University of Virginia Library


Page 177


There are 37 kivas represented on the National Geographic
Society's ground plan of Pueblo Bonito (fig. 2). Seven of these were
examined by Pepper (1920) for the Hyde Expeditions; the remainder,
including two (Y, Z) cleared by unknown individuals between
1900 and 1920, by the Society. We reexamined Kiva 162 in
part; tested, but did not excavate, O, P, S, and 2-C. We have no
idea how many were in use contemporaneously nor how many were
still functioning at the final exodus from Pueblo Bonito. Only six
(H, J, K, L, T, and 2-D) had become accepted dumps for neighboring
household rubbish; only two (H and J) had been deliberately
stripped of their ceiling timbers. Where fire is indicated it followed
the accumulation of wind-blown sand. Other and older kivas preceded
those now visible, as illustrated on figures 3-6. Ceremonialism was
deeply rooted at Pueblo Bonito!

In present Pueblo villages there may be one kiva or several.
Anthropological opinion differs as to the kiva's primary function, but
it is generally agreed that each serves as a masculine retreat—a man's
club that is not a club but a place in which members of an esoteric
group can meet to rehearse prescribed rituals or just loaf around.
Traditionally the kiva is a subterranean room, although sometimes, as
at Pueblo Bonito, this relative position was simulated by razing two or
more dwellings, building the kiva within, and leaving the house walls
standing. Traditionally the kiva was circular although a rectangular
form was sometimes favored.

Pertinent data relative to our 37 Pueblo Bonito kivas are given in
the table on pages 178-179.

It will be noted that these are all very much alike but not
precisely so. The majority are equipped with a central fireplace,
an under-floor ventilating system, a subfloor vault west of the
fireplace, and an encircling bench having 6 to 10 low pilasters and
a shallow recess at the south. These several features unite to
distinguish what I have termed "the Chaco-type" kiva. Upon the
pilasters, which are rarely more than 9 inches high, a cribwork of
overlapping logs rose to form a domed ceiling. Depth made ladders
essential. The middle of the roof presumably was left open as a
smoke vent and a means of ingress and exit.


Page 178


Page 179
Kiva  Floor
x h 
Pilasters  w x h  Average
S bench
45′1″  9′7″  a 12″ x 7″ 
b 11″ x 10″ 
c 15″ x 17″ 
21′5″  11′8″  20″ x 42″  16″-  2″  planks 
23′3″  12′  28″ x 25″  10  20″-  3½″  planks 
26′6″  13′  24″ x 28″  10  16″ x 7″  3½″ 
17′  8′7″  27″ x 26″  34½″ x 5′10″  3½″ 
21′8″  9′6″  26″ x 29″  14″ x 10″  3½″  planks 
21′5″  11′  35″ x 24″  18″ x 10″  2″  poles 
18′2″  10′  18″ x 31″  19″-  3″ 
15′10″  9′6″  20″ x 25″  16″- 
21′9″  10′6″  20″ x 24″  19″- 
17′8″  9′6″  16″ x 26″  16″ x 10″ 
18′  9′11″  30″ x 26″  16″ x 9½″  4″  poles 
17′3″  9′  30″ x 25″  16″ x 9½″  4″  poles 
17′10″  9′6″  28″ x 27″  15″ x 6″  4″  poles 
26′e  11′6″  35″ x 28″  — 
40′  10′  25″ x 23″ 
22′9″  9′10″  46″ x 29″  17″ x 8″  3″ 
19′10″e  9′7″  31″ x 26″e  —  23″ x 6″  2″  poles 
22′6″  9′6″  32″ x 25″  21″ x 6″  4″  poles 
13′10″  8′  11″ x 25″ 
13′1″  8′  14″ x 24″  21″ x 29″ 
15′2″  10′  17″ x 26″  20″-  1″ 
13′3″  7′6″  17″ x 30″  17″ x 31″  former 
10′4″  7′6″  — 
20′3″  9′  32″ x 23″  — 
2-B  18′2″  11′  28″ x 26″ 
2-C  21′e  9′6″  27″ x 18″  —  — 
2-D  19′11″ E-W  7′6″  — 
16′4″ N-S 
2-E  12′7″  7′7″  13″ x 34″ 
16  20′6″ (P)  24″ (P)  6(P) 
59  11′3″  8′ 
67  25′6″ (P)  —  26″ x 24″  6(P) 
161  17′  10′6″  18″ x 30″  3″ 
162  18′1″  10′  19″ x 31″ 

The Kiva A bench is composed of three steps: (a) that nearest the floor; (b) the middle; and (c) the upper. These levels merge
one into the other as indicated in figure 16. Measurements begin 1 foot east of the stairway to Room 148, but total width and height,
taken clockwise at 12 points, average 40½ by 34 inches.

Ceiling heights were estimated at the middle, where a single layer of poles capped the domelike roof of typical Chaco kivas;
A, E, Q, U, W, Y, 59, 2-D, and 2-E presumably were flat-roofed.

The kiva appearing as 67 on Hyde's groundplan is not that described as such by Pepper. But just to the south of it is an
unnumbered kiva (shown open in Pepper's figure 4) that does agree with Pepper's location, dimensions, and notes. Hence the
correction of our figure 2, where the unmarked kiva becomes 67 and the Room 67 of Hyde's plan becomes Kiva Z. (See, also,
Pepper, 1899.)

Tabulated data for 16, 59, 67, 75, 130, 161, and 162 were taken from Pepper's text. To lessen drainage problems, Kivas T, X,
2-D, and 2-E were refilled after excavation by the NGS.


Page 180

The distinctive Chaco-type ventilating system is a 3-part combination:
an air vent near the fireplace, an under-floor duct, and an external
shaft with air intake. Fresh air drawn down the shaft and
through the duct escaped at the vent and rose on fireplace heat and
out at the roof opening. Because the vent lay at floor level a
deflector was seldom required to screen the fireplace flame from inrushing
air. Indeed, we have record of only seven such deflectors
(H, L, M, Q, T, 2-B and 2-E), none more than a few inches high and
one of them in a non-Chaco kiva. Fireplaces, as we observed them,
are usually circular but may be either masonry-lined or slab-lined.

Of all our Chaco-type kivas only L was as its builders left it,
with ceiling intact or nearly so. We dismantled this ceiling piece by
piece, counted 195 individual pine logs in the principal cribwork, 135
shorter pieces completing and leveling the fourteenth or uppermost
layer (pl. 56, upper), and guessed that perhaps 20 more had been
lost with collapse of the middle portion, a total of 350. If this total is
typical, and there is no reason to believe otherwise, one can understand
why the sparse Chaco forests ultimately were exhausted.

The Kiva L cribwork included 14 layers of clean pine logs or
sections of logs that rose domelike from six basal pilasters 9½ inches
high. The four lowermost layers consisted of six logs each, paired
and extending between alternate pairs of pilasters, but the number per
layer gradually increased thereafter, as follows:

Sequence of roofing poles, Kiva L

Pilasters[1]   1.  2.  3.  4.  5.  6. 
Layer 1  —2—  —2—  —2— 
—2—  —2—  —2— 
—2—  —2—  —2— 
—2—  —2—  —2— 
—3—  —3—  —3— 
—4—  —3—  —4— 
—4—  —4—  —4— 
—5—  —4—  —4— 
—5—  —5—  —5— 
10  —5—  —6—  —5— 
11  —5—  —5—  —5— 
12  —8—  —7—  —8— 
13  —10—  —9—  —8— 
14  —8—  —12—  —10— 

Each layer above the three lowest was braced both ways by a
longer member (pl. 56, lower).


Page 181

The outer ends of the upper layer were firmly fixed in the kiva
masonry 7 feet 9 inches above its bench, and here, at wall top, two
pine logs carried the south side of Rooms 290-291 across the north
arc (pl. 57, left). Piercing the uppermost layer but built upon
seven hewn boards inserted just below was a neat masonry cylinder,
16 inches in diameter by 12 inches high, with a hole in the middle,
1½ by 2½ inches, that opened directly into the kiva. My notes refer
to this feature as "the speaking tube," but its purpose remains a
mystery. It stood upon the northwest quarter of the roof about 7
feet from the edge; the upper logs had been cut away to admit the
hewn boards. A miniature wall, 3 inches thick, 6 inches high, and
20 inches long on the same hewn boards and only 3 inches away,
likewise remains a mystery but could have been part of a miniature

Each of the six Kiva L pilasters was a 4-foot section of a redcedar
log about 10 inches in diameter, veneered at the sides with
small-stone masonry, and plastered all over. The forward end of
the log was set back 3-4 inches from the edge of the bench; its rear
was inserted into a previously prepared opening in the kiva wall,
lintel sticks above, and the excess space subsequently filled in. From
core to outside mudwork each pilaster reflected the craftsmanship
of a painstaking builder (pl. 61, left). Pine posts about 3 inches in
diameter stood at the back, one on top the pilaster and one at either
side. Those at No. 4 measured nearly 7 feet high but we observed
behind them no trace of grass or other vegetal matter.

Built upon the bench against Pilaster 2 was a masonry block, 16
by 12 by 19 inches, an adjunct necessitated by compression of the
overlying logs (pl. 58, lower). Other Kiva L pilasters had individual
stones introduced to distribute like pressure. Clearly these
ceiling timbers had been placed while still green and unseasoned.

