Chapter 8


by Jonathan D. Till and Scott G. Ortman

Chapter Contents



This chapter documents the artifact assemblage recovered from Sand Canyon Pueblo (Site 5MT765) during excavations conducted by the Crow Canyon Archaeological Center. In addition to providing analysis results, this chapter uses artifact data to address the overarching research questions that guided the Sand Canyon Archaeological Project, a multiyear research effort that involved excavations at more than a dozen sites in the Sand Canyon locality (Lipe 1992*1).


Many of the tables and figures presented in this chapter were created using the artifact data as they existed in January 2004. Researchers who use Crow Canyon's online databases in the future may notice minor discrepancies between the data available in them and the information presented in the tables and figures in this chapter. Any such discrepancies will be the result of edits made to correct occasional errors discovered in the database over time. These corrections are likely to be minor, and they should not affect patterns in the data discussed herein. Numerous studies using preliminary artifact data for Sand Canyon Pueblo have been published since the beginning of fieldwork at the site in 1983. Because the artifact and field-context data for the site have undergone substantial reorganization and editing over the years, the data reported in this chapter may differ substantially from the data used in earlier publications. In all such cases, the data presented in this report supercede those presented in previous works.

Processing and Analysis of Artifacts in the Laboratory


Most of the artifacts recovered from Sand Canyon Pueblo were cataloged and analyzed between 1984 and 1993 using procedures and analytic categories described in an early lab manual by Schwab and Bradley (1987*1). Some of those procedures and categories differed significantly from those used today, which are documented in our current, online laboratory manual (Ortman et al. 2005*1). Throughout this chapter, we identify those instances in which the protocol used in the analysis of the Sand Canyon Pueblo assemblage deviated significantly from current practice.

Disposition of Materials



All artifacts, ecofacts, and other samples collected from Sand Canyon Pueblo, with the exception of wood samples submitted for tree-ring dating, are currently curated at the Anasazi Heritage Center, in Dolores, Colorado. The collections are indexed to The Sand Canyon Pueblo Database and the multisite research database, accessible on this (Crow Canyon's) Web site. Curated objects are available for future study through the Heritage Center, subject to the policies of that institution. Tree-ring samples that yielded dates, as well as samples that might be datable in the future, are curated at the Laboratory of Tree-Ring Research, University of Arizona, Tucson, Arizona.



As of this writing, human remains and associated funerary objects collected during excavations at Sand Canyon Pueblo are in the process of being repatriated according to the Native American Graves Protection and Repatriation Act (NAGPRA). The Anasazi Heritage Center is curating these items during the repatriation process. Objects falling under the jurisdiction of NAGPRA are not currently available for study, and their future disposition has not yet been decided.

Destructive Analyses


A number of artifacts and samples recovered from Sand Canyon Pueblo have been subjected to destructive analysis. Small pieces were removed from a few pottery rim sherds for instrumental neutron activation analysis (INAA), which was conducted to facilitate studies of pottery production and exchange (Glowacki 1995*1; Glowacki et al. 1995*1; Pierce et al. 2002*1). These sherds are identified in the "Comments" field of the pottery data table, which can be accessed through our online multisite research database. Small portions of numerous sherds were also removed to facilitate temper identifications. Finally, wood samples with little dating potential were discarded by the Laboratory of Tree-Ring Research.

Other Studies of Sand Canyon Pueblo Artifacts


A number of studies that draw on the analysis of Sand Canyon Pueblo artifacts have been undertaken during the last 20 years. These studies have been reported in a variety of unpublished manuscripts archived at Crow Canyon, as well as in numerous master's theses, doctoral dissertations, journal articles, books, and chapters in books (including online publications). Selected works are listed in Table 1, and details of the studies reported in them are discussed in relevant sections of this chapter. Of these previously published works, the artifacts chapter (Ortman 2000*2) in the Castle Rock Pueblo site report (Kuckelman 2000*1) is deserving of special mention. Castle Rock Pueblo, located near the confluence of Sand Canyon and McElmo Creek, was a late Pueblo III community center that probably was contemporaneous with Sand Canyon Pueblo. In the Castle Rock artifacts chapter, Ortman reported extensively on selected aspects of the Sand Canyon Pueblo pottery assemblage, and he used Sand Canyon pottery data in various comparative analyses. Because much of this research is still current and relevant, it has been brought forward into this chapter, with additional analysis and commentary, as appropriate.

Organization and Use of This Chapter


This chapter is organized into sections and subsections, a list of which can be accessed by selecting the expanded chapter contents at the top of the chapter. Selecting a heading in the table of contents will allow you to go directly to the section of interest without having to scroll through the entire chapter. This chapter contains many links to auxiliary elements, including tables, figures, photographs, maps, references, and the Web sites of other organizations. For ease of use, we recommend that you open these links in a new tab or window. In many discussions, artifact analysis data are used in conjunction with archaeological context data recorded in the field. Readers interested in learning about Crow Canyon's field provenience system should consult the online field manual (Crow Canyon Archaeological Center 2001*1).

Pottery Sherds


Nearly 130,000 sherds, weighing almost 1,500 kg, were collected during Crow Canyon's excavations at Sand Canyon Pueblo. The vast majority of the sherd assemblage consists of pottery fragments classified as "unmodified," but some sherds show evidence of having been altered after their parent vessels broke. The latter are treated separately from unmodified sherds in the data presentations and discussions that follow. Pottery vessels that were found whole and intact constitute a special class. Although these items were subjected to additional analyses in which they were studied and recorded as vessels, each was also counted as one rim sherd for the purpose of basic analysis, and the resulting data have been included in the summary tables for unmodified sherds.

Analysis and Data-Recording Protocol


Many details of the methods used to analyze and record the Sand Canyon Pueblo sherd assemblage (see Schwab and Bradley 1987*1) differ from current practice. Although the criteria used to assign individual sherds to ware and type have not changed over the years, fewer vessel-form categories were recognized during the Sand Canyon analysis than are recognized in the analyses we perform today. Only four vessel-form categories were formally recorded in the Sand Canyon Pueblo sherd assemblage: bowl, jar, other, and unknown. The vessel forms of sherds recorded as "other" were sometimes identified more specifically in the "Comments" field of the database—for example, as ladle, mug, kiva jar, seed jar, or canteen. In the data presentations that follow, we use these more precise vessel-form identifications whenever they were recorded (because kiva jars and seed jars are very similar is shape, we group sherds from these vessels into a single category, "kiva/seed jar"). However, because not every sherd categorized as "other" during analysis was identified more specifically in the "Comments" field, the more specialized vessel forms are underrepresented in the sherd database.


Similarly, fewer paint-type and vessel-part categories were used during the analysis of Sand Canyon Pueblo pottery than is the case today. Paint was identified as either "mineral" or "carbon"; the categories "mixed" and "indeterminate" were not used until 1997, several years after analysis of the Sand Canyon Pueblo assemblage was completed. The only vessel parts recorded during the Sand Canyon Pueblo pottery analysis were "rim" and "body." "Handle" was not added to our analysis system until 1998.


Finally, the assignment of item numbers to rim sherds from Sand Canyon Pueblo warrants explanation. Whereas our current practice is to assign an item number to every rim sherd during analysis, item numbers were not assigned to any sherds from Sand Canyon Pueblo when they were first analyzed. Later, when it became apparent that tracking individual sherds would be useful for detailed studies such as temper, design, and rim-arc analyses, item numbers were retroactively assigned to each rim sherd. At that time, the total weight of the rim sherds of a given type, form, and paint type from a bag of pottery (which was identified by a unique provenience designation [PD] and field specimen [FS] number combination) was divided by the number of rim sherds in the type-form-paint group to produce an average weight. This average weight was then recorded for each rim in that group. As a result, the pottery database contains numerous records that list an identical weight for multiple rim sherds from the same bag. These records are identified with an asterisk (*) in the "Comments" field in the database.

Unmodified Sherds

By Ware and Type


Table 2 provides the total documented counts and weights of all unmodified sherds recovered from Sand Canyon Pueblo. The arbitrary units listed in Table 2 are illustrated on Database Map 4002, and the architectural blocks are illustrated on Database Map 4001. "General site" includes surface-collection transects (General Site 1-G; see Database Map 4315) and objects for which provenience is not recorded (General Site 0).


For unknown reasons, a small number of sherds from Sand Canyon Pueblo were either not weighed or not counted during analysis. The sherds that were counted but not weighed (approximately 2.4 percent of the assemblage by count) are listed by pottery type in Table 3, and the weights of sherds that were not counted (approximately 0.03 percent of the assemblage by weight) are listed in Table 4. Sherds that were not counted or were not weighed are excluded from all subsequent tables in this chapter.


Table 5 tabulates the unmodified-sherd assemblage from Sand Canyon Pueblo by pottery ware and type (for type definitions and date ranges, see Chapter 5 of the online laboratory manual). The first four ware categories listed in the table (plain gray, corrugated gray, white, and red) identify sherds that derive from vessels made within the Mesa Verde region. The "nonlocal" category refers to sherds, regardless of ware, that clearly are from vessels that were made outside the region. The "unknown" category is reserved for sherds whose origins cannot be determined with confidence—that is, they could represent either local or nonlocal vessel manufacture.


As is clear from the results presented in Table 5, the percentages of various pottery types can vary depending on whether counts or weights are used in the calculation (see Pierce and Varien [1999*1] for a discussion of the relative merits of counts vs. weights as measures of abundance). Mesa Verde Black-on-white, for example, is much more abundant by weight than by count, whereas the percentages of Pueblo III White Painted (a "grouped" type used to classify sherds that could be either McElmo Black-on-white or Mesa Verde Black-on-white) are roughly equal for the two measures. For a given type, when the percentage calculated by count is approximately the same as the percentage calculated by weight, the sherds assigned to that type are of average size for the assemblage as a whole. Greater relative frequency by count indicates that sherds identified to that type are smaller than average, and greater frequency by weight indicates that sherds assigned to that type are larger than average. The fact that sherds of some types tend to be larger or smaller than average may be attributable to several factors, including analysis criteria. For example, it is not surprising that sherds classified as one of the traditional named painted types (such as Mesa Verde Black-on-white) tend to be larger than average, because classification relies heavily on the identification of painted design styles, which are easier for analysts to recognize on larger sherds. Conversely, many smaller sherds from painted vessels are assigned to "grouped" types (such as Late White Unpainted or Pueblo III White Painted) either because they are from a part of the vessel that was not painted or because not enough of the painted design is present for analysts to make a more precise identification.

Period of Site Occupation


The pottery-type data presented in Table 5 corroborate tree-ring dates for the site, which indicate construction during the middle to late A.D. 1200s (see Chapter 4, paragraph 177), and can be used to infer the period of site occupation. In this section, the composition of the Sand Canyon Pueblo unmodified-sherd assemblage is considered in light of idealized pottery-assemblage profiles developed by Wilson and Blinman (1999*1) for multiple time periods between A.D. 575 and 1300. Date ranges for the pottery types listed in Table 5 are provided in Chapter 5 of the laboratory manual.


