet below the level
of the plain in midvalley. Abutting the north side of those slabs were
the remains of a masonry wall subsequently recognized as the south
arc of a Great Kiva, its floor at a depth of 10 feet 2 inches.

Our 5-foot-wide trench sliced through that Great Kiva just east
of its middle line, exposing two masonry pillars and the so-called
"vaults" between. The north bench, stripped of its facing stones,
measured 25 inches wide by 24 inches high. A wet-weather surface
rather than a second floor extended south at bench level. Here, at the
north, the main wall had been razed 3 inches above its bench; what
was left had been buried under a dump of constructional debris and a
thick layer of shale fragments, the two sloping down sharply from the
top of an east-west wall. That wall, 7 feet 2 inches high including
foundation, had been razed 2½ feet below the present Court surface
and was only one among several architectural features revealed by our
West Court trench.

Time meant but little to a prehistoric Indian, but our unanticipated
Great Kiva represented a vast expenditure of labor. In
addition to the north and south arcs bared by our trench we deliberately


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cut another on the west side, out in front of the Kiva W
enclosure. From these three points we estimated floor diameter at
about 53 feet. With a 2-foot-wide bench and a 3-foot main wall, external
diameter would have been approximately 63 feet. Average
depth was 10 feet 7 inches. The entire structure had been built in
a cylindrical pit purposely dug in an enormous pile of village rubbish.
Tool marks remain in the cut bank at south and west.

A west-side margin of 38 inches remains between stonework and
bank and if this holds all the way around the pit dug for that Great
Kiva would approximate 69 feet in diameter. The contents of that pit
had to be disposed of. Earth and rock from a hole 69 feet in diameter
by 10½ feet deep would equal 39,262.55 cubic feet or 291 modern truck
loads at 5 cubic yards per load—a prodigious undertaking for a
people with no metal and no means of transportation other than
blankets and baskets. But all had been carried out and dumped south
of the pueblo, filling the flood water channel there and starting the
two piles that grew into the main village refuse mounds.

It was in a remnant of that pre-excavation dump, fortunately
surviving just outside the razed south arc of the Great Kiva, that
Roberts and Amsden cut the two stratigraphic columns, Tests 1 and
2, repeatedly cited herein as having solved our problem of the mixed
early and late pottery at Pueblo Bonito. Those two columns, a total
of 25 feet, showed that one group of wares occur below the 8-foot
level and a second group, above. From Test 1, 13 feet deep, 3,593
potsherds were recovered (U.S.N.M. No. 334174) and all blackon-white
fragments below Stratum B were P. II types that Amsden
and Roberts called Transitional or Degenerate Transitional. Of
2,934 fragments from Test 2 (U.S.N.M. No. 334175), no Straightline
Hachure, no proto-Mesa Verde, and only one Corrugated Coil
sherd was found below the upper 4 feet 2 inches.

These two stratigraphic tests and the several constructional features
brought to light by our 5-foot-wide exploratory trench are represented
on figure 7. But the very diversity of those features prompted
an extension of the trench northward through Old Bonito to the
exterior where Late Bonitian architects first left their mark. The
result, figure 14, thus provides a north-south profile of Pueblo
Bonito that further illustrates its fascinating history.

Late Bonitian Rooms 202 and 203, of second-type masonry, were
built upon a 3-foot accumulation of blown and wind-piled against
the rough, first-type stonework of Old Bonitian Room 5 and its
second story, Room 4. Externally, the north wall of 202 overhangs


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its 28-inch-high foundation by 5 inches; within, the foundation
projects 10 inches, its top 8 inches below the adobe floor. The four
walls were unplastered; there was a door in each, three of them
open and that on the north side carefully sealed with masonry duplicating
that on either side. The 9-foot ceiling had included handsmoothed
willows and cedarbark.