On top of each pilaster log and under the paired poles was a
gouged-out cavity about 2 inches in diameter by half an inch deep
containing a sacrificial offering of beads and other objects of personal
value. Each cavity was rabbeted for a close-fitting cover, wood
or stone, discoidal or rectangular. Because the Kiva L pilaster offerings
are complete and thus perhaps more informative than usual, I
am listing them individually in the table on page 182.

In addition, we have three bench-front niches in Kiva L, each
ceiled with hewn pine boards and each empty: (1) On the east side
between Pilasters 2 and 3, unplastered, 40 by 20 by 17 inches deep
with an 11½-by-13½-inch-high opening 9 inches above the floor;


Page 182
Pilaster 1  Pilaster 2  Pilaster 3  Pilaster 4  Pilaster 5  Pilaster 6 
(U.S.N.M. No.
(U.S.N.M. No.
(U.S.N.M. No.
(U.S.N.M. No.
(U.S.N.M. No.
(U.S.N.M. No.
49 olivella beads  36 olivella beads  20 olivella beads  29 olivella beads  39 olivella beads  15 olivella beads
and 2 fragments 
148 "fig. 8" beads
and 35 fragments 
77 "fig. 8" beads
and 30 fragments 
50 "fig. 8" beads
and 10 fragments 
34 "fig. 8" beads
and 30 fragments 
149 "fig. 8" beads
and 25 fragments 
61 "fig. 8" beads
and 20 fragments 
48 disk bone and
shell beads and
10 fragments 
20 disk turquoise
beads and 2 fragments 
15 disk bone beads
and 1 fragment 
25 disk bone beads
and 10 fragments 
28 disk bone beads
and 6 fragments 
19 disk bone beads
and 13 fragments 
46 disk turquoise
beads and 9 fragments 
29 fragments turquoise,
and unworked 
11 disk turquoise
beads and 1 fragment 
24 disk turquoise
beads and fragments 
45 disk turquoise
beads and 4 fragments 
15 turquoise beads
and 2 fragments 
34 fragments turquoise
3 shell fragments  11 fragments turquoise,
and unworked 
23 turquoise and
shell fragments,
worked and unworked 
23 fragments turquoise,
and unworked 
19 fragments turquoise,
and unworked 
9 shell fragments  2 shell fragments  4 large shell beads
and fragments 
1 small quartz
1 cylindrical bone
1 piece iron pyrites  9 shell fragments  1 lot macaw and
other feathers
bound with cotton
2 metallic stone
1 lot seaweed (?) 


Page 183
(2) on the north side, 8 inches above the floor between Pilasters 3
and 4, a blocked niche measuring 10 inches wide by 16 inches;
(3) on the west side, a rough-walled recess 33 by 18 inches deep with
an 11 by 16-inch opening 7 inches above the kiva floor. Comparable
niches were noted in eight other local kivas (F, G, M, N, R, U, X, and
2-E) but only one (in Y) above bench level.

The under-floor ventilator is perhaps the most characteristic feature
of Chaco-type kivas, and that in L is thoroughly representative.
Here the actual vent is 18 by 15 inches, the outlet from a slab-paved,
masonry-lined duct 21 inches deep (pl. 60, upper). Roofed with
hewn pine boards and a 3-inch layer of adobe mud flush with the
room floor, the duct passed under the middle of the south bench
recess to connect with an external shaft, the air intake. Two courses
of sandstone, plastered at the sides, stood at the north edge of the
vent, screening the fireplace.

Although built during the Late Bonitians' major constructional
program (JPB No's 70, 79, and 81 gave tree-ring dates of 1047 and
1061), Kiva L eventually was abandoned and thereafter briefly utilized
as a neighborhood dump. Of, 4,732 sherds tabulated from these
floor sweepings 16 percent are Old Bonitian and 67.3 percent Late
Bonitian. Of those we examined, five other local kivas (H, J, K, T,
and 2-D) likewise had degenerated to the status of community dumping

Under the floor of Kiva L were remains of an older, second-typemasonry
kiva (fig. 4). Not until three years later, July 29, 1926,
was the ventilator shaft of this older structure located, its partly
demolished stonework 5½ feet below the East Court surface.

Subfloor ventilators in three of our kivas (I, X, 162) offer evidence
of remodeling. In Kiva I, for instance, the rear wall of the
south recess had been partially removed and replaced with wattlework
supported by two upright sticks and, at each end, by a 1-inch
bundle of reeds. In Kiva X the customary under-floor tunnel had
been filled and floored over and a substitute ventilator, 9½ inches wide
by 17 high, cut through the back of the recess 6 inches above floor
level. With apparent humor, the mason who did this work installed
two sill stones, one white and the other red.

Despite the fact each boasts an under-floor ventilator in the Chaco
tradition, five of our kivas (E, X, Y, 2-E, and 59) are really foreign
to Chaco Canyon. The first two have high masonry pilasters after
the manner of those in the Mesa Verde country, and so too does
that underneath 162.


Page 184

We were drawn to Kiva 162 by Pepper's illustration (1920,
fig. 145) which shows a square, precisely rimmed ventilator opening,
an under-floor duct, and what appears to be a second ventilator
broken through the rear wall of the south recess. Beneath the tumble
weeds and blown sand of 20 years we found both ventilators but
the rim slabs had gone and where they should have been were the
ruins of an older under-floor kiva of a different kind (pl. 60, lower).

Kiva 162 with its eight low pilasters and subfloor ventilator is
clearly of Chaco type, but that beneath has four masonry pillars
razed 5½ feet above their floor and two south recesses—a shallow
bench recess and another above, 3½ feet deep by 8 feet 9 inches wide.
The deep south recess and high masonry pilasters identify this under
floor Kiva as an import from beyond the San Juan River.

Kiva D is a Chaco-type kiva with individuality. It has a subfloor
passageway, 32 inches deep by 22 inches wide, that afforded secret
access to second-story Room 241B. Paved with sandstone slabs and
roofed with pine poles, that passageway ended in a flight of three
masonry steps. The first two were 8 inches, front to back, but the
third was 15—a hewn plank tread and a 2-inch longitudinal pole 7
inches below the Room 241B floor. There were a stone step and an
inset plank at the west end of the passage and more hewn planks
bridging the east end, under the bench (pl. 62, upper).

While scraping the floor of Kiva D we came upon an embedded
sandstone tablet covering a masonry-lined repository 6 inches wide,
20 inches long, and 12 inches deep. Silt that retained several fragments
of shell and turquoise and the imprints of two short, rounded
objects of wood half filled the space. It has been constructed against
the concave side of an earlier, under-floor kiva 6½ feet from the
passageway to Room 241B, a fact which is, of course, purely fortuitous.
Against the same concave wall and a few feet nearer the
Kiva D ventilator was a second repository, 9 inches in diameter by
10 inches deep, that contained the cockleshell and accompanying objects
illustrated in our volume on the material culture of Pueblo
Bonito (Judd, 1954, pl. 89).

The subfloor kiva, built of both laminate and dressed friable sandstone
in what I have hesitatingly classed as third-type masonry,
measured 21 feet 4 inches in diameter and may have been left unfinished
since the customary bench is lacking. Significantly, the floor
of this early kiva, 6½ feet below that of D, is practically on the same
level as that of Room 241A (fig. 18).

Ten pilasters supported the domed ceiling but they were not ordinary

No Page Number

Fig. 16a-Profile of Kiva A stairway from latest floor to Room

No Page Number

No Page Number

Fig. 17-Great Kiva Q and cross section A-A′.

No Page Number

No Page Number

A single 10-inch beam supported the ceiling of Room 227 with the end of another
protruding from 227-I.

(Photograph by O. C. Havens, 1921.)


Plate 54

Ceiling poles and hatchway of Room 327 as seen from above.

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

No Page Number

Plate 55

Upper: Doors, built and repeatedly altered, had pierced the north wall of Room 169 in various
directions. (Photograph by O. C. Havens, 1921.)


Lower: Late Bonitian builders crowded the north wall of Room 168 with doors of divers shapes
and size. (Photograph by Neil M. Judd, 1926.)

No Page Number

Plate 56

Upper: The uppermost, or 14th, layer of roofing timbers survived in Kiva L but the middle
portion had collapsed.


Lower: Cribbed ceiling timbers, Kiva L, with bench posts showing at left and the
"speaking tube," lower right.

(Photographs by Neil M. Judd, 1923.)

No Page Number

Plate 57

Left: Paired
logs carried the
south wall of
Rooms 290-291
across the north
arc of Kiva L.


Right: Kiva L
cribwork with upright
bench posts
at Pilaster No. 3
and, upper right,
paired beams under
south wall, Room

(Photographs by
Neil M. Judd,

No Page Number

Plate 58

Upper: Sacrificial offering, with wooden cover, Pilaster No. 1, Kiva L.


Lower: Pilaster No. 2, Kiva L, with buttress at left side and bench niche below.

(Photographs by Neil M. Judd, 1923.)

No Page Number

Plate 59

Left: Pilaster 6,
Kiva L, with overlying
logs impressed
by weight
of those above.


Right: A Kiva
L bench recess between
Pilasters 4
and 5.

(Photographs by
O. C. Havens,

No Page Number

Plate 60

Upper: Basal ceiling poles and Pilasters 1 and 2, Kiva L, overlook the fireplace, the subfloor
ventilator, and the east bench niche.