Several characteristics of the Sand Canyon Pueblo pottery assemblage indicate that the village was occupied during the final period of Wilson and Blinman's series, A.D. 1225–1300, which corresponds to the middle to late Pueblo III period. First, Mesa Verde Corrugated is the dominant gray ware type. Second, among identifiable white ware sherds, Mesa Verde Black-on-white is the dominant decorated white ware type (more than 6 percent by weight), whereas sherds of Mancos Black-on-white and McElmo Black-on-white are exceedingly rare (each makes up less than 1 percent by weight). Third, local red ware sherds are virtually nonexistent. In addition, the frequencies of Mancos and McElmo black-on-white in the Sand Canyon Pueblo assemblage are even lower than those reported for other early–A.D. 1200s sites in the Sand Canyon locality (Ortman and Bradley 2002*1:Table 3.3; Varien 1999*5:Table 20.4). The minuscule frequencies of earlier pottery types (such as Chapin Gray, Mancos Gray, and Chapin, Cortez, and Piedra black-on-white) suggest an ephemeral use of the site area during the Basketmaker III, Pueblo I, and Pueblo II periods.

Length of Site Occupation


The pottery data for Sand Canyon Pueblo can also be used to help assess how long the site was occupied. In this section, accumulations data generated for Kiva Suites 208, 501, 1004, and 1206 are used to estimate the minimum number of years each suite was inhabited. Each suite is assumed to constitute the architectural remains of a single household (Lipe 1989*1). The method used to estimate minimum occupation span, developed by Varien (1999*1), assumes that the cooking pottery (in this case, corrugated gray jars) found in each kiva suite was used and discarded by the inhabitants of that suite at a relatively constant rate throughout the occupation. Following Varien (1999*1:87), we first calculated the total weight of corrugated gray jar sherds recovered from all excavations in each kiva suite and then divided these totals by 6,654, which is the weight (in grams) of corrugated jar pottery that the model predicts would have accumulated per household per year. Table 6 provides the data and the results of the calculations.


It is important to point out that the total accumulation of cooking pottery associated with each kiva suite at Sand Canyon Pueblo is unknown. Although all structures thought to be associated with Kiva Suites 208, 501, 1004, and 1206 were excavated, an unknown proportion of the extramural middens associated with each suite was excavated. Given that the extramural areas surrounding each suite were only sampled, the total accumulation of cooking pottery from each suite may have been significantly greater than the amount actually recovered. The foregoing caveat notwithstanding, the estimates presented in Table 6 suggest that Kiva Suites 208, 1004, and 1206 were occupied for at least 15 to 20 years and that Kiva Suite 501 was occupied for a minimum of nearly 30 years. In the following section, these estimates are used to evaluate three dating scenarios for Sand Canyon Pueblo.

Occupation History


Ortman and Bradley (2002*1) used the tree-ring data for Sand Canyon Pueblo to suggest three different scenarios for the occupational history of the site. In the first scenario, the occupation of the site could have begun in the early A.D. 1200s. They argue against this, however, citing—among other things—the pottery data reviewed in paragraph 18. In a second, more likely scenario, Ortman and Bradley suggest that Sand Canyon Pueblo was established as a community center in the A.D. 1240s. However, they note that most of the architectural blocks tested by Crow Canyon have cutting-date clusters in the A.D. 1260s and 1270s, as well as cutting dates in the 1240s. The third scenario recommends that the site was first occupied in the A.D. 1240s, but that it did not become a large village and community center until after A.D. 1261. Ortman and Bradley favor this last scenario, noting that eight of the 10 dated architectural blocks have tree-ring date clusters from A.D. 1261 or later. They also point out that a late and short occupation of Sand Canyon Pueblo fits well with the settlement data gathered for the smaller sites in the Sand Canyon locality. These data suggest that the inhabitants of the smaller sites abandoned them and relocated to Sand Canyon Pueblo during the middle A.D. 1200s.


The accumulations data presented in Table 6 argue against the first of Ortman and Bradley's scenarios, that is, an early–A.D. 1200s date of first occupation. For this scenario to be plausible, one would have to assume that excavators recovered as little as one-quarter of the trash associated with each kiva suite. This is unlikely, because substantial, untested midden deposits are not visible on the modern ground surface at Sand Canyon Pueblo.


The accumulations data do not rule out either the second or third scenarios. To accommodate the second scenario, approximately one-half of the trash from the four kiva suites would have to have been uncollected. Although this is not implausible, the figure still sounds rather high given the lack of evidence of more-extensive midden deposits. Evaluation of Ortman and Bradley's third and favored scenario, which uses the latest tree-ring dates for each kiva suite as a proxy for initial construction, is somewhat more complicated. The accumulations data suggest that the suites were lived in through at least the early A.D. 1280s. If as much as one-third of the cooking pottery for each kiva suite was not recovered, then an argument could be made that occupation of each suite continued into the early A.D. 1290s. However, given the lack of post–A.D. 1280 cutting dates for the region (Parks and Dean 1999*1), it seems unlikely that the occupation of Sand Canyon Pueblo would have continued beyond A.D. 1280 or 1285.


The difficulty in making an unequivocal argument for or against any given interpretation is probably the result of multiple factors. For example, it is possible that midden deposits may have gone unnoticed or unexamined or (more likely) are no longer available for study, the result of natural or behavioral processes. It is also possible that the accumulations rate developed by Varien (1999*1:87) is not appropriate for the assemblage from Sand Canyon Pueblo—our understanding of vessel use life or of the estimated number of cooking pots in a systemic inventory of vessels simply may be not be accurate for this site. Additional studies of accumulations data for aggregated sites dating from this time period are needed to resolve the ambiguities in the data for Sand Canyon Pueblo.

By Ware and Form


Initially all sherds collected from Sand Canyon Pueblo were assigned to one of four basic vessel-form categories: bowl, jar, other, and unknown. However, the specific vessel form of sherds identified as "other" was often recorded in comments—for example, as ladle, kiva/seed jar, mug, or canteen—and in those cases, the data for the more specific forms are reported separately, as shown in Table 7. Table 7 presents counts, weights, and percentages by ware and vessel-form category for the Sand Canyon Pueblo sherd assemblage. Unlike the percentages calculated by count and weight for individual pottery types (Table 5), those calculated for a given ware and form are fairly similar, suggesting that sherd size does not significantly affect the ability of analysts to assign sherds to wares and forms. Similarity in the percentages by count and weight most likely reflects relatively consistent sherd sizes within a given ware and form category, and as a result, either counts or weights may be used to make intrasite comparisons. For intersite ware-form comparisons, however, weight is considered the superior measure because sherd sizes can vary systematically from site to site due to a number of depositional and postdepositional processes (Ortman 2000*2; Pierce and Varien 1999*1).


The percentages (by count and weight) of the various ware-form combinations tabulated in Table 7 are similar to those calculated for other late Pueblo III community centers investigated by Crow Canyon, including Castle Rock Pueblo (see Ortman 2000*2:Table 2) and the late Pueblo III component of Woods Canyon Pueblo (see Ortman 2002*1:Table 9, Table 10). This suggests that similar activities were conducted at community centers during the mid- to late 1200s and that those activities resulted in the production—and breakage—of vessels of various wares and forms at a relatively consistent rate across these sites.


Sherd assemblages from these late community centers stand in contrast to assemblages from other types of sites in the region. For example, the assemblage from Woods Canyon Reservoir (Site 5MT12086) is dominated by white ware jar sherds (Wilshusen et al. 1997*1:674–675), whereas the assemblages from Sand Canyon, Castle Rock, and Woods Canyon pueblos are dominated by corrugated gray jar sherds. White ware jar sherds derive from vessels designed specifically for water collection and storage, so their prevalence at a reservoir site is not unexpected. Another point of contrast between Sand Canyon, Castle Rock, and Woods Canyon pueblos and smaller Pueblo III sites tested by Crow Canyon in the Sand Canyon locality is in the ratios of white ware bowl sherds to corrugated gray jar sherds (Table 8). White ware bowls were used to serve food, whereas corrugated gray jars were used to cook food; thus, the ratio of bowl sherds to jar sherds may be used to assess the degree of consumption-oriented activities vs. food-preparation activities (sensu Blinman 1989*1). The data reported in Table 8 indicate that the assemblages from sites identified as community centers have similar bowl-to-jar ratios in terms of both weight and count, and that cooking pottery is relatively more common in the assemblages from community centers than in the assemblages from most of the small sites. These data suggest an emphasis on cooking, or the preparation of food, in the community center sites.

By Type and Paint


Two kinds of paint are identifiable on decorated Mesa Verde White Ware vessels. Mineral paint derives from ground iron-, manganese-, or copper-rich rock that is held in liquid suspension. Carbon paint is believed to derive from the condensed extract of certain plants, such as Rocky Mountain beeweed (Cleome serrulata) and tansy mustard (Descurainia richardsonii). In the Sand Canyon locality, mineral paint is most common in sherd collections dating before the early twelfth century, whereas carbon paint dominates in later periods. Mineral-painted white ware, however, continued to be common in thirteenth-century sites located northwest of the Sand Canyon locality, in the bean-field and canyon country along the Utah-Colorado border west of Pleasant View, Colorado (Wilson and Blinman 1995*1:53), as well as in southeastern Utah (Winston Hurst, personal communication 2003).


Table 9 presents counts, weights, and percentages of white ware sherds assigned to type and paint categories. The percentages calculated for the mineral, carbon, and unknown paint categories show the relative abundance of the individual pottery types within each paint category, and the total percentage column shows the relative abundance of each white ware type among all white wares, regardless of paint type. It is apparent that relatively few mineral-painted sherds were documented in the Sand Canyon Pueblo assemblage. Of the nearly 20,000 white ware sherds collected from the site, only about 400 (approximately 2 percent) had mineral paint. Of these, 24 were typed as Mesa Verde Black-on-white, less than 1 percent of the total assemblage of that type. In contrast, 38 of the 41 Mancos Black-on-white sherds had mineral paint. The strong tendency for mineral paint to occur often in earlier types and very seldom in later types is apparent in the contrast between Pueblo II White Painted and Pueblo III White Painted. Twenty-nine of the 36 sherds typed as Pueblo II White Painted (or about 81 percent) have mineral paint, whereas only 96 of the 9,175 sherds typed as Pueblo III White Painted (about 1 percent) have mineral paint. This pattern is consistent with previous research that indicates that mineral-painted sherds dominate pre–A.D. 1150 white ware assemblages and carbon-painted sherds dominate later white ware assemblages (Ortman 2000*2:par. 17).


However, more-recent studies suggest that the overwhelming prevalence of carbon paint during the Pueblo III period is more apparent than real. In summarizing pottery paint at Woods Canyon Pueblo, Ortman (2002*1:par. 41–43) notes the tendency for pottery analysts to record mineral-painted sherds as Pueblo II pottery types—that is, the presence of mineral paint was often treated as "diagnostic" of Pueblo II pottery, regardless of other physical attributes of the sherds. It also appears that analysts working with the collection from Sand Canyon Pueblo may have been biased against recognizing mineral paint on Pueblo III pottery even when it was present. This bias is discussed further in paragraph 100.


Despite these analytic biases, it appears that the tradition of using carbon paint on Mesa Verde Black-on-white vessels in the Sand Canyon locality was fairly strong. This tradition is not as apparent as one moves north and northwest from the locality (Wilson and Blinman 1995*1:82). For example, at the time of this writing, only about 60 percent of the Mesa Verde Black-on-white sherds from Albert Porter Pueblo, located approximately 10 km north of Sand Canyon Pueblo, have carbon paint, whereas 40 percent have mineral paint.