Room 203, a storeroom erected at the same time as 202, abuts the
roofward-slanting exterior of Old Bonitian Room 5, hence the difference
in width, top and bottom (fig. 10). Mud plaster on the old,
first-type wall ends on an ill-defined surface 4 feet 5 inches below
the floor, the surface upon which the blown sand had collected, but
unplastered stonework continues another 3 feet with an inward slant
of about 23 degrees and there rests upon clean sand, 7 feet 5 inches
below the floor of Room 203. The vertical convexity of that old
Room 4-5 stonework must be entirely external since Pepper (1920,
fig. 10) illustrates its opposite side without a corresponding curve.

If that lower unplastered masonry is all foundation, as is possible,
then the floor of Late Bonitian Room 203 is approximately
4½ feet above that of Room 5—a figure that agrees with our observations
in and under Room 304, some 50 feet to the east—and the
floor of 203B would lie a foot or a foot and a half above the roof
of second-story Room 4.

Immediately south of Rooms 4 and 5 there is a change in masonry,
neither first- nor second-type as illustrated by Pepper (ibid., figs. 80
and 81), and a lowering of ceiling heights. These abrupt changes together
with the Mesa Verde-like pottery from nearby Rooms 32 and
36, suggest the former presence of families possibly immigrant from
beyond the San Juan River. The drifting of individuals or family
groups from one village to another is a long-established Pueblo custom.

Our B-B′ cross section (fig. 14) shows a downward slope from
floor level of Room 28B, across nonexistent Room 40 to the adjacent
exteriors of Kivas R and Q. By our calculations the Kiva Q floor is
about 4 feet lower than that of Room 5 and approximately 12 feet
below the average West Court level (pl. 75, lower).

From Kiva Q and its south "annex" (a few feet east of B-B′)
the Court surface rises a couple feet and, in the process, covers a
slab-lined fireplace about 3 feet below the surface together with a
succession of razed or partly razed structures. Among these latter
are the remains of a P. I pit-house (No. 2 on fig. 7)—three sandstone
slabs 33 inches high with a slight inward slant, bound together


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with mud and embedded upright in a broken floor 9 feet 10 inches
beneath the surface (here approximately 2 feet below average). The
larger part of that ancient dwelling had been destroyed presumably
upon construction of what appears to have been an Old Bonitian Kiva,
its associated floor at a depth of 11 feet 10 inches.

The upper north side of this presumed kiva, 40 inches thick and
heavily plastered, sloped outward in the Old Bonitian manner. As the
P. I pit-house had apparently been destroyed to make way for a P. II
kiva so the latter, in turn, had been demolished in the path of a P. III
Great Kiva.

There can be no question as to the period of this huge structure,
profiled by our 1925 exploratory trench, but I might have erred at the
time in classifying it as of probable third-type construction. The
internal features we saw are comparable to those of Kiva A, which
is third-type or later. Kiva Q, another Great Kiva, stands between
in point of time. Masonry was my guide in trying to determine the
order of development at Pueblo Bonito but wreckers of the Great
Kiva under the West Court were so thorough they left no identifiable

During demolition the floor had been covered by an apparent intentional
fill, predominantly of blown sand, 3 feet deep at the
south and 2 feet at the north—blown sand containing a scattering
of clay pellets and sandstone spalls—with a trampled surface on
top. Nine feet 10 inches from the south bench a rough stone pillar
5 feet 8 inches in diameter had been stripped of its facing stones
after the sand was carried in, leaving the latter standing free. The
north side of this southeast roof support had been incorporated in
an above-floor vault 6 feet 10 inches long by 4 feet 8 inches wide
by 30 inches deep, its original length subsequently reduced by built-in
offsets at each end averaging 4 inches wide by 8 inches high.

Two feet farther north and under the sandy layer is another
masonry-lined vault, 8 feet long by 23 inches deep, filled with irregular
pieces of friable sandstone and covered with slabs at floor
level. This second vault, therefore, was a feature of the original
structure and was filled and floored over prior to construction of
its above-floor successor, that abutting the southeast pillar. A
northeast column, likewise 5 feet 8 inches in diameter, had been
built within the abandoned subfloor vault, leaving a 23-inch clearance
on the south side but one of 5 inches only on the north. Like the
first, this second pillar had been stripped of finished stonework; its


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15-inch stub had been covered by the sand fill that extends south at
north bench level.