(Photograph by Neil M. Judd, 1923.)


Lower: Underneath Chaco-type Kiva 162 were the remains of a partially razed, non-Chaco kiva.

(Photograph by Neil M. Judd, 1922.)

No Page Number

Plate 61

Stone-ax-cut and abraded cedar log from Pilaster No. 1, Kiva L.

(Photographs by B. Anthony Stewart.)


Cedarbark bundles, presumably used in ceiling
construction, Room 250.


Page 185

Fig. 18.—Kiva D with subfloor features and cross section.


Page 186
pilasters. Instead of the usual log core with masonry at the
sides, these 10 were solid blocks of wood and their mud covering
was applied directly. They averaged 16 inches wide by 7 inches high,
were set back 3-4 inches from the front of the bench and their rear
ends were embedded in the kiva wall.

Fire had destroyed the Kiva D roof and most of its supporting
pilasters, and when we made repairs in 1921 we removed the charcoal
from several empty sockets and replaced it with stonework recessed
about an inch. Sacrificial offerings were recovered from 7
of the 10 logs. A plastered basin with sloping sides, 4½ feet long,
11 inches wide and 5 inches deep on the bench between Pilasters 5 and
6 may, conceivably, be a substitute for the usual north bench recess.
Only one other kiva, F, had solid wood pilasters like those in D.

As in others of Chaco type, Kiva D has a central fireplace and a
subfloor ventilating system the external shaft in this instance being
concealed in the rebuilt masonry above its south recess. West of the
fireplace is a better-than-average subfloor vault—8 feet 9 inches long
by 19 inches deep, 3 feet 5 inches wide at one end and 4 feet at the
other (pl. 62, lower). Its floor is ill-defined; 16-inch offsets appear
at each end and lesser ones, 4 inches wide and half as deep, on either
side. Embedded in the masonry just below these side offsets are
remains of two single transverse poles that may, at one time, have
supported a light covering. But this Kiva D vault, as usual, had
been filled with clean sand and floored over. Upon conclusion of our
1921 examination we replaced the sandy contents with broken rock
as a drainage aid. Although these west-side vaults are an expected
feature of Chaco-type kivas, none was found in L, N, or U.

Kiva B had all the accouterments of a typical Chaco-type kiva:
encircling bench with low pilasters and south recess, central fireplace,
west-side vault, and subfloor ventilator (pl. 63, lower). This latter,
however, instead of extending to and beneath the south recess bore
due east there to meet a cylindrical ventilator shaft squeezed between
the kiva stonework and the older west wall of Room 153 which
we had previously traced 9½ feet below floor level. Thus the presence
of established buildings on the east and south may have forced this
conspicuous irregularity.

Pueblo peoples are conservatives and followers of custom but local
factors have sometimes compelled substitutions. In Kiva H the
ventilator duct passes under the south recess and then turns abruptly
to the left. In 2-E it turns sharply to the right. In Kiva 2-D the
duct passed beneath the middle of the south wall even though there


Page 187
was no recess present. Two one-time dwellings, 228 and 229, were
sacrificed to provide at second-story level a ventilator shaft for
reconstructed Kiva C.

Although its ventilating system deviated slightly from normal, the
cribwork of Kiva B followed local custom in every particular: low
pilasters as basal supports for a domed ceiling; paired logs between
alternate pairs of pilasters and an additional timber introduced in
the fourth layer. Of those measurable, length varied from 10 feet
5 inches in the lowest tier to 13 feet in the fourth. Here, in Kiva B,
for the only instance in my experience, barked willows appeared between
logs in the fourth layer. And here for the first time we noted
olivellas with bits of turquoise inserted under the lip to keep the
beads in line.

Behind the cribwork, close against the wall masonry and in a groove
averaging 3 inches deep, the builders of Kiva B placed a sort of
wainscoting of hand-hewn planks set upright and packed with bunchgrass
laid horizontally (pl. 63, upper). Although none exceeded 34
inches in height, planks nearest the pilasters were best preserved;
in general, wall masonry above the 37-inch level was burned and

This wainscoting of hewn planks was repeated in Kivas C and F.
Those in C averaged 20 inches high; stood in a 5-inch channel. Poles
about 2 inches in diameter replaced planks in G, L, M, N, R, S, T,
and 16. In every instance, poles or planks, bunchgrass had been
packed behind. A sample from Kiva M, best preserved, was identified
in 1933 by the late A. S. Hitchcock, principal botanist, U. S.
Department of Agriculture, as Oryzopsis hymenoides (Roem. and
Schult.) Ricker, "mountain rice grass" or "sand bunch-grass." The
same filler was included in the ceiling of Old Bonitian Room 3d.

As to the purpose of these upright poles and planks and the grass
behind them, I have no further data to offer, no theory to propound.
If the combination be an inheritance from the past—poles occur repeatedly
on the bench or at floor edge in Pueblo I pit-dwellings
north of the San Juan River and 22 were counted in the remaining
half of a P. I. house in Chaco Canyon (Judd, 1924, p. 405)—it is
to be recalled that no vestige of either plank or pole remains in the
P. II kivas of which we have record at Pueblo Bonito. With local
pilasters rarely more than 9 inches high, very little of the wainscoting
would be visible beneath the cribwork; hence ornamentation was not
a factor.

Kiva 2-D, cited above, does not look like a kiva but can be nothing


Page 188
else (pl. 64, upper). It is oblong, and east and west are broad
recesses surprisingly alike in size and appearance. Both are 21 inches
deep and 8 feet 2 inches wide in front; both are paved with bare
sandstone slabs. There is an oval, slab-lined fireplace at midfloor
and from the south side of it an under-floor ventilator duct extends
to and beneath the middle of the south wall. We did not locate the
opposite end.

Against the north side of 2-D and built upon its floor is a masonrywalled
shaft, 10 by 13 inches inside, floored with part of a 2-inchthick
Old Bonitian metate, and having a 12 x 19-inch opening in
front. In the kiva wall just outside this feature and 23 inches above
the floor, is a small T-shaped niche, 8 inches high, plastered inside
and dark from smoke.

Although indefinite as to type the masonry of 2-D is composed of
both dressed friable sandstone and laminate sandstone and is probably
later in Pueblo Bonito history than appearance suggests. Its
walls were sooted before the latest coat of plaster was applied.
Although its floor lies about 7 feet below West Court surface the
enclosing stonework had been razed to an average height of 4½ feet,
the roofing timbers salvaged, and the empty room finally used as a
communal dump.

Kiva J is one of standard Chaco type, but 3 feet 4 inches underneath
its floor is a D-shaped predecessor that proved much more
interesting (pl. 65, lower). This under-floor example was built from
the inside and repeatedly plastered. It had no bench, no south recess,
and no pilasters. Its central fireplace, 26 by 29 inches and 21 deep,
had rounded corners and a low, wide-spreading adobe rim.

Thirteen inches south of this unusual fireplace is the unusual outlet
for an unusual ventilator duct. That outlet, 18 inches on the
west, 29 inches on the north, and 16 inches on the south, opens at its
southeast corner into a subfloor duct, 32 inches deep, that narrows
as it continues southeast, under the wall and 16 inches beyond, to an
air intake that rises through the Kiva J floor. As noted on the accompanying
plan (fig. 20), that intake is not aligned with its channel
but lies a little to one side. There were no other features to this
queer, D-shaped sub-floor kiva. The rude wall that divides it was
a later introduction and without recognizable purpose.

Construction of the Kiva J ventilating system and west vault
demolished the southwest quarter of the older room but did not
disturb the arc of a still older, second-type-masonry kiva, subfloor
in Rooms 165 and 273. Like Kiva H, Kiva J had been stripped of its


Page 189
roofing timbers and robbed of its pilaster offerings with the sole exception
of that in No. 3 (U.S.N.M. No. 335974). Apparently all
useful timbers had been removed purposely since only the rear logs
of the two lower layers remain in place and their ends are firmly
embedded in the wall masonry. Ultimately, as so frequently happened,
this dismantled room became a dumping place for household

Kiva 59 (pl. 66, left), of the so-called "key-hole" variety, is the
only one of its kind at Pueblo Bonito, unless we include "Y." Its
unusual south recess, 3½ feet deep, 6 feet 4 inches wide in front and
8 feet 8 at the rear, abuts an older house wall of third-type masonry
and stands 8½ feet without trace of roofing timbers. At either side
a 4-inch-wide offset lies 19 inches above the floor and, a little higher,
a plastered niche. That on the west, longitudinally concave within,
measures 20 by 14 inches by 8 inches deep; its opposite, less distinct,
had the same depth but is otherwise smaller. In the north wall of 59,
opposite its south recess and 2 feet above floor, is a third niche, 42
inches wide, 14 inches high to its lintel sticks, and 16 inches deep.
Fourteen inches south of the fireplace a 10 by 13-inch ventilator
opens from an under-floor duct, 25 inches deep, that continues beneath
the recess to an external air intake, half buried in the earthy
fill of the Kiva T enclosure.