Rim Sherds by Ware and Type


Rim sherds provide a better indication of type frequencies among the vessels used during the occupation of a site because rim sherds usually preserve more of the diagnostic attributes of pottery types than do body sherds, and therefore they tend to be classified as more-specific types. Table 10 presents counts and weights of rim sherds in the Sand Canyon Pueblo unmodified-sherd assemblage by ware and type. The relative frequency of rim sherds assigned to each type is given as a percentage of all rim sherds by count and by weight. The relative frequency of specific, named types is clearly higher among the rim sherds alone than in the unmodified-sherd assemblage as a whole, but the basic assemblage profile—with Mesa Verde Corrugated the dominant gray ware type, Mesa Verde Black-on-white the dominant white ware type, and red ware quite rare—is more-or-less the same for the two groups of sherds.


As is the case for the overall sherd assemblage, there are significant differences in the relative frequencies of different types by count and by weight, and these differences probably relate to the average size of rim sherds assigned to the various types. For example, Mesa Verde Black-on-white and Mesa Verde Corrugated Gray rim sherds are about twice as common by weight as by count (Table 10). In contrast, Pueblo III White Painted sherds are more abundant by count than by weight, and Indeterminate Local Corrugated Gray sherds are more than twice as common by count as by weight. These patterns indicate that rim sherds assigned to specific traditional types tend to be larger than average, whereas rim sherds assigned to more-generic types tend to be smaller than average.

Rim Sherds by Ware and Form


Rim sherds can often be assigned to more-specific form classes than can body sherds. Ladle rims curve more tightly than bowl rims and often have evidence of a handle attachment, distinctive use wear on the outside edge of the rim, or both. Canteen rims are small jar rims with very tight curvature. Mug rims are square and upright, are seldom everted, usually possess intricate painted decorations on their exterior surfaces, and sometimes preserve evidence of a handle attachment near the rim. Kiva jars and seed jars are slightly larger than canteens and they do not have necks; kiva jars have a distinctive lip designed to hold a lid in place.


Table 11 summarizes the wares and forms of rim sherds in the Sand Canyon Pueblo unmodified-sherd assemblage by count and weight. The more specific vessel forms of kiva/seed jar, ladle, and mug were culled from the "other" category on the basis of information recorded in the "Comments" field of the database. It is assumed in this table that white ware jar rim sherds for which no additional comments were recorded in the file are from large storage jars, or ollas. As in the sherd assemblage as a whole, the three most common ware-form combinations identified among the rim sherds are corrugated gray jars, white ware jars, and white ware bowls. The relative frequencies of these three forms, however, are strikingly different when rim sherds alone are considered. White ware bowls are by far the most common ware-form combination among rim sherds only, whereas corrugated gray jars are by far the most common among all sherds.


The differences in relative frequencies noted above relate to the typical circumferences of rims in the original vessels of these various ware-form combinations and to differences in the relative numbers of rim and body sherds produced by vessels of different sizes. White ware bowls are open forms with large rim circumferences; when they break, they produce numerous rim sherds and a relatively high ratio of rim to body sherds. Corrugated gray and white ware jars are closed forms with small rim circumferences that produce far fewer rim sherds per vessel than do white ware bowls. As a result, the best way to estimate the relative number of vessels of different ware-form classes in a pottery assemblage is to compare the total degrees of arc subtended by the rim sherds of various ware-form classes. Such data were considered by Pierce and Varien (1999*1) in their study of pottery assemblages from sites in the Sand Canyon locality excavated by Crow Canyon during the Site Testing Program. They found that raw counts of rim sherds, though less precise than degree-of-arc measurements, nevertheless gave a closer approximation of the relative numbers of vessel ware-form classes than did raw counts of all sherds. On this basis, it appears that white ware bowls were the most common vessel form used at Sand Canyon Pueblo, followed by corrugated gray jars and then white ware ladles and jars. These frequencies compare favorably with assemblages from other Pueblo III villages in southwestern Colorado (see Ortman 2000*2, 2002*1) excavated by Crow Canyon (for example, Woods Canyon and Castle Rock pueblos). Mugs also occur with some frequency (about 1.5 percent) in the assemblage from Sand Canyon Pueblo. Canteens and kiva/seed jars are relatively rare (less than 1 percent). Table 12 shows that although rim sherds from canteens and kiva/seed jars are relatively uncommon, they nonetheless were found in most of the excavated architectural blocks. It therefore is assumed that each of these excavated areas represents at least one household and that each household probably had at least one of each vessel form at any given time.


As is the case for the overall assemblage, there is little variation in the rim-sherd assemblage between the percentages of ware-form combinations calculated on the basis of count and those calculated on the basis of weight. This suggests that sherd size does not significantly affect the ability of analysts to assign rim sherds to wares and forms.

White Ware Rim Sherds by Type and Form


Table 13 summarizes the form data for rim sherds assigned to various white ware types. Counts are presented in the upper half of this table, and weights in the lower half. Significant differences between the percentages calculated on the basis of count and those calculated on the basis of weight for a particular type-form combination are probably due to the effects of sherd size, as has already been discussed for the sherd assemblage as a whole (see paragraph 16). For example, the white ware rim sherds identified as being from Mesa Verde Black-on-white canteens account for only 20 percent by count, but 78 percent by weight. With only three sherds and a weight of 1,436.6 g, it is apparent that the sherds are very large.


It is also clear from the data presented in Table 13 that some variation across type and form classes exists regardless of which measure—count or weight—is used. The following paragraphs examine three examples (rim sherds from Late White Unpainted jars, McElmo Black-on-white ladles, and Mesa Verde Black-on-white mugs) and offer possible reasons for the observed patterns.


There is an elevated frequency of Late White Unpainted sherds among jar rims in the Sand Canyon Pueblo assemblage. This probably relates to differences in the decorative treatment of jars on the one hand and bowls and ladles on the other. The primary decorative field on white ware jars is the upper half of the jar body (but below the neck); the necks and rims of many of these vessels were left unpainted. Although some white ware bowls and ladles were also left undecorated, in most cases the rims and interior surfaces of such vessels were intricately painted, leading to a lower frequency of unpainted bowl and ladle rim sherds.


More ladle rim sherds are typed as McElmo Black-on-white than as Mesa Verde Black-on-white. An explanation for this may be found in ethnographic studies indicating that vessels of different forms and uses have varying use lives (Varien and Mills 1997*1). If the vessel forms used by the inhabitants of Sand Canyon Pueblo also had varying use lives, then vessel forms with longer use lives might have tended to be older by the time they were broken and discarded than were vessel forms with shorter use lives, and this might be reflected in a higher percentage of earlier types among rim sherds of longer-lived vessel forms. Because the cup of a ladle is much smaller and sturdier than that of a bowl, it is likely that ladles had longer use lives than bowls. If this was the case, then a higher frequency of rim sherds from McElmo Black-on-white ladles might relate to differences in the use lives of vessels of these two form classes. A second possible explanation relates to the details of pottery-type definitions. McElmo Black-on-white designs are usually seen as being simpler than Mesa Verde Black-on-white designs, and because the cup of a ladle is much smaller than most bowls, it might have been difficult for potters to execute more-complex Mesa Verde Black-on-white designs on ladles. It is therefore possible that some ladle rims were classified as the earlier style, not because ladles were more durable than bowls, but because their designs were necessarily simpler than those of larger bowls.


Finally, as seen in Table 13, the frequency of mug rim sherds typed as Mesa Verde Black-on-white is considerably higher (by both count and weight) than the frequency of mug rim sherds typed as McElmo Black-on-white. This may simply reflect the fact that mugs were made and used more often during the latter half of the Pueblo III period. McElmo Black-on-white was common in assemblages dating from the early Pueblo III period, or about A.D. 1140 to 1225, after which Mesa Verde Black-on-white became dominant (Wilson and Blinman 1999*1). Because the mug form became more common at the same time that the Mesa Verde Black-on-white style was becoming more popular, greater frequencies of this form-type combination should be expected for sites, such as Sand Canyon Pueblo, that date from the late Pueblo III period.

White Ware Rim Sherds by Form and Paint


Table 14 presents total counts and weights of white ware rim sherds assigned to various form and paint-type combinations. Percentages of paint types within each form class are given in the lower register of the table. As is apparent in the unmodified-sherd assemblage as a whole, mineral paint is rare among the painted white ware rim sherds from Sand Canyon Pueblo.

Summary of the Unmodified-Sherd Analysis


The unmodified-sherd assemblage from Sand Canyon Pueblo compares favorably with that from Castle Rock Pueblo (see Ortman 2000*2). Mesa Verde Black-on-white is by far the dominant white ware type identified in the Sand Canyon Pueblo assemblage, which corroborates the tree-ring data and supports the interpretation that the village was occupied during the middle to late A.D. 1200s (see Chapter 4). There is minimal evidence of earlier ancestral Pueblo use of the site. As in assemblages from other sites in the locality, decorated sherds in the Sand Canyon Pueblo assemblage are predominantly carbon painted (but see discussion of analytic bias in paragraphs 29–31). The form and type data for rim sherds indicate that the most common vessels used at the site were white ware bowls, followed by corrugated gray jars, white ware ladles, white ware jars, and mugs. Kiva/seed jars and canteens were relatively rare; however, given the wide distribution of sherds from these forms across the site, it seems likely that at least one of each of these vessels was used in each household represented by the excavated kiva suites. The dominance of bowls in the pottery assemblage, as reflected in counts of rim sherds, is a pattern apparent in assemblages from other nearby Pueblo III habitation sites (Pierce et al. 1999*1:Table 15.13).


Red ware and nonlocal pottery types are quite rare at Sand Canyon Pueblo. The percentages of these wares and types at Sand Canyon Pueblo are similar to those noted for Castle Rock Pueblo and other Pueblo III sites in the Sand Canyon locality, but are lower than those documented for sites dating from earlier periods (Lipe 2002*1:229). As Lipe notes, the lower percentages of imports in Pueblo III assemblages compared with the percentages documented for earlier assemblages suggest a "contraction" of extralocal relationships in the middle to late Pueblo III period. Nonlocal pottery is discussed further in paragraphs 108–110.

Modified and Shaped Sherds


More than 800 sherds in the Sand Canyon Pueblo assemblage had been altered after their parent vessels broke. Modified sherds usually have at least one smoothed, abraded edge suitable for scraping together the wet coils of clay during pottery-vessel manufacture. Shaped sherds have edges that were flaked, ground, or both to create specific shapes. Some larger shaped sherds were probably used as containers (for example, as platters); others might have been used as vessel-molding trays, or pukis, during pottery manufacture (see paragraph 89). Smaller shaped sherds of various shapes—round, triangular, and rectangular—might have been gaming pieces, unfinished pendants (pendant "blanks"), or other nonutilitarian items. Shaped sherds that are perforated are classified as sherd pendants and are reported separately (see Table 79 in the section "Objects of Adornment").

By Type and Form


Table 15 summarizes the pottery types and vessel forms of modified sherds by count, weight, and percentage. The frequencies calculated by both count and weight indicate that approximately 28 percent of the modified sherds in the Sand Canyon Pueblo assemblage were made from gray ware sherds, whereas about 72 percent were made from local white and red ware sherds. This suggests that sherds with fine paste and temper were preferred for use as scrapers during pottery manufacture. Gray ware sherds, with their coarse temper, may have gouged the soft, wet surfaces of unfired pottery. The data presented in Table 15 also indicate that potters did not favor sherds of any particular vessel form when selecting sherds to be used as pottery scrapers.