This under-Court Great Kiva, 63 feet in diameter and averaging
10 feet 7 inches deep, had been built in an enormous pit expressly
dug to receive it. Subsequently it was demolished, its hand-dressed
wall stones were saved for use elsewhere, and its internal fixtures
or at least what remained of them were buried under village waste
that filled the hole and formed a new Court surface.

When that huge structure was erected its south wall quite by
chance rose just outside a second P. I pit-house (No. 1 on B-B′),
its floor at depth of 11 feet 9 inches. The second stratigraphic section
cut by Roberts and Amsden through preconstruction West Court
rubbish pierced that same pit-house floor.

A few feet to the south our 1925 trench exposed a pair of parallel
walls, without foundations but averaging 16 inches wide, a foot high,
27 inches apart, faced on the inside only and the adobe pavement
between 34 inches below Court surface. Fourteen feet beyond this
pair is another, likewise without foundations but finished on both
sides, their connecting floor, 23 inches below the surface. We have
no explanation for these two pairs, almost wholly devoid of identifying
masonry but nevertheless considered most likely to have been of
fairly late construction (fig. 5).

The 12 feet of layered under-Court rubbish probed by Amsden
and Roberts slopes down and to the south and doubtless continues,
although its successive strata do not conform with those revealed
by our trench outside Room 136, only 50 feet distant. In that trench,
10 feet below the present surface, we noted a lens of water-reworked
occupational debris sandwiched between beds of indurated sand and
sandy clay—the course of a former floodwater channel. On the
opposite side of that channel the great bulk of the West Refuse
Mound eventually rose 20 feet above, as described in Chapter VIII.
Nine feet of sand, silt, and waste from Pueblo Bonito accumulated
in that floodwater channel before the foundations of Room 136 were

The Hyde Expeditions had made various West Court excavations.
They cleared Kiva 67, 25½ feet in diameter by 15 feet deep, with
its six pilasters each containing a ceremonial offering (Pepper, 1920,
pp. 251-254). They also cleared an arc of Room 26 and exposed a
single pilaster that had an offering on top but no receptacle. In
our West Court explorations we encountered nothing resembling the
published description of Room 26. The two sand-filled trenches


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shown on figure 7 above Stations 270 and 317 represent cross-court
tests, probably by the Hyde Expedition.

At the south end of B-B′, Room 137 lies next east of Room 136
and the former village gateway beyond, between Rooms 137 and 140.
Hyde's plan of Pueblo Bonito (in Pepper, 1920, fig. 155) represents
138 and 139 as a 2-tier unit adjoining 137, his Room 139 on the site
of our Kiva 2-D. That former gateway was originally open and
7 feet 10 inches wide, the only known entrance to Pueblo Bonito.
Subsequently it was barred by a single cross-wall 26 inches thick
with a 32-inch-wide doorway in the middle, a doorway that was itself
subsequently sealed. Our own observations hereabout show prior excavations
on both sides of the cross-wall; hence my relocation of
Room 138 on the south side, Room 139 on the north.

That cross-wall had no foundation but was based on sand 15 inches
below the last recognizable West Court surface—the same sand layer
that supported third-type veneering along the east side of the Court.
Originally this east side was also of third-type construction, as may
be seen where its former southeast corner is preserved in Room 140
(pl. 33, right). The veneering having toppled forward, we made
such repairs as seemed desirable and in 1925 rebuilt the upper portion
throughout much of the distance northward to Room 35a and
the alleyway connecting the 2 courts (pl. 36, upper).

The area north and south of the former entrance had been
thoroughly explored so we contented ourselves with narrow test pits.
That south of the cross-wall revealed an 18-inch-wide foundation
—the foundation that probably gave rise to Hyde's Room 138—extending
from 137 to and under the southwest corner of Room 140.
About 7 feet beyond, a dump of constructional debris lay with a
southward dip of 29°. Constructional debris and household sweepings
containing early-type potsherds predominated throughout our test.