Kiva 2-E (pl. 66, right) differs from 59 in that its south recess,
instead of rising full height from the floor, begins on top of a recessed
bench. Upper and lower recesses measure 49 inches wide and
average 9 inches deep. We cleared only the south half of 2-E but
noted three bench-front niches: (1) 15 inches north of the south
recess and 13 inches above the floor, a foot-square opening to an
unplastered repository 28 inches long; (2) 22 inches beyond the first
and with twice its sill height, a second niche 8 inches wide by 16
inches long and 4 inches high; (3) west of the south recess, too
broken for measurement.

A subfloor ventilator tunnel in Kiva 2-E, originally 18 inches wide
by 50 inches long, had been shortened to 3 feet 9 inches and its north
end floored over. I would guess both reduction and closing were
related to ventilation for a masonry deflector 6 inches high (our
highest) rose between the original vent and the nearby fireplace. At
its opposite end the duct makes an abrupt right-angled turn to the left
to a ventilator shaft we did not discover.

The relatively high proportion of McElmo Black-on-white, Mesa
Verde, and Kayenta Polychrome potsherds from its rubbish fill


Page 190
argues for the late occupancy and abandonment of this non-Chaco
room. In addition, a fragment picked up on the surface of the East
Mound, just outside the village at this point, belongs to a proto-Mesa
Verde bowl recovered from the same rubbish fill (U.S.N.M.
No. 336366).

Kiva 2-E was roofed by a single, east-west beam seated directly
upon the wall masonry and by lesser cross timbers whose distal ends
rested in a 6-inch-deep offset at wall top. To this extent 2-E echoes
its immediate predecessor, 13 feet in diameter, the remains of which
lie a few feet to the east, its floor 9½ feet beneath the area I numbered
286. This predecessor, its non-Chaco masonry likewise of large
squared blocks of friable sandstone and plastered full height, had
been roofed with cross-poles on a single beam, 8 inches in diameter,
the east end of which rested upon two posts (JPB 97 and 98) one
of them partly embedded in the front edge of the encircling bench.
An under-floor ventilator followed the Chaco pattern.

There are other one-of-a-kind kivas at Pueblo Bonito. Kiva E,
for example (not 2-E), has four masonry pillars as roof supports.
These average 34½ inches wide in front, a trifle wider at the rear,
and stand 5 feet 10 inches above the encircling bench (pl. 65, upper).
In front of the south bench recess, 15½ inches deep and 5 feet 2
inches wide, is a Chaco-type sub-floor ventilator and a slab-lined
fireplace with two sandstone firedogs in the middle. Rather than a
north bench niche, there was one on the west side, 5 inches above
the floor and 31 inches from the northwest pillar. Its opening, 17 by
16 inches high, had two small posts at the north jamb, one flush with
the face and the second set 4 inches inside.

The six pilasters of Kiva X were unique in that each consisted of
masonry 31 inches high, rising flush with the bench face and enclosing
two logs, one above the other (pls. 67, upper; 68, right). In each
case the lower log was about 4 inches in diameter and 5 inches above
the bench; the upper logs were larger and were tenoned in the
wall masonry at the top of the 31-inch-high pilasters. Cribbed ceiling
timbers, paired after the manner of Kiva L, likewise were embedded
in the wall masonry. Shorter pieces, leveling the upper layer,
rested upon the wall top and were held in place by a row of single
stones. These uppermost ceiling poles, their ends still in place, lay
6 feet 5 inches above the floor of Room 330, nearby, thus measuring
the depth of Old Bonitian rubbish before construction of Late
Bonitian Kiva X.

Another unusual fancy in pilaster construction is that in Kiva T


Page 191
(pl. 67, lower). Here four 2-inch poles, walled at the front and
sides with small-stone masonry, replaced the expected single-log core.
Each pilaster rested upon a thin sandstone slab; we observed no
sacrificial offering. In every other respect construction followed the
customary Chaco-type pattern: under-floor ventilator, south bench
recess, circular fireplace, and west-side vault. Ceiling timbers crossed
upon alternate pairs of pilasters in the traditional sequence, the third
layer increased by one. Upright poles stood at the rear of the bench.
With walls composed wholly of friable sandstone, disintegration had
progressed to such a degree that I considered it advisable to refill the
chamber at conclusion of our study. But there was an earlier floor
or work-surface at depth of 3 inches with a thin covering of shale

What I have called "Kiva Y," opened by unknown persons prior
to 1920, has an undeniable resemblance to 59. Like the latter it was
erected in a former dwelling whose plastered masonry survives behind
the intruding walls. Kiva 59, however, is a groundfloor chamber
while "Y" lies at the second story level. Its third-type stonework
abuts both the plastered exterior of Old Bonitian Room 112 and the
southward extension of the second-type southeast side of Room 91.
It has a subfloor ventilator, a square, masonry-lined fireplace, a northwall
niche, plastered and whitened, 29 inches above the floor, and a
south recess 32 inches high and averaging 13 inches deep. Above
this latter, however, a broad, recesslike shelf opens out on either side
with a built-in ventilator shaft between. Together, these two broad
shelves above bench height, resemble the deep south recess of
northern kivas.

At time of its abandonment, Kiva R was one of pure Chaco type,
but it began as an Old Bonitian cult room with outward-flaring sides
and each subsequent modification, as I interpret the evidence, sought
to retain the original bowl-like contour. The Late Bonitians built
within and upon the original and twice thereafter undertook to better
their own handiwork.

The main wall of Kiva R is predominantly second-type masonry,
but the upper 3 feet, more or less, is a third-type renovation (pl. 24,
left). At 7 feet 4 inches above its bench the wall sets back 16 inches
to a riser that averages 11 inches, leaving an offset that retained
remnants of former ceiling poles—a ceiling-pole offset repeated so
frequently in Pueblo Bonito kivas I believe it to have been standard.
Between Pilasters 3 and 4 the ends of three horizontal poles show one
above the other, presumably introduced to bind the second-type stonework
to what lies behind. Mud plaster covers the wall, bench to offset.


Page 192

The latest Kiva R bench measures 29 inches high and varies in
width from 40 inches at the north to 52 inches at the south (pl. 69,
lower). Upon it are six pilasters averaging 17 inches wide by 8 inches
high and set back about 3 inches from the front edge. At the rear,
between pilasters, upright posts varying in number from 13 to 16 held
close against the masonry a mass of sticks and brush, rather than the
bunchgrass noted in other kivas. Sacrificial offerings were present
in the pilaster logs and between some of the timbers crossed above
them. One such included part of the bill of a redhead duck (Nyroca
—Field No. 1486). A turquoise fragment from Pilaster
No. 3 fitted others from No. 4. Elsewhere, parts of the same ornament
were recovered from two or more pilasters.

There was no vault west of the Kiva R fireplace but at the north,
6 inches above the floor and opposite the south recess, was a neat little
niche, 7 inches wide by 11 inches high and 15 inches deep, unplastered
but containing a small Old Bonitian bowl and a battered murex
shell (Judd, 1954, pl. 82, a, b).

Directly beneath that niche is a floor repository, 8½ by 11½ inches
inside and 38 inches to its clay bottom. Its aperture was covered
by a squared sandstone tablet sunk to floor level. Three years later,
1927, when we returned for further observations, we learned that
the present Kiva R bench, 29 inches high, was preceded by two others
and that our sub-floor repository actually extended to the bench of
the original, a total of 4 feet 9 inches. Also, the respository gave access
to an earlier niche, neatly plastered but empty, in the second-type
kiva bench (fig. 22).

That portion of the original Old Bonitian bench exposed by our
test pit measured 22 inches high but varied in width from 9 to 13
inches. Its associated floor, at 6 feet 7 inches, overlay a thick layer of
shale chips and chunks of dried adobe from razed walls and roofs.
Upon that floor, however, were four successive layers of sand and
water-soaked mortar each layer, like the original, slanting toward the
middle. The uppermost of these four, darker than its predecessors
and ash-strewn, was, in turn, overlain by successive strata of wall
plaster and shale.

Nineteen inches of first-type masonry, thickly plastered and whitened,
rose vertically above the Old Bonitian bench and thus provided
a solid foundation for the second-type bench that followed, 29 inches
high. Above this latter were 9 inches of what I consider constructional
debris and then the latest Kiva R floor with its enclosing bench
of excellent laminate stonework (pl. 24, right).


Page 193

A test on this latest bench between Pilasters 2 and 3 showed a
soft sand and clay fill to the slab-surface of its second-type predecessor.
This second-type bench likewise was filled behind its facing
masonry but with spalled sandstone and mortar rather than with
sand and clay only. My notes contain no reference to wainscoting
poles on the second-type bench, as on the later one, but stress the outward
slant of the main wall. This consisted of large blocks of dressed
friable sandstone, chinked in the characteristic second-type manner.
The only puzzle remaining is that 19 inches of vertical Old Bonitian
stonework at the bottom.

An accumulation of windborne sand almost ceiling high, traceable
remains of roofing timbers through that sand, and a noticeable lack
of occupational debris upon the floor unite in suggesting that Kiva R
continued in use until the last few families were ready to leave
Pueblo Bonito.

Old Bonitian kivas, as made known by our incomplete studies, have
wide benches and walls that flare outward like the sides of a bowl.
None has any suggestion of vertical stonework above the bench.
Hence my perplexity over that in the original of Kiva R.