Table 16 summarizes the pottery types and vessel forms of shaped sherds by count, weight, and percentage. As was the case for modified sherds, there appears to have been a preference for white and red ware sherds (combined) over gray ware sherds when selecting pottery fragments for "recycling" into objects of various shapes. In the case of smaller sherds in particular, this may reflect an aesthetic preference for decorated sherds in the production of items of personal adornment.

Locations and Contexts


The general locations and contexts from which modified sherds were recovered at Sand Canyon Pueblo are provided in Table 17 and Table 18, respectively. Of the various types of locations listed in Table 17, the architectural blocks have the greatest interpretive potential, and the data for these are therefore the focus of this discussion. As is clear from this table, modified sherds are widely distributed across the entire site, and if their presence is taken as evidence of pottery production, the making of pottery may have been a typical household task. To assess the relative abundance of modified sherds across the site, the number of modified sherds recovered from each of the locations listed in Table 17 was divided by the total weight of corrugated gray pottery recovered from that same location. Corrugated gray pottery is a useful measure in comparative analyses because it is ubiquitous at Pueblo III sites and because sherds of this ware accumulate at relatively consistent rates proportional to the population size and occupation span of a site (see Varien 1999*1:Chp. 4). In the Sand Canyon Pueblo assemblage, three architectural blocks—Blocks 1000, 500, and 1200—stand out as having both high counts of modified sherds and high relative frequencies as measured by the calculation just described. These results may indicate that the occupants of these blocks were particularly engaged in pottery-making. Table 18 shows that most modified sherds found on floors were in surface rooms, suggesting that these structures may have been preferred locations for pottery production or the storage of pottery-production tools, or both.


The study units and contexts from which shaped sherds were recovered at Sand Canyon Pueblo are provided in Table 19 and Table 20, respectively. Because many shaped sherds could have been items of personal adornment, we considered the possibility that their occurrence might indicate where ritual activities were concentrated. However, when we looked at the data for Blocks 800 and 1500—blocks whose architectural characteristics suggest that ritual activities likely took place in them (see Chapter 4, paragraphs 179–188)—it was clear that neither had yielded large quantities of shaped sherds (Table 17). One possible explanation for the dearth of shaped sherds in these blocks could relate to use history: apparently both blocks had ceased to be used primarily for ritual purposes sometime before the village was depopulated (Chapter 4, paragraph 111 and paragraph 155), so shaped sherds may have been removed from them to be used for ritual activities elsewhere at the site. To examine this possibility, we searched the database for architectural blocks that contained large numbers of shaped sherds and discovered that the greatest concentrations of these artifacts were on the floors of masonry surface rooms in Blocks 500 and 200, both of which are dominated by domestic architecture. Thus, it does not seem likely that the distribution of shaped sherds is an indicator of ritual activity at Sand Canyon Pueblo.

Pottery Vessels


The pottery assemblage from Sand Canyon Pueblo includes 215 vessels that were recovered in various conditions: whole and intact, partial and intact, and fragmentary but reconstructible. This total refers only to vessels that were formally recognized as such and that were assigned individual vessel numbers in the lab. It is important to note, however, that additional reconstructible vessels exist in the sherd assemblage that were not reconstructed or assigned vessel numbers. These cases are discussed further in paragraphs 55–60.

By Form and Ware


Table 21 summarizes the forms and wares of the 215 numbered vessels from Sand Canyon Pueblo. Most are of local white ware; no nonlocal vessels were found.

Vessel Analysis Data


The type, form, and condition of each numbered vessel in the Sand Canyon Pueblo assemblage are listed in Table 22. Also included in this table are a variety of metric data used in several functional analyses presented later in this chapter. Clicking on the photo numbers in the second column will allow you to view color photographs of the vessels (excluding vessels that are funerary objects).

Vessel Provenience Data


Provenience and context information for each numbered vessel is provided in Table 23. Once again, you may click on the vessel's photo number to see a photograph, unless the vessel is a funerary object. In a number of cases, the sherds of individual vessels were recovered from two or more proveniences, resulting in multiple PD (provenience designation) assignments for a single vessel. The locations of many of these vessels are discussed in a later section regarding abandonment assemblages (beginning with paragraph 238).

Undocumented Reconstructible Vessels


From the bowl that served as the inspiration for the Center's logo to our on-campus teaching collection (on loan from the Anasazi Heritage Center), the reconstructible vessels from Sand Canyon Pueblo have historically maintained a high profile at Crow Canyon. In the early days of the Center's history, vessel reconstruction was a favorite activity among both participants and staff. More importantly, vessel reconstruction allowed staff archaeologists to collect information that can be obtained only from observation of complete, or nearly complete, vessels. Vessel numbers were assigned only to vessels that were whole, nearly whole, or reconstructed, and there was a tendency for those artifacts that were most visually appealing (that is, the painted white ware vessels) to be selected for reconstruction. Nonetheless, 34 corrugated gray vessels were also reconstructed and assigned vessel numbers. Research priorities and budgetary constraints at that time precluded the identification and reconstruction of additional vessels, both gray ware and white ware. One goal of the current study, therefore, was to estimate the number of additional reconstructible vessels in the large sherd assemblage from the site.


The first step in estimating the number of additional reconstructible corrugated gray vessels that may be present in the sherd assemblage involved comparing the weights and volumes of the 34 corrugated vessels already documented (Table 24) with similar data reported by Rohn (1971*1:144) for Mesa Verde Corrugated Gray jars from Mug House, a contemporaneous village on Mesa Verde proper. Rohn classified his sample of 59 vessels into three size classes defined on the basis of volume: small-to-medium-size jars have volumes of up to 7 liters, large jars have volumes that range from 12 to 25 liters, and extra-large jars have volumes from 33 to 35 liters. There is a significant break between the small-to-medium-size jars (maximum volume of about 7 liters) and the large jars (minimum volume of 12 liters). The data presented in Table 24 indicate a similar break in the volume measurements for the reconstructed corrugated vessels identified at Sand Canyon Pueblo. Excluding the sherd containers (see Chapter 7 in the lab manual for definition) and those vessels for which weight and/or volume were not recorded, nearly 70 percent of the reconstructed corrugated gray vessels from Sand Canyon Pueblo fit into Rohn's "large" category (see also Ortman 2000*2:Table 14). The weights of the large vessels range from about 2,000 g to about 6,000 g.


For this study, 2,000 g was used as the minimum vessel weight when evaluating point-located clusters of corrugated gray sherds on structure floors at Sand Canyon Pueblo. Table 25 lists 24 sherd clusters that meet the minimum-weight requirement. The point-located cluster with the greatest weight (PD 269, FS 52, PL [Point Location] 1) exceeds the maximum threshold of 6,000 g for large vessels and probably indicates two or more vessels in this one location, for a total of at least 25 additional reconstructible corrugated vessels from structure floors in the Sand Canyon Pueblo collection.


Table 25 also provides estimates of the volumes of these potential reconstructible vessels, which were calculated using the relationship between the weight and volume of the 24 documented corrugated gray jars that were complete enough to allow estimations of volume. This relationship is described by a straight-line regression in Figure 1. The R2 value (or coefficient of determination) presented in this figure is a measure of the variances of the scatterplot points from the regression line. The closer this value is to 1.0, the better the overall relationship between the scatterplot points and the regression line. With an R2 value of about 0.85, the relationship indicated between jar weight and volume is quite strong. Because of this strong relationship, it was possible to use vessel weights and the equation of the regression line (from Figure 1) to estimate, with some confidence, the volumes of the unreconstructed corrugated gray vessels.


A number of undocumented white ware vessels may also exist in the Sand Canyon Pueblo sherd assemblage. The basic inventory of documented white ware vessels indicates that their weights are fairly continuous and wide ranging (Table 22 and Figure 2). A relatively low minimum weight of 200 g is used to identify possible reconstructible white ware vessels in the assemblage; this weight was chosen to minimize the chance that a reconstructible vessel would be overlooked. Table 26 lists point-located clusters of white ware sherds, of a single vessel form, weighing at least 200 g and found on the floors of structures. Forty-four such clusters occur.


The volumes of unreconstructed white ware bowls and jars were estimated using the same straight-line regression method as was used for corrugated gray jars (Table 26). The relationships between weight and volume for reconstructed white ware bowls, jars, and ladles are given graphically and by formula in Figure 3, Figure 4, and Figure 5, respectively. The R2 values for bowls and jars demonstrate a fairly strong relationship between the vessels' weights and volumes and their regression lines. However, with an R2 value of only 0.52, the relationship for ladles is not strong. For this reason, estimated volumes for ladles are excluded from further consideration. Furthermore, it appears that a 300-g minimum-weight requirement is more appropriate for recognizing reconstructible white ware vessels in the Sand Canyon Pueblo sherd assemblage. As a result, of the 44 point-located sherd clusters identified as possible unreconstructed white ware vessels, only 31 (20 bowls and 11 jars) are used in the estimation of total white ware vessel volume, which is considered in the intrasite analyses reported later in this chapter (beginning with paragraph 223).

Other Clay Artifacts


Table 27 lists clay artifacts that may or may not have derived from vessels. Many of these items were found in midden deposits, which suggests that they may be waste products of pottery-making.

Functional Analyses of Pottery

Vessel Size Class


In this section, vessel-dimension data are used as the basis for a discussion about food-consumption practices at Pueblo III sites in the Sand Canyon locality. Using the Sand Canyon Pueblo data in conjunction with the assemblage data for Castle Rock Pueblo, Ortman (2000*2:par. 41–66) has argued that communal feasting activities took place regularly in late ancestral Pueblo villages. Here, we reiterate the details of that study and continue the discussion.


Table 28 presents means and standard deviations for the total volumes, estimated total weights, and rim diameters of vessels of various form-size classes in the Sand Canyon Pueblo assemblage. Total volume was measured by completely filling each vessel with small birdseed and then measuring the quantity of seed. The total weight of each incomplete vessel was estimated by dividing the weight of the portion present by the estimated portion present.


Size classes within each vessel form class were defined on the basis of k-means cluster analysis of metric variables recorded for that form (Kintigh and Ammerman 1982*1). The most efficient cluster solution—that is, the one that produced the most significant drop in the total distance of individual vessel data points from cluster centroids in relation to a solution of one more or fewer clusters—was taken as an indication of natural disjunctions in the distribution of size classes for a particular vessel form. The k-means analysis suggested two size classes for white ware bowls and three size classes each for corrugated gray jars and white ware jars/ollas. A single size class apiece was suggested for all other vessel forms. The vessel size classes identified in this analysis mirror those identified in previous analyses of vessels from thirteenth-century sites in the Mesa Verde region (see Mills 1989*1:Chp. 5; Rohn 1971*1:Chp. 8).  

Diameter and Volume Relationships


Ortman (2000*2) demonstrated a relationship between the maximum diameter and the volume of white ware bowls in the Sand Canyon Pueblo vessel assemblage. Figure 6 illustrates this with a quadratic regression line. Note the bimodal distribution of bowl sizes represented in this figure. Ortman (2000*2:par. 45) argues that this distribution of bowl sizes is not only apparent in the data, but was also conceptualized by the individuals who made the bowls. Further, the high correlation between the data and the regression line (R2 = 0.95) indicates that volumes of white ware bowls may be estimated reliably from the diameters of the bowl rims.