At 6 feet 5 inches north of the cross-wall another east-west foundation,
this one based 2½ feet below the surface, extended to within
13 inches of the Court side and there ended—razed, presumably,
when the side wall was rebuilt. Here, as on the south, village waste
comprised the under-Court fill, or at least the upper 4 feet of it.
With the former entrance barred by a cross-wall, the alcoves on
either doubtless sheltered ladders that could be drawn to the rooftops
in time of need.

That rebuilt bordering wall extends from Room 140 north to
Kiva 16 and is composed both of laminate and dressed friable sandstone.
Obviously constructed with salvaged materials and by various


Page 135
workmen, construction differs from place to place. Banded
fourth-type prevails here and there and is predominant north of the
intercourt passageway. Nevertheless, I have classed it all as thirdtype
stonework, a deliberate compromise. It replaced an earlier thirdtype
wall that left its southeast corner dovetailed into the northwall
masonry of Room 140 (pl. 33, right)—the same third-type wall
that underlies third-type Rooms 143 and 144 (fig. 5) and is reflected
by the interior of Room 146, see above in plate 36, upper.

While our Zuñi crew was repairing this Court-side wall in 1925
a friable sandstone block with a zigzag incised upon it was recovered
in Kiva A and placed here. Such designs may be only vagrant
fancies of an unenthusiastic mason but they do occur and they were
repeated. The largest we noted extends over several contiguous
stones in the south wall of Room 245 but there were others.

Great Kiva A and its surroundings on the opposite side of that
wall are also classed as of third-type construction despite the fact all
are late, perhaps later than their stonework suggests. All are built
of salvaged materials and laminate sandstone is conspicuous throughout
if not actually preponderant. Their stonework lacks the superior
quality of that in rooms I have described as of fourth-type, but it
may be as recent as they, if not more so. Among the sherds we recovered
from a limited test, subfloor in Kiva A, five were typed as Mesa
Verde and 15, Chaco-San Juan or McElmo Black-on-white. Here,
once more, I have compromised my convictions as to the sequence of
masonry at Pueblo Bonito.

Second-type walls from across the East Court, partially razed
and superseded by third-type masonry, underlie Rooms 146, 148, and
149 and formerly continued across the West Court to Rooms 25 and
336. Other second-type East Court walls underlie Room 150 but
emerge from beneath Rooms 213 and 214 as indefinite or, where
finished stonework prevailed, as third-type.

More second- and third-type masonry is to be seen in the north
part of the pueblo and has often directly supplanted that of the
Old Bonitians. First-type stonework at the east ends of Old Bonitian
Rooms 71, 78, and 86 was torn out and replaced with second-type and,
as I read the record, that same second-type masonry formerly extended
east to Rooms 62, 70, and beyond. Beginning with Rooms
69, 80, and 87, which adjoin 71, 78, and 86 on the east, all walls now
standing are of third-type masonry—first, second, and third stories—
but they have replaced, in whole or in part, others of first- or secondtype
(pl. 22, upper). The floor of third-type Room 87 is 7 feet


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9 inches higher than that of Old Bonitian Room 86, next door, and
overlies a partially razed contemporary of 86, its floor 6 feet 4 inches
below (pl. 18, right).

We observed foundations bearing second-type masonry under the
floors of Rooms 88 and 90 but other foundations had been so
thoroughly stripped of useful building stones the means of positive
identification has been lost. From the unnumbered room next north
of 86 Late Bonitian architects built a new outside wall of third-type
masonry, digressing widely from an earlier one that followed the
external curve of Old Bonito (fig. 4). Remnants of that earlier wall
survive subfloor, as noted above, and still other under-floor remnants
evidence further changes of plan before that for the third-type addition
was finally adopted. Later, still another outside wall, the third,
was erected by the Late Bonitians (fig. 6).