As stated in Chapter II, our best example of an Old Bonitian kiva
is the the one we discovered at the northwest corner of the East
Court, divided by the north enclosing wall of Kiva 2-C (pl. 23, right).
Its indicated diameter is 22½ feet; its main wall, on the west, stands
10 feet above the bench but 2 or more additional feet apparently were
removed prior to construction of the unnumbered room between 211
and 212. The east side of this unnumbered room overhangs the old
kiva interior by 18 inches; supporting beams, if any, had decayed.

The bench in this Old Bonitian kiva is surfaced with sandstone
slabs and plastered. It measures 25 inches high and 34 inches wide
and thus exceeds both in width and height that at the bottom of our
Kiva R test. Only two pilasters are present in the surviving half,
thus indicating four roof supports in the tradition of P. I and early
P. II 4-post houses. The two average 10½ inches wide by 6½ inches
high; each consists of a 6-inch log, set back 7 or 8 inches from the
bench front and its butt end embedded in the wall masonry and packed
about with shale chips. Although still 25 inches high, the whiteplastered
bench masonry in this old kiva extends to an earlier floor
or work surface 13 inches lower—a surface overlain by a 5-inch
layer of shale and covered by stone-impressed adobe chunks, presumably
from razed walls. Thus whitened plaster and utilization of


Page 194
shale chips—repeatedly noted in and under Late Bonitian buildings—
are both Pueblo II traits at Pueblo Bonito.

Pilaster offerings were lacking in this Old Bonitian half-kiva as
in the fragment beneath the terrace out in front of Room 324 (pl.
23, left). Pilasters are not mentioned in Pepper's description (1920,
p. 269) of a first-type kiva under Room 83, but the outward slant
of its rude stonework is again emphasized. Because the profiles of
all P. II kivas we know at Old Bonito, including that under the
south wall of Pepper's Room 83, reflect the bowl-like shape of their
P. I ancestors, it is possible I overlooked some important factor when
examining the three superposed kiva benches in that 6½-foot pit we
dug below floor level in Kiva R (pl. 24, right).

The distinctive stonework of Old Bonito is to be seen repeatedly
east of Room 83 (fig. 3), and I am confident Late Bonitian architects
razed and replaced with their own more Old Bonitian dwellings and
kivas throughout this section than our data indicate.

Kiva G, in the northeast quarter of the pueblo, offers superficial
evidence of long occupancy like Kiva R and at least two revisions
(pl. 70, upper). As I read the record, part of the original is represented
in the convex middle section of the Room 62 second-type south
wall and its continuation eastward where it forced a corresponding
convexity in remodeling the west side of Room 264. Next, this original
was replaced by a larger kiva, also of second-type masonry, whose 20inch-thick
wall is preserved on the west side of Kiva G and in the
stonework above its south bench recess. The northeast quarter of this
enlarged kiva abuts the exterior of rebuilt Room 62 and, curving
southeast, is lost in confused stonework against the outer west side
of 264.

Kiva G as it now exists was built within that enlarged second-type
structure, but an elongation to the east resulted when the builders
apparently attempted to utilize part of the kiva wall they were replacing.
Finally, and only to correct this asymmetry, a mongrel stonework
was introduced between Pilasters 1 and 3 (pls. 68, left; 69,
upper) and westward as far as Pilaster No. 4 at a height of 6 feet
4 inches.

Normally the masonry of a kiva bench surpasses that of the wall
above. In Kiva G the bench averaged 24 inches high by 35 inches
wide; the upper half of it is composed entirely of laminate sandstone
in what could be called either third-type or fourth-type, repeatedly
plastered and whitewashed. Below Pilasters 2 and 3 we counted 21
coats of whitened plaster. Six pilasters stand upon the bench, each


Page 195

Fig. 19.—Kiva G, of second-type masonry was twice remodeled.


Page 196
consisting of a log core 8-10 inches in diameter and sunk 2-4 inches
into the bench top, veneered at the sides with small-stone masonry
and thickly plastered. Above bench level the lower 3½ feet of the kiva
wall had been plastered once but this was concealed by a wainscot of
3-inch upright posts, placed about 8 inches from the wall 5-6 inches
apart, and packed behind with bunchgrass. After a foot of blown
sand had collected upon the floor (26 inches at the south) fire had
destroyed grass, cribwork, and the pilaster logs. Charred offerings
were recovered from all but No. 3.

Kiva G is a typical Chaco-type kiva with central fireplace, subfloor
ventilator going under the south recess, a north bench niche, and a
west-side vault, well floored and lined with masonry that included
several stones-on-end. The north-bench recess measured 29 inches
wide by 9 inches high and 13 inches deep; it was plastered inside
and its floor whitened. Outside and below each jamb was a shallow
depression, of unknown significance if any. But what interested us
most of all was the lower half of the bench facing (pl. 70, lower).
It looked to me at the time like Old Bonitian stonework, and I still
believe it to be such, but in retrospect I realize a test pit should
have been dug to the bottom to ascertain its depth. Kiva G was
partially demolished when the Braced-up Cliff collapsed January 22,
1941 (Judd, 1959b), and it is possible this remnant of apparent P. II
masonry was lost at that time.

We counted 37 circular kivas in Pueblo Bonito of which 28 are a
local variety I have called "the Chaco type," 2 (A, Q) are superkivas—Great
Kivas as they are now known to the profession—and
7 (E, I, X, Y, 2-E, 59, and sub-162) are either foreign to Chaco
Canyon or are examples of the dominant local type that were revised
to meet the preferences of peoples migrant from northern mesas and
valleys where high masonry roof supports, deep south recesses, and
above-floor ventilators are standard kiva fixtures.

McElmo, or proto-Mesa Verde, pottery types were conspicuous
in or near these seven foreign-influenced kivas and the same pottery
types were preponderant at Pueblo del Arroyo, 300 yards down
valley, where four of the seven Chaco-type kivas excavated for the
National Geographic Society had been converted by their last occupants
to the northern, above-floor-ventilator variety (Judd, 1959a,
p. 172).

In addition, we have at Pueblo Bonito 9 or more rectangular rooms
(3a, 71, 309, 315, 316, 328, 350, 351) that may, conceivably, have
been closely associated with ritualistic practices. Such rooms are


Page 197
repeatedly noted in the literature pertaining to Pueblo villages, ancient
and modern, throughout the Southwest. Pepper (1920, p. 40)
identified Room 3 as a rectangular kiva but the several features that
prompted his identification—slab-lined fireplace, deflector, and
"entrance to a passageway"—actually occur in the room above, 91,

Fig. 20.—Kiva J with subfloor structures.

and as I interpret the published description Room 91 was no more
than a second-story dwelling with a hatchway to Room 3, below, and
an open door to Room 92, adjoining, with its store of beans, bean
bushes, and corn on the cob. In one of my early articles on Pueblo
Bonito (Judd, 1925, p. 260) I prematurely identified the Old Bonitians
with quadrangular ceremonial rooms only to discover my error
during excavations of 1924 and 1925.

If a majority of our Pueblo Bonito kivas are represented (fig. 5)
as built of what I have called third-type masonry, it is, I believe,


Page 198
largely because their stonework includes a great deal of second-hand
material—dressed blocks of friable sandstone salvaged from razed
second- and third-type kivas and contemporary structures whose
remains underlie much of the pueblo (figs. 4-6).


Our two super-kivas, A and Q, are Late Bonitian creations and
so, too, is their predecessor the remnants of which we found unexpectedly
in 1925 12 feet under the West Court (fig. 7). In neither
of the three structures did I see the slightest evidence of Old Bonitian
participation. All are Pueblo III exclusively. Kiva A is younger
than Q; it is, as a matter of fact, one of the last major construction
projects undertaken by the Late Bonitians. If, in this presentation,
I omit consideration of other Great Kivas, let it be remembered that
this is a study of Pueblo Bonito architecture only and not a compendium
of southwestern archeology.


Kiva A, central and most conspicuous feature of Pueblo Bonito,
was excavated by the National Geographic Society in the summer
of 1921. Contrary to published statements (Hewett, 1922, p. 125;
et al.) the Hyde Expeditions of 1896-1899 did not excavate Kiva A
but did clear the peripheral rooms overlooking the chamber from
north and south. We saw no evidence of pre-1921 shovelwork within
the kiva walls other than a trench that had bared 5 feet of west-side

In 1921 the Kiva A depression contained approximately 4 feet of
sand and silt blown and washed in from all sides. Greasewood 4 to 5
feet high had taken root upon this fill (NGS Negs. 3018B; 7641A);
fallen stonework had banked up against the encircling wall and from
this pile we gathered the larger stones for future repairs (pl. 71,
upper). Excavation was monotonous pick-and-shovel work; teams
and scrapers removed the overturned earth.

The masonry of Kiva A is chiefly of laminate sandstone with
intermittent banding and a noticeable lack of the softer, friable
sandstone so abundant in Chaco Canyon. The highest intact masonry,
at the west, stood 11 feet 5 inches above the floor. It was here, in
this highest surviving section, that we noted three partially decayed
3-inch poles, presumably pine, embedded side by side in the stonework
at a height of 9 feet 7 inches and burned off just within the wall
facing. I assumed they represented the outer edge of the ceiling—the


Page 199
last vestige of the original roof—so took care to replace them in
exactly the same position during 1921 repair work.