Similarly, rim diameter may be used to estimate the volume of corrugated gray jars, as demonstrated by the regression line in Figure 7. Unlike the bowls, the jars show no patterned distribution of sizes, an observation that Rohn (1971*1:143–144) makes for corrugated gray jars recovered from Mesa Verde. On this basis, Ortman (2000*2:par. 46) argues that "it is less likely that the inhabitants of Sand Canyon Pueblo thought of corrugated jars as having distinct size classes. Corrugated jar size may have related more to the domestic needs of households than to social or cultural convention." Finally, although the correlation (R2) is not as high as with white ware bowls, the diameter of corrugated jar rims nevertheless reflects the general size of the vessel.


Figure 8 illustrates the relationship between rim diameter and volume for ladles for which such measures could be made (N = 16). Again, the relatively high correlation (R2 = 0.89) demonstrates that rim diameter can be used to reliably estimate vessel volume and vice versa. (The point farthest from the line represents Vessel 101; extreme use wear on the rim has considerably eroded the height and circumference of the original vessel, resulting in its outlying position in Figure 8.)

Volumetric Relationships Among Vessel Size Classes


Volumetric relationships among corrugated gray jars, white ware ladles, and white ware bowls are presented in Table 29. Using mean volumes, the table demonstrates how many ladle-fulls of food could have been contained in vessels of various sizes and then how many small bowls could have been filled from these other containers. For example, a large corrugated gray jar could hold about 85 ladle-fulls of food, and almost 28 small bowls could be filled from the contents of that large jar. These data help us infer the contexts in which meals were eaten—for example, large vessels may indicate that large amounts of food were served, which in turn may suggest communal feasting or other social contexts that involved feeding large numbers of people.


Dietary data indicate that a small bowl (mean volume = 808 ml) could hold a reasonable amount of food for a one-person meal (Table 30). A simple cooking experiment undertaken by Crow Canyon staff demonstrated that 100 g of dry cornmeal, cooked for 20 minutes with 600 ml of water, yielded about 550 ml of corn mush. This amount of meal provides about 365 calories. Thus, a small bowl with a volume of about 808 ml would yield approximately 537 calories, a little more than one-fifth of the daily calories needed for an average-size ancestral Pueblo man (approximately 2,500 calories). Other ingredients, such as fat or grease, added to the corn mush would have increased the caloric value of the meal.


Table 30 shows the amount of dry cornmeal needed to produce enough corn mush to fill vessels of various sizes. Using the mean volume of small bowls as a proxy for a single serving size, it is possible to estimate the calories that could have been contained in vessels of each size class, as well as the number of people that could have been served from vessels of various sizes. One large bowl could have provided enough food for five to six people, about the average size of a household (Lightfoot 1994*1:147–148). This may mean that bowls of this size were used to feed household groups. Given their relatively large volumes, the medium and large corrugated jars may have been used to prepare food for groups far larger than the average household, or they may have been used to prepare food for more than one meal. Although the jars were probably not filled to their rims when used to cook food, their volumes still dramatically exceed those of large bowls. This may indicate that most meals were consumed at the level of the individual household, but that the preparation of these same meals might have occurred at the suprahousehold level.

Rim-Arc Analysis


Rim-arc analysis can be used to estimate vessel forms and sizes, as well as the minimum number of vessels in an assemblage of sherds. Nicklaw (1995*1) compiled rim-arc data for the Sand Canyon Pueblo pottery assemblage to address questions regarding social complexity and organization. In this section, the Sand Canyon Pueblo data are compared with Ortman's (2000*2) observations regarding vessel-size variation at Castle Rock Pueblo. Also included in the comparative analyses in this section are rim-arc data generated by the Crow Canyon laboratory staff for a number of smaller Pueblo III sites tested by Crow Canyon in the Sand Canyon locality. 1Nicklaw's basic analysis techniques were essentially the same as those described in Pierce and Varien (1999*1) and in Chapter 7 of our online laboratory manual. However, one important difference is that Nicklaw did not establish a minimum arc measurement as a requirement for inclusion of sherds in his study, whereas Crow Canyon's current technique requires a minimum of 20 degrees of arc for rim-sherd measurement.


Figure 9 shows the distributions of rim-radius estimates for white ware bowls, white ware ladles, and corrugated gray jars from Sand Canyon Pueblo; Figure 10 shows the distributions for white ware bowls from Sand Canyon Pueblo, Castle Rock Pueblo, and several small Pueblo III sites in the Sand Canyon locality. In Figure 9, only those sherds that Nicklaw recorded as possessing more than 20 degrees of arc are considered. As is evident in the two figures, the Sand Canyon Pueblo and Castle Rock Pueblo data for white ware bowls have similar bimodal distributions, with peaks occurring at the 8-cm and 14-cm radius-size classes. The curve for the late-thirteenth-century small sites, which are roughly contemporaneous with Sand Canyon and Castle Rock pueblos, has a single peak centered over the small-bowl rim-radius size class (Figure 10), and it appears that the early thirteenth-century small sites have fewer large bowls represented in their assemblages than do the later small sites.


The sample of ladle rim sherds from Sand Canyon Pueblo is small, but almost all of Nicklaw's rim-arc measurements were usable. Given that ladle scoops have smaller diameters than most bowls, it is not too surprising that most of Nicklaw's ladle sherds had more than 20 degrees of arc (N = 48). Again, the results (Figure 9) mirror those reported for the ladle rim sherds from Castle Rock Pueblo, as illustrated in Ortman (2000*2:Figure 3). The mean estimated rim radius for ladle rim sherds in the Sand Canyon Pueblo assemblage is 5.6 cm, which is very similar to the mean rim radius for reconstructed ladles in the same assemblage (5.7 cm) (Ortman 2000*2:par. 50).


If one counts just those Sand Canyon Pueblo sherds with rim-arc measurements of more than 20 degrees, the sample size of rim sherds from corrugated gray jars is relatively substantial (N = 177). Figure 9 illustrates the distribution of estimated rim-orifice sizes for corrugated jars from Sand Canyon Pueblo, and Figure 11 compares this with the distributions for other sites in the Sand Canyon locality. This comparison was first made by Ortman (2000*2:par. 57–58), who concluded that the rim-arc data indicate that more large corrugated jars were deposited at Sand Canyon Pueblo than at other Pueblo III sites investigated by Crow Canyon in the Sand Canyon locality. However, he also noted that sherd size may have affected this outcome, observing that the mean degrees of arc encompassed by those sherds in the 12-cm class is greater at Sand Canyon Pueblo than at the other sites he examined.

Studies of Painted Designs on White Ware Bowls


Ortman (2000*2:par. 59–61) and Ortman and Bradley (2002*1) discuss the importance of exterior bowl design, particularly at Sand Canyon Pueblo and other Pueblo III sites in the vicinity (see also Robinson 2005*1). Only continuous painted designs (that is, banded designs or circumferential lines) are considered here because it is difficult to estimate the prevalence of isolated painted elements on the exterior surfaces of vessels when analysts have only sherds as clues. An intersite comparison of bowl rims with exterior painted designs shows that the highest frequency of such designs occurs at Sand Canyon Pueblo and that such designs occur more often at the village sites in the Sand Canyon locality than at smaller, single-family hamlets (Ortman 2000*2:Table 16).

Discussion of Functional Analyses


Discerning patterns in vessel form, size, and decoration, Ortman (2000*2) and Ortman and Bradley (2002*1) proffer several scenarios to explain them, two of which address an important element in the Sand Canyon Archaeological Project research design: community organization.


Under one scenario, Ortman and Bradley (2002*1) argue for the development of feasting ritual during the late Pueblo III period in the Sand Canyon locality. Both Sand Canyon and Castle Rock pueblos became the focal points of community-oriented events that included feasting. Through time, a bimodal distribution of bowl sizes became established for these particular places, suggesting that large and small bowls were used for distinct purposes: large bowls held an entire batch of food, whereas small bowls contained individual servings. Larger cooking jars also occur at Sand Canyon Pueblo, perhaps reflecting the on-site preparation of larger batches of food for these events. Finally, painted exterior designs on white ware bowls are more prevalent at the community centers than at the smaller sites, suggesting that bowls became a means of signaling information appropriate for public display. Such signaling could have pertained to the individual, the family, or other broader clan or social affiliations.


As a second explanation, Ortman (2000*2) and Ortman and Bradley (2002*1) suggest that the development of two size classes of bowls and the increase in the occurrence of exterior bowl designs could have been a function of village-formation processes—that is, more large batches of food were prepared as more people came together to live, perhaps in larger family groups, in a single settlement. On the basis of the average number of rooms in kiva suites and the average number of mealing bins in corn-grinding areas, Ortman (1998*2:180–181, Table 9.7) argues that household size did not change markedly during the Pueblo III period. Thus, although household size does not appear to have changed, it may be that the size of food-consumption groups did, at least in villages.


Finally, Ortman (2000*2:par. 66) notes a third possible scenario, suggested by Crow Canyon's Native American advisory group, and that is that different kinds of foods might have been served in bowls of different sizes. This possibility could be examined further through residue analysis of large and small bowls.

Pottery Production and Exchange


This section summarizes the direct evidence of pottery production at Sand Canyon Pueblo and examines the nature of the pottery-exchange networks in which the village participated. Direct evidence of pottery production at Sand Canyon Pueblo consists of manufacturing tools (polishing stones and modified sherds), raw materials (potting clay), unfinished vessels (unfired sherds), and pukis. Evidence of pottery exchange consists of temper and compositional data for white ware and corrugated gray ware sherds found at Sand Canyon Pueblo and nearby sites, as well as the occurrence of red ware and nonlocal sherds in the Sand Canyon Pueblo assemblage (reported in Ortman [2000*2] and summarized here).

Direct Evidence of Production


The amount and distribution of direct evidence of pottery-making can be used to assess the nature of pottery production at Sand Canyon Pueblo. If pottery-making was an unspecialized, household-level industry, then raw materials and tools associated with production should occur occasionally throughout the site. If, on the other hand, pottery production was so specialized that relatively few people made most of the pottery used in the village, then direct evidence should be relatively abundant in a few locations and absent in most others.


Perhaps the best direct evidence of pottery manufacture is the presence of pottery kilns, the features that are actually used to fire pottery vessels. Although no evidence of kilns was found at Sand Canyon Pueblo itself, a recent survey of the Canyons of the Ancients National Monument (Hovezak et al. 2003*1) documented the presence of numerous kilns west of the Sand Canyon locality. Many of these features appear to have been associated with pottery production during the Pueblo III period.

Polishing Stones


Polishing stones are small, very hard, and very smooth stones or pebbles with evidence of abrasive wear. Pierce and Varien (1999*1) have reported traces of clay adhering to the surfaces of such items from sites near Sand Canyon Pueblo, which suggests that these objects were used to polish white ware vessels.


Table 31 lists the types of stone out of which polishing stones were made. The raw material for more than half these items is recorded as "unknown stone"; many of these are probably alluvial cobbles, which are often difficult to positively identify to material type. Most of the others are of fine-grained materials, and some apparently are gastroliths, the highly polished gizzard stones of dinosaurs. The latter may be found in the Morrison Formation, exposures of which occur in the vicinity.