Third-type masonry replaced much of that previously built throughout
this northern section (pls. 30, upper; 22, lower). It replaced
second-type masonry in the unnumbered room north of 296 (pl. 29,
left) and in others to the east of it: first, second, and third stories.
It replaced second-type masonry in Kiva G (pl. 68, left) and
throughout that rectangular, 14-room block that stands forth so
boldly on the east side of the village (fig. 5). Third-type masonry
that rarely equals our ideal (pl. 27, right) but utilizes building
blocks reclaimed from such walls makes up a large proportion of the
second addition, as planned and built by Late Bonitian architects.
This second addition developed out of the Late Bonitians' first addition
but its reuse of materials prepared for the first accounts for the
resemblance between the two and often makes it difficult to distinguish
one from the other, as stressed in the previous chapter.

Coupled with the disclosures of our West Court exploratory trench
and its extension (figs. 7, 14), two other cross-sections, A-A′ and
C-C′, contribute to knowledge of Pueblo Bonito history. Each cuts
through the entire village, from one exterior to the other; each passes
through rooms of our four masonry types and graphically illustrates
their relationship.

Cross-section A-A′ (fig. 13) pictures the growth of Pueblo Bonito
from west to east. Rooms 320, 326, and 330 are of first-type
stonework and terminate the west wing of crescentic Old Bonito.
Adjoining 320 on the west is one of 3 unexcavated and unnumbered
houses erected by the Late Bonitians when they first came to dwell
in Chaco Canyon. Floor level in that unexcavated second-type house
is an estimated 3 feet 10 inches below that of third-type Rooms 117

No Page Number

Fig. 13-Cross section A-A′ from Room 118 to Room 177 with
earlier structures indicated by masonry type. (From the
original survey of Oscar b. Walsh, 1925.)

No Page Number

No Page Number

A partially razed second-type-masonry wall abuts another 5 feet 8 inches beneath
East Court level.


Plate 34

Partially razed second-type wall and its whitened door jamb, sub-court east of
Room 149.

(Photographs by Neil M. Judd, 1926.)

No Page Number

Plate 35

Left: Third-type
stonework overlies
a partly razed second-type
wall deep
below the East


Right: A partly
razed second-type
wall with whitened
plaster and a
blocked doorway
underneath the East

(Photographs by
Neil M. Judd,

No Page Number

Plate 36

Upper: The east side of the West Court, which the Pueblo Bonito Expeditions partially rebuilt
in 1924, replaced older masonry similar to that in Room 144, above.

(Photograph by O. C. Havens, 1925.)


Lower: Paired second-type-masonry walls were partially razed at a height of 2½ feet to support
a later wall that underlies the west side of Room 146, above.

(Photograph by Neil M. Judd, 1926.)

No Page Number

Plate 37

Upper: The Late Bonitians began their second addition at the blocked west door of Room 115,
3 feet 9 inches above its floor level.

(Photograph by O. C. Havens, 1926.)


Lower: In the east wall of Room 117 third-type masonry replaces the original second-type,
removed for an intended 6-room addition.

(Photograph by O. C. Havens, 1925.)


Page 137
and 118 and about 8 inches above the floor of Old Bonitian
Room 320.

Room-to-room measurements indicate that the flagstone floor of
Room 320 is about 6 inches higher than that of 326; that the floor of
330 is 6 feet 5 inches below the West Court surface and roof level
of Kiva X. On an earlier surface a few feet to the south we came
unexpectedly upon a feature I first mistook for an open drain since
its masonry sides averaged 4 inches high and 7 inches apart, were
generally parallel and smoother inside than out, but irregular construction
and adherence to an uneven surface soon identified it
as the creation of children at play (NGS, Neg. 32640A).