Kiva A was designed with surprising precision. We measured its
floor diameter at 45 feet 1 inch; 3 feet higher, at 51 feet 10 inches
north-south and 52 feet 1 inch east-west. The floor was ringed by
three encircling benches that vary in width and height and merge at
irregular intervals. Trowel tests here and there showed that the upper
bench had been built against the kiva wall, the second against the
upper and the third, without foundation, against the second. As a
means of convenient recording, I labeled the three, a, b, and c—the
lower, middle, and upper—and measured width and height at 14
stations, clockwise from the east side of the north stairway. For such
information as they may convey, I repeat six of the readings herewith:

12 o'clock  3 o'clock  6 o'clock 
c  12″  7″  13″  7″  13″  8″ 
a  11″  10″  13″  26″  10″  12″ 
b  15″  17″  17″  5″  17″  2″ 
8 o'clock  9:30 o'clock  11:50 o'clock 
b  20″  27″  42″  34″  21″  24″ 
c  21″  10″  20″  14″ 

Total width and height at the 14 stations average 40½ inches and 34 inches,

As will be seen from the floor plan (fig. 16), the three Kiva A
benches differ but little in width until about 6:45 where b narrows
to 7 inches and then merges with a. From a little past 9 o'clock until
about 10:20 the three unite into a single bench 42 inches wide by 34
high. In the face of this combination, 21 inches above the kiva floor
are two small niches approximately 5 inches square and 8 inches deep.
Both were open and empty.

Around the main wall at an average 32 inches above the upper
bench are 34 larger recesses, likewise open and empty. They approximate
9 inches square by 10 inches deep, and each is capped by
a sandstone slab. Between and below them in the east half of the
chamber are five smaller niches, 4 of them at an average height of 19
inches and the fifth at 40½. All are empty; none plastered. Comparable
recesses may have been present in portions of the wall now


Page 200

At the north where a recessed stairway 25 inches wide affords
access to the so-called "altar room," 148, our encircling benches
again separate, two on the west side, three on the east. On the upper
(c) a 4-inch-high step with a 15-inch tread provides a sort of "landing"

for the flight of seven steps as they rise 6½ feet to the Room 148
floor level (pl. 72, lower). Six of the steps are masonry and average
9 inches high by 6½ inches deep. Three cedar poles about 1½ inches
in diameter lay lengthwise upon the front half of the lower step; three
like poles embedded in the stairway jambs at the level of and in front

No Page Number

Plate 62

Upper: The remains of an older kiva appeared beneath the floor of Kiva D and a subfloor
passage to Room 241B (under ladder).


Lower: Squared pilaster timbers in Kiva D had been burned with their ceiling poles but the
subfloor vault and ventilator survived.

(Photographs by O. C. Havens, 1921.)

No Page Number

Plate 63

Upper: Behind the cribwork in Kiva B were hand-hewn planks packed with bunchgrass.


Lower: Dwellings crowding Kiva B from the south turned its ventilator duct east to the
air intake.

(Photographs by O. C. Havens, 1921.)

No Page Number

Plate 64

Upper: Kiva 2-D was provided with an under-floor ventilator, a built-in air shaft at the north,
and wide banquettes, east and west.

(Photograph by Neil M. Judd, 1926.)


Lower: Rooms 350 and 351 (right) were unexpected West Court discoveries.

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

No Page Number

Kiva E, restored, in foreground; Kiva J, with excavations in progress, beyond.


Plate 65

Beneath the floor of Kiva J was a D-shaped kiva, partly razed, with no bench and no

(Photographs by Neil M. Judd, 1922.)

No Page Number

Plate 66

Left: In Kiva 59
a broad south recess
rose ceiling
high with shallow
niches at either

(Photograph by
O. C. Havens,


Right: NonChaco
Kiva 2-E,
at the southeast
corner of the East
Court, was equipped
with a Chaco-like
under-floor ventilator.

(Photograph by
Neil M. Judd,

No Page Number

Kiva X, foreign to Chaco Canyon, possessed unusual pilasters 30 inches high and a
lateral ventilator.


Plate 67

A Kiva T pilaster with four 2-inch timbers instead of a single log.

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

No Page Number

Plate 68

Left: Later
stonework (left 2thirds)
abutted the
original secondtype
masonry of
Kiva G, to correcting
an irregularity.

(Photograph by
Neil M. Judd,


Right: Kiva X
pilasters, 31 inches
high, were unique
with their plastered
sides, 2 embedded
logs, one above the
other, and no setback.

(Photograph by
O. C. Havens,

No Page Number

Plate 69

Upper: Pilasters 2 and 3 (left), Kiva G, with bench posts and third-type-masonry repairs.
Second-type north wall of Room 62, upper middle.

(Photograph by Neil M. Judd, 1922.)


Lower: Fireplace, ventilator, and south bench recess of Kiva R with Pilasters 1 to 3 beyond and
ceiling pole offset at upper left.

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


Page 201
of the remaining five masonry steps increased their tread to about 11
inches. Three poles only, without accompanying masonry, divided
the 21 inches between the sixth step and the floor of 148 (fig. 16a).
These cedar foretreads had all rotted, but their positions were clearly
indicated and we replaced each one.

The "altar" in 1921 measured 4 feet 5 inches long, 11½ inches wide,
and 13 inches high. It was of masonry and presumably was formerly
plastered. It stands a bit off center in 148 and not quite parallel
with the north side.

The enormous roof of Kiva A had rested upon four masonry
pillars. That at the southwest, best preserved of the four, measured
8 feet 9 inches on the north, 5½ feet on the east, 7 feet 8 inches on
the south, and 5 feet 7 inches on the west. In thickness the four
sides varied from 14 inches on the south and west to 22 inches on
the east. They were finished on the outside and the space within
was filled with a rubblework strengthened by close-lying cedar poles
that extended through from one exterior to the other. These poles
were in alternating layers about 9 inches apart, north-south, east-west.

At floor level the east side of this composite pillar overhung by
4 inches a cylindrical base of rough stonework built in a dug hole
4 feet 3 inches deep, the space between pillar and bank being filled
with shale chips. Opposite, under the northwest corner, we came
upon the exposed portion of a large stone incorporated in the foundation.
It was 7½ inches thick, its edge had been rounded by battering,
it may have been 2½ feet in diameter. I did not explore further
because it seemed to me the knowledge to be gained could not justify
destruction of the overlying masonry and that of the vault adjoining.
South of this stone and a foot above the kiva floor a casual wedge of
mud and rock joined pillar and the lower bench.

The other three pillars differed from that at the southwest in overall
dimensions but were otherwise very much alike. Each was quadrangular
and stood upon a cylindrical foundation of coarse stonework
built in a hole 3 to 4 feet deep and packed about with shale chips.
Like that at the southwest, the southeast pillar was reënforced with
cedar poles in alternating layers and its foundation, only 34 inches
high, came to within 3 inches of the floor; its near corner rose 28
inches from the lower (a) bench. The two northern columns both
evidenced reconstruction; both stood above the remains of earlier
structures; both had finally collapsed into low piles of clay and rock.

Based on personal notes and on photographs made by the Museum
of New Mexico shortly after excavation of Great Kiva A, Gordon


Page 202
Vivian (1960, pp. 67-70) doubts the presence of shale under the four
local columns because he saw none and he states that the southeast
pillar (identified by his figure 31) had been rebuilt since excavation
to provide a circular timber socket. The Pueblo Bonito Expeditions
began and concluded their study of Kiva A as part of the 1921
program and the reported pillar alteration could only have been accomplished
some time later. The southeast pillar, like that at the
southwest, had been braced by crossed poles and those still present,
however decayed, were left as we found them (pl. 74, upper).

Shale, occurring with low-grade subbituminous coal that sometimes
approaches lignite in quality, is a product of the Menefee formation
which underlies Chaco Canyon's Cliff House sandstone (Bryan, 1954,
p. 4; Shaler, 1907). It was lavishly employed at Pueblo Bonito both
as a wall packing about pilasters and elsewhere and as an under-floor
spread but was never, to my knowledge, used as a fuel in the manner
of the prehistoric Hopi (Colton, 1936; Hack, 1942).

Sunken, masonry-lined vaults of unknown purpose abutted the
north side of the two southern pillars. That adjoining the southwest
column although reduced to an average height of 12 inches on the
east side and 22 on the west—the number of dislodged stones did not
indicate any appreciable increase—appeared continuous with the pillar
masonry as though built at the same time (fig. 16). Originally
plastered and measuring 9 feet 5 inches long, 50½ inches wide, and
30 inches deep, this vault was subsequently reduced to 6 feet 4 inches
long by 33 inches when abutting masonry was introduced at the north
end, the remainder filled with clean sand covered with flagstones,
and new masonry built upon the slabs (pl. 71, lower).

Apparently the sides of that southwest vault formerly continued
north to enclose a companion but this latter had been razed and
replaced by a third vault on a floor 8 inches higher. Lying across
the doubled masonry between the older vault and its replacement was
a sandstone slab 1½ inches thick, 24 inches wide, and 33½ inches long
with two corners missing.

Comparable vaults with varying floor levels occupied the space
between the southeast pillar and that at the northeast. This latter,
like its opposite at the northwest, had been repaired once or twice
but finally was reduced to a low square standing upon its foundation
of rough stonework. In this instance the foundation had been built
in a hole 4 feet deep the diameter of which was a foot greater than
that of the foundation itself thus leaving a 6-inch space all around
that was filled with loose shale to within 10 inches of the kiva floor.


