University of Virginia Library

Section C

Architectural Details of Kivas

General.—The position of kivas with relation to each other and to
rooms can be seen in Map 1. Size, ground plan, and major architectural
features can be observed from Fig. 5. As judged by the position
of their wall bases with reference to adjacent room structures, kivas
1, 2, and 6 must have been largely subterranean, kivas 3 and 4 mainly
above ground level. Kiva 5 must have been largely above ground with
reference to the substructure rooms. All kivas had a single, smooth
well-packed floor. None of the kivas revealed the deposit of young
turkey bones behind the fire screen which characterized the kivas of
Bc 50. The presence of animal bones in the kivas is discussed in
Part III, Section H. It will be noted that, as in Bc 50, the architectural
style of the kivas is not uniform. Neither pilasters nor "keyholes" are
constant features, though present in some kivas. The fill of kivas 3, 4,
5, and 6 contained miscellaneous human bones, while a human mandible
and skull were found on the floor of kivas 1 and 6, respectively.

Kiva 1.—(See Plate 3A.) The depth from the top of the east pilaster
to the floor was 83″, from the ground surface to the floor at the
north edge of the kiva (directly opposite the "keyhole") 98″. The fill
appeared to be mainly natural, being composed of almost alternate


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Figure 5—Ground Plans of Kivas

layers of wind-blown sand and stratified, water-sorted sand and clay.
Manos and hammerstones were found in the fill. The kiva had apparently
filled in to a depth of about 4′ before there was a general collapse
of the roof. At this level was found one beam 15′ 4″ long and 5″ in
diameter, together with many fragments of cottonwood vigas imbedded
in a mass of coarse clay which presumably included disintegrated
plaster and roof material. The deeper levels contained a good many
rocks fallen in from the walls. The three feet immediately below the
surface contained approximately as many sherds as all the rest of the
lower fill. The location of the kiva and the character of the fill both
suggested that essentially all of the sherds had been washed into the
kiva from the surface of the mound above.

The masonry of the walls above the banquette was rather poor:
irregularly shaped stones 6″ to 10″ long, set in mortar with occasional
shale fillers. The masonry below the banquette was notably better
than that above it. Courses were straighter. It was a smaller, better
selected shale laid with filler slabs. A trough metate had been used to
repair the wall above the banquette on the west side.

Plaster still adhered in a number of places. Seven layers were
counted in the recess.

The cist was 10½″ deep, 40″ above the floor. It was rectangular,
plastered, within, and contained an eight-row corncob.


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Very little evidence as to the roof was found. Fragments of cottonwood
vigas appeared in the lower levels of the fill, and one beam
15′ 4″ long and 5″ in diameter was found 4′ below the surface.

The side walls of the ventilator tunnel were made up of small
pieces of shaly sandstone, averaging about an inch in thickness. The
mouth of the tunnel had a shaped sill and a shaped lintel of sandstone.
For 54″ from the outside wall the tunnel was roofed with half-round
wooden beams about 4″ across. These were laid flat side down, side
by side, extending the whole way across. A human mandible, an antelope
skull, and other animal bones were found upon the floor of the
ventilator tunnel.

The deflector was 17″ high at the west end, 13″ at the east.

The firepit was filled with ashes. It was not rock-lined.

In the kiva wall, 63½″ west of the "keyhole," and 17″ beneath the
top of the wall was found a restorable pot (Exuberant Corrugated)
together with fragments of charcoal and burned coal.

Kiva 2.—The depth from the top of the north wall of the kiva to
the floor was 115″. The general character of the fill was as in kiva 1
with these differences: the fill below 3′ was almost entirely barren of
sherds. Water-sorted material was found over most of the floor of the
kiva. Four metates were found at depths of from 3′ to 5′ in positions
which suggested that they might have formed part of the kiva wall
which had partially fallen in. Half of a metate was also found at a
depth of 67″ and 1′ from the southwest wall.

The masonry was more uniform than in kiva 1. The stones were
4″ to 8″ long and 3″ to 4″ thick, set in mortar with small spalls also of

Five layers of plaster were observed in places over the banquette
and around the ventilator tunnel (which was 15″ deep).

An olla neck (Exuberant Corrugated), lined with adobe, was set
in the floor, presumably as a sipapu.

The position of ten substantial fragments of pinyon roof vigas
strongly suggested some sort of a cribbed roof structure but the evidence
was insufficient. Most of the viga remnants touched or actually
rested upon the floor. There was a pile of massed twigs of juniper
and pinyon between one set of cross beams. Only the red sandstone
bases of the deflector remained.

The firepit was filled with ashes and partially lined with flat stones
and partially with mortar which had burned to a brick red.

The cist was 7″ deep, plastered within.

A sandstone lid (for the cist?) and a weaving batten (?) were
found on the floor.

The fireplace outside the kiva wall (see Fig. 5) was 1′ below the
surface of the mound, formed of 4 flat stones set on edge, filled with
sherds and ashes.