Midway of the West Court our section A-A′ crosses the north edge
of a huge pit over 10 feet deep, originally prepared for a Great Kiva
but subsequently filled with village waste after the kiva was dismantled.
Whatever its local age that Great Kiva presumably was contemporaneous
with a pair of second-type masonry walls that underlies
Room 146 and was partially razed when the kiva pit was dug (pl. 36,

Room 146 was built of third-type masonry, but this latter was
earlier and differed considerably from the third-type masonry of
Kiva A and its contemporary surroundings. Beneath the floor of
Kiva A are the remains of other structures likewise identified as of
third-type construction and thus part of the Late Bonitians' ambitious
second addition. Earlier walls underlie Rooms 148 and 149, overlooking
Kiva A from the north, and continue eastward at an average
depth of 6½ feet but they do not appear on our A-A′. Half way across
the East Court, however, we encountered an abandoned kiva 12 feet
deep and of indubitable second-type masonry, the variety widely
employed during the Late Bonitians' first addition to the village.

Room 289, one of three built upon the latest East Court surface and
therefore presumably late in point of time, was constructed of relatively
large blocks of dressed friable sandstone but its masonry is
not second-type. Beyond 289 our A-A′ profile crosses various
structures all of which fall within my definition of third-type stonework
including the remains of earlier kivas deep beneath the floors
of C and D.

We found Kiva D especially interesting not only because its
predecessor lies 6½ feet below floor level but also because two
masonry repositories had been built under the floor and close against
the face of that predecessor. One of those repositories (No. 1),
containing several fragments of turquoise and shell and the imprints


Page 138
of two round sticks, was covered with part of a door slab, 23½ inches
long and notched at two corners. The second repository was of
cruder stonework, 9 inches in diameter and about 10 inches deep, but
its offering was greatly superior and cupped within a large cockle shell
(Judd, 1954, pl. 89).

Kiva D contained all the fixtures of a typical Chaco kiva—fireplace,
sunken vault west of the fireplace, underfloor ventilator, and a
shallow, bench-high recess at the south—but it differed from the
average in having 10 pilasters, each a squared block of wood averaging
16 inches wide by 7 inches high and set back 3½ inches, plastered
but lacking the usual encasement of small-stone masonry. Another
exceptional feature in Kiva D was an underfloor passage that led, by
three masonry steps, to second-story Room 241B (pl. 62, upper).

Room 225, separated from Kiva D only by the latter's enclosing
stonework and a corner room, 240, is one of that double row of
east-wing houses the Late Bonitians built as their final addition to
Pueblo Bonito. Its masonry is entirely of thin-bedded laminate
sandstone with no banding and very little mud mortar in evidence.
Lengthwise through the room and immediately under its floor is a
bare foundation, 26 inches wide by 19 inches high, that appears to be
part of an earlier addition, planned but never completed. A subfloor
test in the northeast corner disclosed 6 successive strata of sand and
sandy clay with silt layers between and clean sand at a depth of 9 feet.

We made no study of Room 240, but 239, at the northeast corner of
the enclosure, revealed the cylindrical exterior both of Kiva D and
its predecessor. Both are of vastly superior stonework to that normal
for kiva exteriors and the upper portion exhibits many dressed friable
sandstone blocks and a suggestion of second-type chinking. Two logs
inserted into the lower part obviously were expected to brace the
outside 3-story south wall of Room 244. This latter wall also includes
many building blocks salvaged from razed second-type structures and
many protruding stones, a customary feature of kiva exteriors
(pl. 38, right). Room 239 was excavated and refilled before we
knew anything of dendrochronology, hence my failure to take sections
of its two bracing logs. Presumably they are still there.