Page 203
A test pit at this point (pl. 73, right) disclosed remnants of two
earlier kivas with floors at depths of 23 and 39 inches.

A second limited test farther along the east wall, at about 4 o'clock,
showed the lower bench (a) averaging 12 inches in height with no
foundation. Its lower 3 inches were abutted by constructional debris
and above that were no less than 17 successive adobe surfaces or
compacted sand layers, each ash-darkened and thickest next the
bench as though piled there by circulating air currents. Farther removed,
less dubious floors appeared 5, 11, 14, and 15¾ inches above
the original work surface.

The southeast vault apparently was built on the first of these
surfaces, that at 5 inches, while its northward extension was built on
the ninth at 14 inches (pl. 74, upper). An 8-inch post formerly stood
near the north end of this addition and just around the corner, underlying
the masonry, was part of a thick stone, its edge rounded by
pecking as was that beneath the outer corner of the southwest pillar.
A foot or more of blown sand, chunks of burned roof adobe, and
scattered pieces of charred wood crossed the vault and sloped thence
to the top of the middle bench (b). Above it, water-washed sand
and clay and fallen masonry sloped up to East Court level.

The southeast pillar foundation stood upon a silt surface in a
hole 34 inches deep and was packed all around with shale fragments.
On that same silt surface and underlying the lower bench was a
20-inch layer of household sweepings mixed with debris of demolition.
From this mixture we recovered a number of McElmo
Black-on-white potsherds, proto-Mesa Verde, and Little Colorado
Polychrome—fragments that readily identify Kiva A as of late construction.
Clean sand was encountered at 5 feet 10 inches.

Midway between this southeast pillar and that opposite, the southwest,
stood a raised masonry fireplace 23 inches high and a little
more than 5 feet square. Its outer corners were rounded; its basin
was clay-lined, burned, and ash-filled. There was a draft deflector,
or fire screen, 3½ feet to the south—a screen consisting of wattlework
5 feet 2 inches long, height unknown, supported by five posts and
with a 28-inch long adobe extension subsequently added at the east
end. Not quite parallel with the fireplace and not quite aligned with
the pillars on either side, this screen had been built on the fifth floor
level, about 8 inches above the bottom of the fireplace—a fact evidencing
its late installation (fig. 16).

In the open space fronting the fireplace, various test pits revealed
formerly occupied surfaces and portions of wall masonry. On a


Page 204

Fig. 22.—Kiva R with cross section, A-A′, showing relationship of its


Page 205
floor at depth of 20 inches and partly underlying the west side of
the southeast vault was a fireplace measuring 16 by 28 inches and
14 inches deep. A couple feet west of this but on an ill-defined surface
3 feet deeper, we encountered parallel walls of third-type
masonry 22 inches apart and about 29 inches high, one 17 inches
thick and the other 20. Still another wall fragment, 18 inches high,
its broken end abutted by the foundation under the southeast pillar,
extended thence west beneath the Kiva A fireplace on a floor at
depth of 30 inches.

Beyond these under-floor features, and there were others, our
attention was diverted momentarily by apparent rodent burrowings,
varying in size but all filled with soft, ashy earth. At the northwest
the hole prepared for the pillar foundation had cut through the arc
of a partially razed earlier kiva, its floor at depth of 23 inches. Outside
that arc and on a well-marked surface 8 inches deeper, we encountered
an intentional dump of constructional debris. Through it a vertically
cut bank, the marks of digging sticks still plain upon it, curved
back under the doubled bench as though prepared for a larger kiva
that was never built.

All that remained of the Kiva A roof in 1921 was a pair of decayed
logs lying lengthwise upon the east vaults. To bridge the distance
from one pillar to the other those logs must have been at least
30 feet long. Presumably they were paralleled by a second pair on
the west side; presumably shorter pairs spanned the shorter distance
at each end of the long logs; presumably lesser timbers covered the
middle ceiling from east to west while others reached out from the
paired beams to the surrounding wall and there were firmly seated
in the upper stonework, as in Kiva L and others of its kind.

I assume the 3-inch poles embedded side by side in the west-wall
masonry 9 feet 7 inches above the Kiva A floor were among such
lesser, bordering timbers and that their opposite ends rested upon
the paired beams. If those paired beams were each 12 inches in
diameter their supporting pillars must have stood at least 8 feet high
to allow for a 9½ foot ceiling. It sems incredible that 4 mud-andsandstone
columns 8 feet high, even when strengthened by crossed
poles, could support the enormous weight of a roof 45 feet across
and a foot or more in thickness. But there is no alternative. We saw
only one possible ceiling prop, the butt of an 8-inch post near the
northeast corner of the east vault.

This matter of weight and ceiling height introduces the question of
the relationship between Kiva A and its peripheral rooms, three on


Page 206
the north side and five on the south. All eight had been cleared by
the Hyde Expeditions prior to 1900 and we have no contemporary
data regarding the operation. All were of relatively late construction.
Each room overlies the remains of earlier structures; each appears
to have been a sacrifice to religious necessity; each was a 3-walled
room. In no instance did I see positive evidence of a fourth wall
upon the kiva stonework.

Only in Room 148 was there the possibility of such a fourth
side—a remnant now 14 inches high where it abuts the east-wall
foundation and is floored over from there to the top of the stairway
and the broken edge of the kiva masonry. Opposite at its west end,
that possible south-wall remnant is covered by 3 inches of adobe
pavement; an earlier floor at depth of 25 inches had been cut through
apparently when the kiva was built, and the ends of two 5-inch logs
lie embedded in the kiva stonework. So far as I could judge, and
against my better judgment, Room 148 had opened directly into
Kiva A.

Of the eight peripheral rooms only one, 318, was provided with a
fireplace; only two, 317 and 318, were connected by an open doorway.
All other doors, inside and out, had been blocked with building

Just beyond the north end of Room 150 and a foot above its floor
an 8-foot-long concavity in the abutting East Court masonry evidences
construction of the latter against a previously standing convex
curve. Opposite, on the west side of Kiva A, wall masonry in
1921 measured 11 feet 5 inches high. If that masonry formerly rose
to ceiling level of Rooms 144 and 146 the bordering West Court wall
would have been continuous throughout and would have stood approximately
7 feet above my estimated roof level of Kiva A (Judd,
1922a, p. 116). And such height on one side would normally require
a compensating height on the other.

Nowhere in my 1921 notes do I find any fact to justify the thought
that walls 16 to 18 feet high once enclosed Great Kiva A. With the
possible exception of 148, the peripheral rooms apparently stood open
and unroofed. Despite the bulk of excavation waste thrown from
them into the kiva and partially represented by the piles of stone we
salvaged for repair work (pl. 71, upper), I doubt that the kiva wall
ever stood more than 2 or 3 feet above floor level of those rooms.

Room 148 is the exception. Architecturally, it remains enigmatic,
unsolvable. Its floor lies 8 feet 3 inches above that of Kiva A, 16
inches below the Kiva A ceiling as represented by the 3 roofing poles


Page 207
embedded in the west masonry. Either the sacred rites performed
within 148 were exposed to all passersby, which would be most unlikely,
or the Kiva A roof rose 18 feet to roof level of Room 148,
equally unlikely. A roof sloping, say, from the north beams in Kiva A
to roof edge in Room 148 would be architecturally unthinkable any
where in the Pueblo country.

From what we found, I believe Great Kiva A was deliberately
demolished and its roofing timbers withdrawn for use elsewhere.
Hence the broken wall all around and the broken flooring adjoining
in each peripheral room. The data in hand do not evidence destruction
by fire. Neither before nor after abandonment was Kiva A
utilized as a repository for neighborhood rubbish. It was not a dump.
Besides the usual assortment of lost beads, paint stones, arrowpoints,
and curious minerals, we recovered during excavation only 1,830 miscellaneous
potsherds and only one piece of stone worthy of note.
Without protest on my part, our enthusiastic Zuñi masons during
1924 repairs to the bordering West Court wall installed a Kiva A building
block incised with a running zigzag.

From this recital, however inconclusive, the informed archeologist
will have noted many striking similarities to the Great Kiva at Aztec
Ruin, excavated and convincingly described by the late Earl H.
Morris (1921).


Kiva Q, our second Great Kiva at Pueblo Bonito, is older than
Kiva A and less complicated. It had 4 large pine posts rather than
masonry columns as roof supports. It had a single bench rather than
three encircling the floor at base of wall. There are no peripheral
rooms. Kiva Q lacks the numerous wall niches of Kiva A and the
recessed stairway to a north "altar room." But, unlike A, it has a
south alcove, or possible entrance-way, from which steps led to court
level and it had a midfloor repository that might reasonably be considered
a sipapu. This second Great Kiva is in the pattern of superkivas
elsewhere but it has its own unique features (fig. 17).

The masonry of Kiva Q does not fit into our local scheme. It is
predominantly of laminate sandstone with infrequent blocks dressed
by pecking or rubbing. It is neither our second- nor our third-type
but seems more closely related to the latter. Measured at time of
excavation the floor averaged 40 feet in diameter and was encircled
by a bench that varied considerably both in width and height but
averaged 25 by 23 inches. Above-bench masonry, 38 inches thick,


Page 208
stood 9 feet 7 inches high at the north side, 8 feet at the east, and
3 feet 8 inches in front of the south alcove. Although plaster survives
here and there absence of sooting suggests that the walls were
formerly covered full height.