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Kiva 3.—(See Plate 3B.) The wall had fallen markedly to the west,
following the contour of the mound, and its top was only 31″ from the
kiva floor. On the east (here only was the bench intact) the top of the
wall was 67″ above the floor. The middle pilaster was 20″ high. The
fill appeared to be intentional, containing material very similar to that
in the refuse mound, including bones of human infants and foetuses.
The sherd content was so enormous that only a large representative
sample was sacked and sorted. Fifty-three stone artifacts (principally
manos and hammerstones) were found in the fill. Above this fill and
over the top of the western, broken-down walls was a thin layer of
adobe, possibly representing an old surface partly formed by wash
from adjacent structures after kiva 3 was abandoned. Over this
adobe layer was water-sorted material.

The masonry was homogeneous and regular, of large stones with
small spalls. No plaster was observed nor was there any evidence of
roofing. The height of the ventilator shaft was 27″. Extensive search
failed to reveal any evidence of a firepit.

Kiva 4.—(See Plate 3B.) The existing walls extended 4½′ above
the floor, and the bench 2½′ above the floor. The fill appeared to be
largely intentional. There were large quantities of sherds and a great
deal of charcoal. In general character, composition of the fill could
scarcely have been distinguished from that of various upper portions
of the refuse mound except for the large stones, presumably fallen in
from the kiva wall. Below the aeolian deposits at the top three sets
of water-sorted layers could be distinguished, separated by strata of
sand and charcoal. The sand layer between roughly 2′ and 3′ above the
floor contained many building stones and was very hard, almost consolidated.
That between 1′ and 2′ contained some stones. Both of
these layers contained chunks of adobe, presumably products of roof
plaster disintegration.

Although all masonry was of Hawley's Blocks without Core Type,
that of bench, kiva wall, and straight walls to north and east each
tended to be of distinguishable styles.

No plaster was observed (except in the ventilator shaft) and no
wood from the roof was found. The ventilator shaft was 15″ deep
beneath the kiva floor. It had 2 wooden lintels, 6″ in circumference.
Considerable pitting did not bring to light any trace of a firepit.

Kiva 5.—As is evident from Map I and Fig. 5, only a small portion
of kiva 5 could be excavated without destroying other structures. The
kiva wall was 66″ high, the top of the bench 49″ above the floor. The
lower 18″ of the fill appeared aeolian, with indications that the room
had filled from east to west. The upper fill was made up of vegetal
material, fallen wall stones, and putatively intentional deposition.
There was some stratification but no evidence of water-sorting. There
were pine needles on the floor.


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The masonry of the east wall could not be examined because of
the heavy coatings of plaster which it was thought best to leave for
careful removal in another season's excavation. The masonry of the
west wall was of the Blocks without Core Type, the blocks being
unusually crudely shaped and varying in size from 6″ by 3″ by 7″ to
12″ by 6″ by 11″.

The cist, and recess and bench had several coats of sandy plaster
and the east kiva wall at least 13 layers, the outermost of which was
heavily smoke-blackened. The 2nd and 3rd coats revealed partially
destroyed murals, mainly of white gypsum but with traces of blue and
red paint. A crude, unrealistic representation of a human figure with
incised eyes and human hands could be distinguished as well as a
design suggesting a headdress.

The cist in the bench 38″ above the floor contained 3 sherds of
Upper Gila Corrugated, 1 of Tusayan Polychrome, 1 of Chaco Corrugated.

The only data on the roof were provided by a few impressions in
adobe in the lower fill and in the ventilator tunnel of beams varying
from c. 3″ to c. 6″ in diameter.

Kiva 6.—The floor was, on an average, 6′ below the top of the side
wall, with bench 3′ above the floor on the north side. The fill appeared
to be mainly unintentional, composed of the cave-in from the walls and
roof (numerous wood fragments) and wind-deposited material. Sherds
were comparatively few in number. The pieces of broken metates may
represent intentional fill or may have been part of the walls. There was
charcoal and ash in the lower 3′ of fill but they gave the appearance
of having been wind-deposited.

Considerable plaster remained in the ventilator tunnel, on the
platform of the "keyhole," in bench and kiva walls. On the southwest
wall 31 layers were counted. Layer 5 showed the murals depicted in
Fig. 6. The designs (all in white except as indicated) are drawn to
scale—separating distances are indicated by arrows and figures.

Kiva roof remains were fragmentary. The roof of the ventilator
shaft, however, was in excellent condition. Nine juniper poles, c. 1½″
in diameter, had been laid at intervals of several inches across the
shaft. Over these at right angles was a 3-layer thickness of horsetail
reeds (Equisetum) covered with a 2″ layer of adobe mud. This was
surmounted by split slabs of juniper laid at right angles to the reeds.
Several heavy stones were on top of the juniper slabs.

On the kiva floor, against the north wall near the deflector, was
found the skull of an adult male with a fracture (which appeared
to be pre-mortem) in the pterion region, anterior to stephanion.
There were no indications in the kiva fill of a burial pit, and the
sandy earth in and around the skull seemed clearly to have been
wind-deposited. There appeared to be the marks of a stone knife


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Figure 6—Murals in Kiva 6

on the basilar portion of the occipital. In the room fill, about 1′ above
the skull, were found the 2nd and 3rd cervical vertebrae in the position
of articulation. Within a few inches of these were found the 6th and
7th right ribs. On the kiva floor was also found the skull of a dog.

Discussion.—The most noteworthy facts about the kivas (apart
from sherd evidence) would seem to be: (1) the great variety in
architectural features, (2) the presence of human bones in 5 out of
6 kivas, (3) the presence of murals in 2 kivas.