Room 177 adjoins 225 on the east and, like the latter, was one
of that group I believe to have been the Late Bonitians' final addition
to Pueblo Bonito. It had a ceiling height of 8 feet 2 inches.
There were two ventilators in the east wall and two opposite. Its
east-side foundation, 8 inches below the floor, projected 2 inches
and stood 20 inches high. A silt surface 41 inches below floor


Page 139
level on the west side of the room passed under the east foundation
at a depth of 49 inches. An outside 5-foot-deep test showed that silt
surface continuing with a covering layer of sand upon which the
east-wall foundation was built. About 5 feet out from the wall a
pot-shaped storage cist 46 inches in maximum diameter and 50 inches
deep had been dug through that silt layer and into the sandy clay

In Chaco Canyon tireless winds carry sand upcanyon by day and
back again at night. From one direction or the other wind-blown
sand had piled up against the east side of 177 before our survey was
made and it is this sand, perhaps, rather than a down-valley slope
that accounts for the fact the surface there is 5 feet higher than
outside Room 118 at the opposite end of Profile A-A′ (fig. 13).

Our third cross section, C-C′, begins at the Braced-up Cliff,
that colossus which for unmeasured years towered menacingly above
the walls of Pueblo Bonito, and passes thence through Room 189 and
diagonally across the East Court, above and below the last occupation
level, to Kiva B, Room 141, and our exploratory trench through the
West Mound. Like 225 and 177, Room 189 was a late addition to the
village; one of a single row of fourth-type structures built upon
abandoned foundations of the Northeast Complex and abutting the
former exterior wall, of third-type masonry. Room 189 remains
unexcavated but, outside, sand and rock and water-borne silt have
piled up almost to ceiling level (fig. 15).

Room 98, previously excavated, had a ceiling height of 8 feet
10 inches. Portions of its third story were still standing a few
years ago, the north door of 98B fitted with secondary jambs to support
an outward-slanting doorslab (unpublished Hyde print No. 528).
Subfloor in Room 98 a foundation without identifying masonry is so
oriented as to connect it, indubitably, with a like foundation under
Room 295 and thus associate both with an earlier but rejected Late
Bonitian plan for an external row of third-type rooms (fig. 5).

Kiva L, a third-type chamber 10 feet deep, was especially instructive
because the south walls of third-type Rooms 290 and 291 arched
across its north bench on paired beams (pl. 57, left) and because its
cribbed ceiling was practically intact. Dismantling this latter, we
counted 195 selected pine timbers plus 135 shorter pieces in the
fourteenth or uppermost layer and perhaps 20 more lost through collapse
of the middle portion (pl. 56, upper) a total of over 300 trees
felled. On the floor, a 3-inch layer of blown sand and, above it, a
neighborhood dump that included 4,732 tabulated potsherds of which


Page 140
Amsden and Roberts classified 16 percent as Old Bonitian and 67.3
percent as later.

Twenty-two inches under the floor of Kiva L, we came upon the
floor and partly razed bench of a second-type kiva, one of those constructed
by the Late Bonitians as a feature of their initial building
program. Three years later, on July 29, 1926, the ventilator shaft
of that razed subfloor kiva appeared during our East Court trenching
operations south of Kiva L. Other structures of the same general
period, or portions of such structures, were encountered nearby
(fig. 4).

Just beyond these broken remains, section C-C′ crosses the thirdtype
wall that divides the East Court but unfortunately misses two
important features, Room 190 the "heart" of Pueblo Bonito, and that
partially razed, second-type kiva, 12 feet deep, that occupies a considerable
portion of the Court south of the dividing wall.

Our explorations in Room 150 revealed no less than five subfloor
foundations some of which continue eastward to connect with those
under the East Court while others extend on various levels west
under Room 218 or south and under 221. Despite limited resemblances
to one masonry type or another all these underfloor wall fragments are
judged to pre-date both Kiva A and Kiva B.

Room 141, on the south middle front, is one of three shielding
Kiva B. That they are older than B is at least suggested by the fact
their presence forced the kiva ventilator shaft out of its normal
position and around to the east side. Over the wall, at the west end
of Room 153, a 1921 pit to a silt surface 9½ feet below floor level
revealed Old Bonitian rubbish throughout. There were no late types
among the 789 potsherds recovered. Quite obviously here was an
outlying portion of the vast rubbish pile under the West Court that
Roberts and Amsden examined four years later. It is possible, also,
that Old Bonito was built on a slight elevation since the present surface
outside Room 141 is 8 feet lower than that outside Room 189.