Four pine posts, 15-18 inches in diameter, had supported the Kiva Q
roof. That at the northwest, the only one we examined, stood upon
a large sandstone slab in a neat masonry cylinder 36 inches in diameter
by 9 inches deep, filled with shale fragments and covered by a
closely-fitted slab pavement 7 feet 4 inches in diameter. The other
three posts were similarly seated and likewise surrounded by flagstones,
shale chips beneath. Those on the east side, best preserved,
were about 3 feet high but too decayed for ring analysis (pl. 75,

Although no trace remained of roofing timbers, large beams necessarily
spanned the distance between posts as in Great Kiva A. Originally
I estimated a ceiling height of 12 feet under the impression
it must have been continuous with that of the alcove. Ten feet would
have been a better guess. Our figure 7 shows the Kiva Q floor 1112
feet below the 1924 West Court surface; the alcove deserves at
least a 5 foot ceiling. We made no underfloor excavation.

On each side of the chamber is a masonry-lined, sunken vault,
neater in construction than those in Great Kiva A and free from
additions and substitutions. That on the east, 4 feet 8 inches wide
by 6 feet 7 inches long and 13 inches deep, had walls 10 inches thick,
topping off flush with the kiva floor. A companion vault on the west
side measured 4½ feet wide by 6 feet 5 inches long and 16 inches
deep. Unlike that on the east, however, its masonry walls are 14
inches thick, stand 3 inches above the floor, and are of superior external
construction. Further, this vault was paved with packed sand,
a thin layer of shale chips on top.

Between the two vaults, 11 feet 10 inches from the south bench,
is a masonry fireplace averaging 52 inches square by 29 inches high.
Its fire pit, 28 inches in diameter and 12 inches deep, was floored
with sand. On the north side at kiva floor level is a draft opening
or flue, 8 inches wide by 10 inches high, its sill and lintel both of
sandstone slabs. Twenty five inches north of this raised fireplace
our Zuñi workmen cleared an unburned but ash-filled basin 18 inches
in diameter, ringed with adobe 6 inches high and 39 inches across.
It was, they insisted, the container for ashes from the principal

A subfloor depository of neat masonry 12 inches in diameter by


Page 209
8 inches deep and apparently built upon a slab at that depth, lies 11
feet north of the fireplace. It was covered by a thin sandstone slab
20 inches in diameter and, like that in nearby Kiva R, was empty.
This feature occupies the same relative position of the sipapu in
northern kivas, and I should be tempted to regard it as such except
that the sipapu is foreign to Chaco Canyon kivas, even those of
northern inspiration.

At 3 feet 9 inches south of the raised fireplace a slightly crescentic
masonry-lined receptacle 6 feet 5 inches long, 6 inches wide, and
25 inches deep marks the position of a former deflector or firescreen.
Within were the butts of nine 2-inch posts, tightly packed in shale,
the supports of a probable wattlework screen.

Between this deflector and the south bench, 28 inches from the
latter, three decayed poles with an overall width of 37 inches identify
a former ladder, slanting toward the middle of the kiva ceiling. Each
pole was seated in a hole, depth undetermined. Our Zuñi say that
old-time kiva ladders always had three poles (pl. 75, lower).

Behind this 3-pole ladder and 62 inches above the Kiva Q bench,
is a small alcove or antechamber, measuring 6 feet 4 inches on the east,
6 feet 5 inches on the west, 8 feet 9 on the south, and 8 feet 7 on
the north. Since 18 inches of kiva wall had collapsed at this point,
we do not know the size and shape of the connecting opening, if
any. There is no trace of a north side to the alcove; no evidence of
a stairway beneath. Therefore if the alcove opened into Kiva Q,
it opened full width and at its own floor level. At its south end
the antechamber has 3 steps 29 inches wide, the lowest 15 inches
above floor, leading to the West Court. There may formerly have
been other steps to the flight since the surface here is much eroded
and slopes toward the kiva. At its inner southeast corner, the alcove
masonry now stands only 30 inches high (pl. 75, upper) but a 5-foot
ceiling does not seem unreasonable.

In his description of Great Kiva Q, which he renamed "Pueblo
Bonito II" for his own convenience, Gordon Vivian (1960, p. 65)
doubts the existence of this south alcove and otherwise complains
because the situation as he found it in 1940 did not agree with his
preconceived notions. He was especially annoyed with reconstructions
at the antechamber, and rightfully so. It is a very incompetent
job. But Vivian was too hasty in placing the blame! Had he troubled
to inquire of his Park Service superiors he could have learned which
of his colleagues repaired walls at Pueblo Bonito between 1924, when
I excavated Kiva Q, and 1940, when he recorded his opinions. Vivian


Page 210
surely knew that, then as now, except for Service personnel an official
permit is required for any activity on a national monument. All
1924 repairs made in Kiva Q, and they were made under my supervision,
are listed in Appendix C. Where they differ from Vivian's
1940 observations the latter are at fault. Restoration of the south
antechamber, clearly seen in his figure 30, is not a product of the
National Geographic Society's expeditions. Furthermore, our only
underfloor inquiry was that at the northwest pillar.

In the north wall of Kiva Q, opposite the south alcove and 46
inches above the bench, we found seatings for four 5-inch timbers,
their over-all width 11 feet 3 inches (fig. 17). Each contained shreds
of decayed wood.

During 1924 wall repairs we unexpectedly came upon a cache of
diversified objects with meaning only for the old ritualists who practiced
in Great Kiva Q (Judd, 1954, p. 323). The lot (U.S.N.M. No.
336041) was concealed in an unplastered recess in the stonework above
the easternmost of the 4 empty beam sockets or 5 feet 4 inches above
the bench. Except for a west jamb 8½ inches high, thus equalling the
wall recesses of Great Kiva A, nothing remained of the opening
through which, presumably, the objects had been passed. We saw
no trace of other, comparable repositories.

Because this north wall was endangered through seepage we restored
it to a height of 10½ feet with a downward slope on the Kiva R.
side. Our restoration at the north may have exceeded original ceiling
height, of which no evidence remained, but I felt it necessary as
a means of supporting the debris fill under the southwest corner of
the Kiva 16 enclosure and the open courtyard fronting Room 28B
(pl. 73, left).

Overhanging the east arc of Great Kiva Q, paired logs formerly
carried the west wall of an unnumbered room between 211 and 212
and when those logs decayed they let fall not only the masonry they
had supported but 23 metates and metate fragments stored in the
room (Judd, 1954, pl. 31, upper). This overhanging wall was of
later construction than that of Kiva Q, although I have classed both
as third-type on the basis of their preponderant use of laminate sandstone.
The same type of stonework appears in paired walls subfloor
in that unnumbered room and in those on either side. Walls carried
on paired beams are a recurrent architectural achievement of the Late
Bonitians as witness those in Rooms 55, 247BN, 290, 291, and others
noted herein.

When we began excavation of Great Kiva Q in 1924 its depression,


Page 211
as in the case of Kiva A, contained 3 or 4 feet of wind-blown sand
and silt in which chico brush had taken root. Building stones fallen
from the enclosing masonry had collected around the edge but there
was no evidence of a neighborhood dump. Other than the 23 milling
stones and fragments found along the eastern side we recovered less
than a dozen discarded stone implements throughout the fill. One of
these was part of a notched cobblestone ax, noteworthy only because
axes of any sort, irrespective of quality, are exceedingly rare at
Pueblo Bonito.

Normally an excessive number of miscellaneous potsherds will
identify a former trash pile but, in my opinion, out-worn and discarded
household implements provide stronger evidence. Only a
handful of such tools was found in Kiva Q while the sherds numbered
4,527. Among these Roberts and Amsden counted 3 as prePueblo;
the remainder as Old Bonitian or Late Bonitian, the latter
preponderant with 24.9 percent Corrugated Coil and 11.8 percent
Chaco-San Juan or Mancos Black-on-White. In addition there were
scattered over much of the floor, and directly upon it, bits of squared
claystone and turquoise—pieces from one or more treasured mosaic
ornaments, crushed beyond repair.

Great Kiva Q had its predecessor, a completely razed structure we
came upon unexpectedly in 1925 while digging a West Court exploratory
trench. Only remnants of the north and south benches, parts
of two pillars and the vaults between, and an irregular floor at depth
of 10 feet 2 inches remained for our study. In the portion we exposed,
practically every facing stone had been removed; hence we had
but little on which to judge the age of that ruin. I guessed the razed
stonework to have been of our third-type but it is more likely to have
been second-type and an early project of Late Bonitian architects.

Our profile of that deep-lying remnant (fig. 7) is self-explanatory;
details would be uninteresting and superfluous. With two bench
points already known, we deliberately cut a third and from the three
estimated floor diameter at 53 feet, hence the largest of known superkivas
at Pueblo Bonito. More precise information would have been
desirable but, with 10 feet of packed clay to penetrate, one can be
content with less. Marks of digging tools were still plain upon the
clay bank at two points on the periphery of the 69-foot pit prepared
for that Great Kiva and, just outside its former south wall, a previously
undisturbed Old Bonitian rubbish pile 12 feet deep invited
the stratigraphic study through which Roberts and Amsden contributed
so greatly to the history of Pueblo Bonito and Chaco Canyon.


Numbered counterclockwise from the south recess.