Table 32 gives the distribution of polishing stones, by study unit, at Sand Canyon Pueblo. Most of the polishing stones found on or near surfaces at Sand Canyon Pueblo were located in kivas, including kivas in Blocks 100, 200, 500, 800, 1000, and 1200. Thus, it appears that (1) pottery was produced in architectural blocks across the entire site, (2) white wares were produced at the household level, and (3) at least the initial stages of production took place inside kivas. This last idea is explored further below (paragraph 92).

Modified Sherds


As discussed earlier, modified sherds were relatively common across the site, but were particularly concentrated in Blocks 500, 1000, and 1200, suggesting that pottery production might have been particularly emphasized in these places (Table 17). This interpretation is not supported by the other distribution data, however. Instead, the fact that other forms of direct evidence of pottery-making are found in nearly every excavated kiva suite suggests that most households had at least one resident potter. Ortman (2000*2:par. 69) found a similar pattern at Castle Rock Pueblo.

Potting Clay and Unfired Sherds


The strongest direct evidence of pottery-making in the Sand Canyon Pueblo assemblage consists of sherds from vessels that were never fired. A small number of these items were recovered from Sand Canyon Pueblo, but because they were not examined further, it is unknown whether they are gray or white ware. In addition to the unfired sherds, several samples of raw clay suitable for pottery-making were collected. Most of these samples are described as tempered clay, but the type and texture of the temper were not recorded.


Table 33 documents the distribution of the unfired sherds and potting clay by study unit and context. Many of the unfired sherds were found in the lower portions of structure fill in kivas (for example, below wall fall, in roof fall, or near or on structure surfaces), suggesting that these structures were preferred locations for the construction of pottery vessels or for the temporary storage of unfired, or "green," vessels. Only three of the samples of unfired sherds were recovered from surface contexts. In contrast, most of the potting clay samples were found in masonry surface structures. As noted above, polishing stones were also found primarily in kivas.

Sherd Containers


Twenty-seven sherd containers were recovered from Sand Canyon Pueblo (Table 23). A sherd container consists of the remains of a broken vessel, usually the base, which was recycled for some secondary purpose. Many were reused as shallow containers for various materials (comments recorded for Vessel 142, for example, indicate that it might have held pigment); others might have functioned as jar lids (see Cattanach 1980*1:235–236; Rohn 1971*1:196–197); and still others might have been used as pukis in pottery manufacture. Puki is a Tewa word used to describe the firm mold used to support the base of a vessel as it is being formed from wet clay (Swink 2004*1:95).


Most of the sherd containers recovered from Sand Canyon Pueblo are made from fragments of white ware vessels. If most, or even many, of these items were used as pukis, this preference for white ware sherds may be due to the finer temper used in pottery of this ware compared with the temper used in gray ware vessels. The finer temper of white ware pottery generally results in a surface that is smoother than the surfaces of gray ware sherds. Pukis made from white ware sherds therefore would be less likely to leave bumps or streaks in the moist clay of a green vessel.


The majority of the sherd containers in the Sand Canyon Pueblo assemblage were recovered from Blocks 500 and 100, although some were also found in Blocks 1000 and 200. Sherd containers were found in nearly equal numbers in kivas and masonry surface structures.

Summary of Pottery-Production Evidence


The spatial patterning of potting clay, unfired sherds, polishing stones, and modified sherds suggests that pottery construction could have begun in the masonry surface structures, but that the polishing or final shaping of pottery vessels occurred in kivas. It is also possible that green vessels were stored in kivas. The distribution of sherd containers, some of which may have been pukis, is ambiguous with regard to preferred locations for the construction of pottery vessels. Nonetheless, taken as a whole, the evidence suggests that pottery-making was an activity that occurred at the household level.


A recent survey conducted in the Canyons of the Ancients National Monument documented more than 50 kiln sites dating from the late Pueblo III period (Hovezak et al. 2003*1). These sites are typically found on west-to-north-facing slopes in areas that are not near habitation sites (Hovezak et al. 2003*1:9–53). More than 90 percent of the pottery sherds found at these sites are white ware sherds, indicating that these locations were mainly used in the firing of white ware vessels (Hovezak et al. 2003*1:Figure 9.63). If potters were shaping and painting white ware vessels at their habitations, then they probably had to transport their unfired green pottery hundreds of meters to where they were fired.

Evidence of Local Pottery Exchange


In this section, the results of pottery temper and paste analyses are used to evaluate the nature and extent of pottery exchange within the Mesa Verde region. The assemblages examined come from Sand Canyon and Castle Rock pueblos; Hedley Main Ruin, a large village located in southeastern Utah and investigated by Crow Canyon in the 1990s (Ortman et al. 2000*1); and several smaller Pueblo III sites tested by Crow Canyon in the Sand Canyon locality (Varien 1999*1). Both white ware bowl sherds and corrugated gray jar sherds were included in the temper and paste analyses. Most of the data discussed here were originally reported elsewhere (Glowacki et al. 1995*1, 1998*1; Glowacki et al. 2002*1; Ortman 2000*2).

Temper Data


Temper data for white ware bowls (Ortman 2000*2:par. 78–80) and corrugated gray jars (Bevilacqua 2003*1) are examined in this section. (Ortman's work with the Castle Rock Pueblo assemblage is largely repeated here because of its relevance to the question of pottery exchange at Sand Canyon Pueblo.)


Samples of sherds from the sites included in the study were analyzed for temper using a binocular microscope. All the sherds were rim sherds from white ware bowls. Table 34 presents temper and paint data for Sand Canyon Pueblo only, and Table 35 presents the data for all sites included in the analysis. All the analyzed sites are tree-ring dated to the late Pueblo III period, A.D. 1250–1280. Each sherd was classified on the basis of the most abundant type of nonplastic inclusion that had been mixed with the clay during paste preparation. The five temper categories identified were crushed sandstone, crushed igneous rock, quartz sand, crushed sherd, and "mixed." In Table 35, an additional category—"other"—is used to accommodate one sherd. The results are tabulated by count and by the percentage of each temper-paint combination in the sample from each site.


Of the five temper types, crushed sandstone and crushed sherd apparently were the most readily available to potters at every site. In contrast, quartz sand and igneous rock appear to have been available only in certain locales. The natural distribution of igneous rock is better known than is the natural distribution of quartz sand. The regional sources for igneous rock include Sleeping Ute Mountain and the San Juan Mountains of southwestern Colorado, the Abajo Mountains of southeastern Utah, and the Carrizo and Chuska mountains of northwestern New Mexico and northeastern Arizona. Of these, the source closest to the sites examined in the study is Sleeping Ute Mountain. Rock from this source is readily available as alluvial cobbles along McElmo Creek.


On the basis of ethnographic data compiled by Arnold (1985*1:51–56), Ortman (2000*2:par. 80) argues that most of the pottery tempered with igneous rock was made within 9 km of the source area. Indeed, the data indicate a falloff in the igneous-rock-tempered pottery—that is, the farther away a site is from Sleeping Ute Mountain and McElmo Canyon, the less often igneous temper occurs (Ortman 2000*2:par. 83, Figure 10). This falloff is apparent in Table 35, which compares white ware bowl sherds from sites within the Sand Canyon locality with white ware bowl sherds from sites outside the locality. Table 35 also illustrates that for sites located at about the same relative distance from Ute Mountain, the smaller hamlets tend to have higher frequencies of igneous-tempered white ware pottery than do the larger villages (Sand Canyon and Castle Rock pueblos). Ortman suggests that this may be attributable to a greater influx and outflow of pottery at villages such as Sand Canyon Pueblo, which would tend to have larger social networks than would smaller sites. The greater amount of exchange taking place in the villages would lead to increased proportions of pottery made with other kinds of temper, which in turn would result in a decrease in the proportion of the igneous-tempered pottery.


In a separate study, Bevilacqua (2003*1:188–191) examined corrugated gray jar sherds from Sand Canyon Pueblo and Lookout House (Site 5MT10459 [Kuckelman 1999*4]). Lookout House is a small site only 0.7 km west of Sand Canyon Pueblo and therefore located at approximately the same distance as the large village from Sleeping Ute Mountain and McElmo Creek, the two main sources of igneous rock in the locality. The corrugated pottery from Lookout House is characterized by a high percentage of sedimentary rock temper; in contrast, a sample of corrugated gray sherds that Bevilacqua examined from Room 1204 at Sand Canyon Pueblo has a much higher proportion of igneous-rock temper. If the sample from Room 1204 is characteristic of the site as a whole, Bevilacqua's research points to the possibility that (1) households had varying degrees of access either to sources of igneous temper or to igneous-tempered pottery during the late Pueblo III period and (2) the reasons for that differential access were unrelated to proximity to the closest known sources of igneous rock.


As noted earlier in this chapter (paragraphs 28–29), the frequency of mineral-painted pottery in the Sand Canyon locality appears to have diminished through time until, by A.D. 1150, most or all of the painted white ware pottery was finished with carbon paint. During the temper analysis, Crow Canyon lab staff reexamined the paint types of a sample of white ware bowl sherds from Sand Canyon Pueblo. The sherds for which the paint type could be distinguished were characterized as having either mineral, carbon, or "mixed" paint. Table 34 cross-tabulates these paint types with the five temper types described earlier. The table shows that about 27 percent of the selected sample is mineral-painted, which is considerably higher than the 2 percent documented in the entire assemblage during the original analysis (see Table 9).


Table 34 also shows the tendency for igneous-tempered pottery to have carbon paint. Because it is possible that sample size is a factor in the observed pattern, correlations between temper and paint type were checked for late-thirteenth-century sites across the region. Table 35 shows the counts and percentages of temper and paint types on rim sherds from white ware bowls found at the late Pueblo III sites included in the study. This table lists the sites in order of increasing distance (top to bottom) from Sleeping Ute Mountain, the presumed source of the igneous temper materials.


Of the igneous-tempered sherds from sites in the Sand Canyon locality (N = 71), none is mineral-painted. Table 36 shows the results of a chi-square test indicating that there is only about a 2 percent probability that the observed cross-tabulated distribution for temper type and paint type occurs by chance. The distribution data for mineral-painted pottery first presented in Table 35 are summarized in Table 37. These data suggest that the percentage of mineral-painted pottery generally increases from east to west. The absence of mineral paint on sherds with demonstrably local igneous temper suggests that mineral-painted sherds are from vessels made outside the Sand Canyon locality. The source of such pottery may lie to the west, along what is now the Colorado-Utah state border.

Paste Data: Instrumental Neutron Activation Analysis (INAA)


Since the completion of the Sand Canyon Pueblo excavations, a considerable amount of INAA data have been generated for the Mesa Verde region, including the Sand Canyon locality (e.g., Glowacki 1995*1; Glowacki et al. 1995*1, 1998*1; Pierce et al. 2002*1). These data have been particularly useful in permitting researchers to compare the compositions of paste clays with those of raw material sources, thus providing an indirect measure of pottery production and exchange independent of temper and paint analysis. In the Sand Canyon Pueblo assemblage, these data address the question of intraregional exchange most directly and therefore are considered here.


Sixty sherds (30 Mesa Verde Corrugated Gray jar sherds and 30 Mesa Verde Black-on-white bowl sherds) were analyzed from Sand Canyon Pueblo. Some of the following information, particularly with regard to the white ware pottery, has been reported elsewhere; however, more-recent data, especially with regard to the corrugated pottery, have been related to the authors by Donna Glowacki (personal communication 2004), in anticipation of more-formal presentation in her forthcoming dissertation.