Room 141 and those on either side stood upon the north bank of a
floodwater channel to which the rincon back of Chettro Kettle surely
contributed—a channel that began upcanyon, continued past Pueblo
Bonito and Pueblo del Arroyo, and on down valley. So far as we
may judge, the Old Bonitians were not especially concerned with that
channel but the Late Bonitians sought year after year to change its
course and force its flood waters farther from their gateway.

Beyond Room 141 our line leaps the old channel, climbs the slope
of the West Mound, bisects our 1925 trench diagonally, and continues


Page 141
out upon the plain. Our survey for Section C-C′ crossed that plain
and its modern arroyo and ended at the near east side of The Gap
but the extension added so little to figure 15 it has been omitted.
Thus, as originally executed, C-C′ profiled Chaco Canyon from one
cliff to the other.

The Late Bonitians were tireless builders! Nothing daunted them!
No undertaking was too great! Three separate times they increased
the size of their village and once abandoned plans that would have
doubled its ground area. With pine posts, crude stonework, and mud
they braced a detached portion of the cliff back of Pueblo Bonito
and thus gave it a Navaho name known today throughout the whole
reservation—tsě bi'ya hani' ǎ'hi (Franciscan Fathers, 1912, vol. 1,
p. 228), "the cliff braced up from beneath" (Judd, 1959). They dug
a huge pit in the West Court, 69 feet in diameter by 10½ feet deep,
and carries its contents, all 32,262 cubic feet of it, to dump into
the floodwater channel south of the pueblo and start the two refuse
mounds just beyond.

When village waste had accumulated to a depth of 11 feet, approximately
4 feet above the mid-valley plain as it exists today, the
Late Bonitians built retaining walls part way around their two rubbish
piles and later refaced those walls with third-type masonry and raised
their height by added stonework. The Late Bonitians were, indeed,
tireless builders!

I am not sure they built the ancient stairway back of Pueblo
Bonito, but it is a reasonable presumption—the stairway whose lower
steps were so eroded by water action we fitted 3-inch planking on the
original seatings in 1922. A comparable stairway is to be seen near
every other major P. III ruin in Chaco Canyon and broad pathways
lead from one to another. The Navaho refer to these pathways as
"roads" and my guess is no better.

At the top of the Pueblo Bonito stairway is a wind-swept area,
oval and roughly 50 by 30 feet, ringed with piled stones and with three
5-inch deep dug basins in the middle (NGS Neg. 50596A). Handpecked
steps lead dimly toward Pueblo Alto, on the skyline. About
a mile to the northeast is the superb stairway Jackson sketched on
May 10, 1877 (Jackson, 1878, pl. 63), and which he insisted upon
climbing in 1925 just because he had done so 48 years earlier.

Since 1877 a middle section has broken away but the remainder
survives, climbing upward from a most casual base. An instructive
circumstance in connection with this particular stairway is the series
of 8 incipient steps at upper right. Jackson indicated this series


Page 142
lightly but his lithographer chose to ignore it (pl. 39, left and right).
The cliff below is more precipitous but perhaps Chaco stair builders
started at the top and worked down!

Jackson's stairway is one of the best, but what was its purpose?
The diverse "roads" are equally beyond convincing explanation.
There is the broad pathway extending southeast from Pueblo Alto
with 10- to 20-foot-wide hammer-battered steps at every ledge (pl. 40,
lower) and a pecked groove throughout much of its length (pl. 40,
middle); there is the retaining wall edging a 30-foot cliff in a rincon
back of Chettro Kettle and a stairway at the end of the trail. There
is another step series across the canyon, irregular and cramped,
and a cleared path from rimrock toward Tsin Kletzin (pl. 40, upper).
There is the magnificent stairway overlooking Hungo Pavie and a
conspicuous "road" dug through a sand ridge south of The Gap.
Each was a prodigious undertaking of which the Late Bonitians or
their contemporaries were thoroughly capable but each remains a