Glowacki's data indicate that most of the analyzed subsample of corrugated gray sherds from Sand Canyon Pueblo was from vessels produced in an area that has Dakota Formation clays. This area generally encompasses a landscape described as the Montezuma Valley, which is defined to the southeast by the Mesa Verde escarpment, to the west by the uplift of the McElmo Dome along the Colorado-Utah state line, and to the north by the upland divide between the San Juan and Dolores river drainages. The area includes the Sand Canyon locality. Most of the white ware bowl sherds from Sand Canyon Pueblo apparently were also from vessels produced in the Montezuma Valley, but these vessels were distributed more widely than the corrugated jars. Relatively high proportions of bowl sherds from Mug House and Long House, two sites located on Mesa Verde proper, were made of Dakota Formation clays (Pierce et al. 2002*1:200, Table 9.2). Of the 60 sherds examined from Sand Canyon Pueblo, only two (one white ware bowl sherd and one corrugated gray jar sherd) were evidently made of Menefee Formation clays that occur on Mesa Verde to the southeast (Glowacki et al. 2002*1). As first suggested by Pierce et al. (2002*1), these data indicate that there was a greater outflow of pottery from the Montezuma Valley to Mesa Verde than the reverse, although some trade in the other direction is also evident. With regard to patterns of exchange on a somewhat larger scale within the Mesa Verde region, Glowacki (personal communication 2004) has noted the general tendency for white ware and corrugated gray ware pottery to be exchanged from Pueblo communities in southwestern Colorado to communities in southeastern Utah, but not the reverse.

Local Red Ware


The presence of San Juan Red Ware pottery at sites in the Sand Canyon locality is indicative of trade within the broader Mesa Verde region. Pottery of this ware was probably imported from southeastern Utah (Hegmon et al. 1995*1), but it is treated as "local" to contrast it with pottery that was produced outside the region. San Juan Red Ware was not made after about A.D. 1100, so the occurrence of such sherds at Sand Canyon Pueblo does not necessarily indicate exchange during the occupation of the village. Three San Juan Red Ware types are recognized: Abajo Red-on-orange (A.D. 725–880), Bluff Black-on-red (A.D. 800–1020), and Deadmans Black-on-red (A.D. 880–1100).


Table 38 reports the locations of San Juan Red Ware sherds recovered from Sand Canyon Pueblo by study unit and pottery type. The table demonstrates that, indeed, very few San Juan Red Ware sherds were recovered during Crow Canyon's excavations at the site. With only 38 such sherds identified in a total pottery assemblage of approximately 125,000 pieces, San Juan Red Ware constitutes less than 0.1 percent of the collection. Only three positively identified Deadmans Black-on-red sherds were recovered from the entire site. The presence of Abajo Red-on-orange and Bluff Black-on-red may suggest an earlier use of the general site vicinity during Basketmaker III and Pueblo I times. Pierce and Varien (1999*1) argue that the presence of San Juan Red Ware sherds at Pueblo III sites reflects the scavenging of red ware sherds from earlier middens by thirteenth-century inhabitants. This is quite likely the case for all the San Juan Red Ware sherds found at Sand Canyon Pueblo.

Evidence of Nonlocal Pottery Exchange


In this section, we consider evidence for the exchange of pottery beyond the Mesa Verde region. Distinctive paste, temper, and color characteristics of some sherds allowed analysts to recognize a small percentage of the pottery assemblage from Sand Canyon Pueblo as being of nonlocal manufacture. Table 39 documents these items by provenience and context. Although these sherds are identified only as very general types (for example, Other Gray Nonlocal and Other White Nonlocal) the "Comments" field of the database often contains more-specific information about the extraregional ware or, if it's known, the type. Table 40 provides information found in the "Comments" field of the database. "Unknown" and "Polychrome" sherds are considered to be nonlocal as well.


Only 153 sherds of suspected extraregional origins were documented in the Sand Canyon Pueblo pottery assemblage (about 0.1 percent of the total sherds). Of these, 133 are known to be nonlocal; the remainder are categorized as "unknown," but are presumed to be nonlocal as well. The great majority of the sherds are red ware, including most of those typed as "polychrome." Nonlocal white ware pottery, particularly Chuska White Ware sherds, can be very difficult to discern from local white ware because of similarities in temper, paste, and surface attributes. Similarly, it is difficult for analysts to distinguish between nonlocal gray ware and Mesa Verde Gray Ware. Therefore, our identification of nonlocal pottery is biased toward red ware sherds. Most of the sherds identified to a specific ware or type appear to be from vessels made in the Kayenta region of northeastern Arizona; these sherds are identified as Tsegi Orange Ware and Tusayan White Ware in the "Comments" column of Table 40. At least two, and possibly three, White Mountain Red Ware sherds were also identified, suggesting some contact with peoples to the south. These low percentages of nonlocal pottery types are similar to percentages documented for other late Pueblo III sites in the vicinity, including Castle Rock Pueblo (Ortman 2000*2:Table 24).


Table 41 summarizes the distribution of nonlocal sherds by study unit. The most striking finding is that nearly one-half of the nonlocal sherds were found in de facto refuse contexts in Structure 1502, a kiva in the D-shaped block. However, these sherds appear to derive from a single Tusayan Polychrome bowl, a pottery type associated with the Kayenta region in northeastern Arizona.

Discussion of Pottery Production and Exchange


Pottery-production data at Sand Canyon Pueblo are not abundant, but the available information suggests that pottery was manufactured across the site. Specialization is not indicated. It seems likely that pottery vessels were fired in locations away from the site.


The pottery data provide some evidence for exchange at the local (intraregional) and nonlocal (extraregional) levels, although evidence of exchange outside the region is very sparse. The temper data reviewed above tentatively suggest that Sand Canyon Pueblo may have been a focal point for local exchange, at least in relation to the smaller surrounding hamlets. Its potential social networks would have been greater than those of the surrounding small sites, resulting in a greater net outflow of igneous-tempered white ware pottery. Sand Canyon Pueblo's lower frequency of igneous-tempered white ware pottery, compared with the frequency documented for Castle Rock Pueblo may also be due to the greater distance between Sand Canyon Pueblo and the igneous sources found along and beyond McElmo Creek. However, these same patterns are not apparent in the corrugated pottery assemblage, which suggests that households' differential access to igneous temper was related to something other than proximity to the source.


INAA data also provide evidence for at least a modicum of exchange between Sand Canyon Pueblo and the Pueblo III populations of Mesa Verde, with perhaps more materials traveling from the Sand Canyon locality to Mesa Verde proper than vice versa.


In the Sand Canyon Pueblo assemblage, the number of sherds from vessels made outside the Sand Canyon locality is quite small, and even it may be inflated because some of the sherds typed as "unknown" may actually be local. Table 42 tallies the pottery sherds from Sand Canyon Pueblo that were not produced in the Sand Canyon locality, including San Juan Red Ware pottery sherds. As noted in paragraph 106, San Juan Red Ware pottery was probably made in what is now southeastern Utah—an area that is within the Mesa Verde region, but outside the Sand Canyon locality. Table 42 also compares the Sand Canyon Pueblo data with data for other contemporaneous sites in the Sand Canyon locality.


Pottery made outside the locality occurs at a frequency of only 0.14 percent in the Sand Canyon Pueblo assemblage. This places Sand Canyon Pueblo on a par with most of the other sites included in the study. Based on pottery-assemblage data, it appears that, although Sand Canyon Pueblo may have been a nexus of social interaction within the Sand Canyon locality, its more-distant ties are similar to those of most of the other contemporaneous sites in the locality. Two sites on Mesa Verde with late Pueblo III components, Long House (Cattanach 1980*1:Table 8) and Mug House (Rohn 1971*1:Table 24), likewise have low counts of nonlocal pottery.

Summary of the Pottery Data for Sand Canyon Pueblo


In the preceding sections, the characteristics of unmodified sherds, modified and shaped sherds, pottery vessels, and "other clay artifacts" collected from Sand Canyon Pueblo have been summarized. A series of functional analyses was used to address questions of community organization, and the assemblage was examined for evidence of pottery production and exchange.


The unmodified-sherd assemblage from Sand Canyon Pueblo provides corroborating evidence for the date of occupation suggested by tree-ring analysis (see Chapter 4, paragraph 177). The overwhelming dominance of Mesa Verde Black-on-white as the primary white ware type and of Mesa Verde Corrugated Gray as the primary gray ware type indicates that the main site occupation occurred during the mid- to late A.D. 1200s. Accumulations data suggest that some portions of the site were occupied for at least 15 to 20 years and that at least one location was occupied for a minimum of 30 years. These data indicate that the occupation of the site probably began by the middle part of the century, perhaps during the A.D. 1240s.


The assemblage of unmodified sherds also indicates that the vessel form frequencies at Sand Canyon Pueblo are similar to those documented for other late Pueblo III community centers in southwestern Colorado, particularly as seen in the bowl:jar ratios. Form frequencies among rim sherds indicate that the most common vessels used at the site were white ware bowls, followed by corrugated gray jars—a pattern that is observed in many other Pueblo III sites in the Sand Canyon locality.


The distributions of modified and shaped sherds at Sand Canyon Pueblo suggest that the activities associated with these artifacts took place across the site. Modified sherds, which may have been used in pottery production, are widely distributed, indicating that pottery production may have been a typical household activity at Sand Canyon Pueblo.


The large assemblage of whole, partial, and reconstructible/reconstructed pottery vessels at Sand Canyon Pueblo provided valuable volumetric information for use in functional analyses. The functional analyses conducted for this project examined vessel form, size, and decoration, which allowed us to develop pottery-based models that may explain feasting ritual and village-formation processes during the late Pueblo III period in the Sand Canyon locality. Perhaps the most interesting model is one that proposes an evolution of community development and ritual, in which villages such as Sand Canyon Pueblo became the foci of feasting events.


The pottery data for Sand Canyon Pueblo also further our understanding of pottery production and exchange. As mentioned above, production evidence suggests that pottery-making at Sand Canyon Pueblo occurred at the household level, but was not a specialized function of any particular household. Data relevant to pottery exchange indicate that some networks may have existed at the local level in the middle to late A.D. 1200s, but that extraregional trade, at least of pottery, was minimal during this same time. Further, the pottery data show that although Sand Canyon Pueblo may have been somewhat central to social interaction at the local level, its ties with other thirteenth-century societies in the broader North American Southwest were no stronger than at other contemporaneous sites in the locality.

Chipped-Stone Artifacts


This section summarizes the results of the analyses of artifacts made through the flaking of a piece of stone with a hammerstone or an antler or bone tool. These artifacts include the debris (also called debitage) produced during the manufacture of chipped-stone tools, as well as the tools themselves (bifaces, projectile points, drills, modified cores, and "other chipped-stone tools"). The methods used in the original analysis of the chipped-stone artifacts from Sand Canyon Pueblo are detailed in Schwab and Bradley (1987*1), but the projectile points were later reanalyzed in accordance with current methods, which are outlined in Chapter 9 of the online laboratory manual. It is also important to note that a portion of the debitage from Sand Canyon Pueblo was never analyzed (271 of 3,364 bags of debris that were assigned field specimen numbers, or about 8 percent of the bags). The site as a whole is probably well represented in the debitage sample, but particular study units may be underrepresented. Following a discussion of raw material types, the results of the debitage and chipped-stone-tool analyses are presented.

Lithic Raw Materials

Raw Material Types


Although knowledge of lithic-procurement sites and the availability of raw materials in southwestern Colorado is limited, the materials out of which the chipped-stone tools from Sand Canyon Pueblo were made can be grouped into local, semilocal, nonlocal, and unknown stone types. Basic descriptions of these materials and their sources may be found in Ortman (2000*2:par. 92–94), and each of the first three groups is discussed briefly below. In the years since the chipped-stone artifacts from Sand Canyon Pueblo were analyzed, the material-type categories recognized in Crow Canyon's system have been slightly refined, as described in Chapter 8 of our online laboratory manual and in greater detail in Gerhardt (2001*1).

Local Raw Materials


Local raw materials are of average to poor quality, and they occur within the geological strata exposed in the vicinity of Sand Canyon Pueblo. The closest known source of Dakota quartzite is in upper Sand Canyon, near Stanton's Site (Site 5MT10508). Morrison quartzite and chert/siltstone are available in Sand Canyon, as are fine-grained and conglomerate sandstones. Igneous rock occurs on Ute Mountain to the south. Finally, slates and shales are available in the Mancos Formation, which outcrops throughout the higher elevations of southwestern Colorado.

Semilocal Raw Materials


Semilocal raw materials are of relatively good quality and probably occur less widely in their geological strata of origin than do local raw materials. As a result, such materials were probably more difficult to obtain, possibly requiring special collecting trips. Agate/chalcedony and petrified wood occasionally occur in the Morrison and Dakota formations, as well as in other formations that outcrop farther away (such as the Chinle Formation).

Nonlocal Raw Materials


These typically are high-quality materials that definitely do not occur within easy walking distance of Sand Canyon and must have been acquired through trade or special collecting trips. Nonlocal materials in the Sand Canyon Pueblo chipped-stone assemblage include obsidian and Washington Pass chert. Obsidian is likely to have come from either the Jemez Mountains of New Mexico or the San Francisco Peaks in Arizona, where sources of widely exchanged obsidian are known (Shackley 1988*1, 1995*1). Washington Pass chert occurs only in the Chuska Mountains of northeastern Arizona (Gerhardt 2001*1; Warren 1967*1).


During the analysis of chipped-stone artifacts from Sand Canyon Pueblo, several material types that today we categorize as semilocal or even local were coded as "nonlocal." Some of these misidentified items can be recognized as such because more-specific descriptions were recorded in the "Comments" field of several database tables that are not available online. For example, Brushy Basin chert, which should probably be classified as a semilocal material but was considered nonlocal during the original analysis, is sometimes identified by name in the comments. Known sources of Brushy Basin chert occur near the San Juan River near the Four Corners monument, which is approximately 50 km south of Sand Canyon Pueblo, as well as in Recapture Wash, approximately 70 km to the west in Utah. However, exposures of the Brushy Basin Member of the Morrison Formation also occur locally and may have provided additional sources of this material. Burro Canyon chert is another relatively local material that was considered nonlocal during analysis. The closest known source of Burro Canyon chert occurs at a lithic-procurement site on Cannonball Mesa, about 24 km west of Sand Canyon (however, the formation is stratigraphically exposed in Sand Canyon) (Ortman 2000*2:par. 93). Additional known sources occur in the nearby Dolores River valley. Finally, red jasper comes from the Triassic and Permian formations of the Monument Upwarp and Elk Ridge Uplift in southeastern Utah, west of Cottonwood Wash. This material may have been documented simply as a generic "nonlocal" material when it was recognized. It should be mentioned that these same formations are also sources of petrified wood. We note the foregoing discrepancies in classification for those readers who are interested in comparing the Sand Canyon Pueblo lithic assemblage with assemblages from sites that we have analyzed using our more up-to-date protocol (for example, Woods Canyon and Yellow Jacket pueblos).

Artifact Type by Raw Material


Table 43 summarizes the numbers and percentages of chipped-stone tools in the Sand Canyon Pueblo assemblage made from various raw materials (for definitions of the artifact types used, see Chapter 8 of the online laboratory manual). The raw-material categories include those discussed in the preceding paragraphs. However, several specific types, such as Brushy Basin chert and red jasper, are not distinguished beyond the level of generic "nonlocal chert/siltstone."


Dakota quartzite was the most common material used in the production of bifacially flaked tools (for example, bifaces, projectile points, and most drills). This is perhaps a little surprising because finer-grained materials are more typical of such tools. Semilocal and nonlocal materials consist of fine-grained stones and, indeed, the majority of these materials were used in the production of bifacial tools, particularly projectile points. Only one core of a nonlocal material was documented, indicating that these materials were not procured directly with great frequency. The most common material types associated with cores are Morrison chert/siltstone and Morrison quartzite (composing 55.6 and 27.3 percent of the core assemblage, respectively), suggesting that these materials were probably procured locally and reduced at Sand Canyon Pueblo. Other material-type preferences are apparent as well. For example, the relatively coarse Morrison quartzite is the preferred material type for peckingstones. Finally, informal flake tools were made from both fine- and coarser-grained materials from the local Morrison Formation.

Raw Materials Identified in the Chipped-Stone Tool and Debitage Assemblages


Table 44 summarizes the raw materials of all chipped-stone tools and manufacturing debris, or debitage, from the Sand Canyon Pueblo excavations by both count and percentage. Chipped-stone objects are grouped into the following categories: debitage, cores and core tools (cores, modified cores, and peckingstones), expedient tools (modified flakes and "other chipped-stone tools"), and formal tools (projectile points, bifaces, and drills).


The relative frequencies of raw material types in the assemblage probably reflect the general availability of these materials in the vicinity of Sand Canyon Pueblo. For example, the prevalence of Morrison Formation materials (Morrison chert/siltstone and Morrison quartzite) in the debitage, core, core tool, and expedient-tool assemblages indicates the proximity of these materials to the site.


Nonetheless, Table 44 also suggests that functional or technological preferences may have structured the frequency of raw material types among artifact classes. Though probably the most abundant and available, Morrison Formation materials were seldom used for formal tools. Instead, Dakota quartzite appears to have been the most favored raw material for the production of these items.


In addition, nonlocal materials are overrepresented among the formal tools compared with their occurrence among informal tools and debitage. This is probably due in part to the fine-grained texture of these materials (most or all are silica-rich cryptocrystalline materials such as chert, obsidian, petrified wood, or chalcedony). These materials tend to be superior for the production of finely flaked tools. However, their use in formal tools may have been rooted in a more symbolic practice that acknowledged the importance of the places from which the materials derived (see Bradley 2000*1:85–90). For example, two of the 11 artifacts of Washington Pass chert from Sand Canyon Pueblo were formal tools. It may be that some symbolic importance is placed on this material, which figures prominently in assemblages from Chaco Canyon, an undeniably important place in the larger Pueblo landscape (see, for example, Cameron 2001*1).


Semilocal and nonlocal materials are discussed in more detail in the following sections.

Distribution of Semilocal and Nonlocal Lithic Raw Materials


In this section, we discuss the distribution of semilocal and nonlocal lithic materials at Sand Canyon Pueblo and other contemporaneous sites investigated by Crow Canyon in the Sand Canyon locality.

Intrasite Distribution of Extralocal Lithic Raw Materials


Table 45 shows the distribution of extralocal lithic raw materials at Sand Canyon Pueblo. In the context of this discussion, "extralocal" is defined to include both semilocal and nonlocal materials. Slightly more than 50 percent of this assemblage consists of the semilocal materials. Of the items described as "nonlocal," most (N = 75) are not assigned a particular material type, but are simply recognized as being "nonlocal." However, it is worth noting that almost all these materials, both semi- and nonlocal, are fine grained.


The highest occurrences of these materials occur in Architectural Blocks 100, 1000, and 200. Combined, Blocks 100 and 1000 contained nearly one-half of all extralocal lithic materials. Blocks 100 and 1500 are also notable for their relatively high occurrences of Washington Pass chert.

Intersite Distribution of Extralocal Lithic Raw Materials


Table 46 examines the distribution of semi- and nonlocal lithic raw materials among sites investigated by Crow Canyon in the Sand Canyon locality. Sand Canyon Pueblo has the greatest quantity of these materials, followed by Castle Rock Pueblo and G & G Hamlet; the latter has a large number of obsidian items. However, the large number of extralocal lithic materials at Sand Canyon may be attributable to the larger collection excavated from this site. To control for this, the amount of corrugated gray pottery recovered from each site is used to derive a ratio of extralocal lithic items to a kilogram of corrugated pottery per site. Several of the small sites have high ratios: G & G Hamlet, a habitation site with Pueblo II and Pueblo III components (Kuckelman 1999*1), has the highest ratio; Mad Dog Tower, a late Pueblo III special activity and/or habitation site (Kleidon 1999*2), has the second-highest ratio and is noted for its high frequency of chipped-stone materials (Varien 1999*1:98); and Stanton's Site, a Pueblo III habitation site (Varien 1999*11), has the third-highest ratio. The community centers, Sand Canyon and Castle Rock pueblos, are characterized by their relatively low ratios; indeed, although the greatest number of extralocal lithic items was recovered from Sand Canyon Pueblo, the ratio of extralocal lithic items to corrugated pottery sherds at this site is the lowest of all the sites examined here.

Summary and Discussion of Lithic Raw Materials


From the above, it is clear that the occupants of Sand Canyon Pueblo relied heavily on local lithic material sources. Morrison materials tended to be used for informal tools, whereas Dakota Formation materials and other fine-grained, silica-rich resources were used primarily in the production of the formal chipped-stone tools.


Semi- and nonlocal chipped-stone materials at Sand Canyon Pueblo do not seem to be concentrated in the parts of the site associated with public architecture. However, nonlocal stone is associated with two areas of the site containing nonstandard unit pueblo architecture: Architectural Blocks 100 and 1500. The highest frequency of extralocal materials is in Block 100, which has a low room-to-kiva ratio and contains a tower (see Chapter 4). Blocks 100 and 1500 have the highest occurrences of Washington Pass chert.


An examination of the distribution of these extralocal materials across the greater Pueblo III landscape in the Sand Canyon locality (Table 46) does not reveal a strong focus on Sand Canyon Pueblo itself. This suggests that access to extralocal materials was not dependent on an immediate association with this village, the largest community center in the locality.

Debitage Studies


The analysis of chipped-stone debris has varied throughout the history of Crow Canyon, in terms of both method and intensity. Analysis of the Sand Canyon Pueblo debitage assemblage was originally undertaken in accordance with Crow Canyon's Laboratory Teaching Manual (Schwab and Bradley 1987*1), which significantly predates our current online laboratory manual. Other Crow Canyon projects for which these early analysis methods were used include the Duckfoot Project (Etzkorn 1993*1) and the Site Testing Program (Pierce and Keleher 1999*1).


After briefly summarizing the methods used to document the Sand Canyon Pueblo debitage assemblage, this section reports the site-specific results of the analysis. These data are then considered in conjunction with similar data reported for the debitage assemblages from sites investigated during the Site Testing Program (Varien 1999*7). Finally, a small sample (about 3 percent) of the debitage from Sand Canyon Pueblo was reanalyzed, using our current methods, by Fumi Arakawa for his dissertation, which was in progress as of this writing. The results of this more recent analysis are also considered in this section.

Methods of Analysis


Lithic reduction involves the removal of material (debitage) from a parent stone (a core). Cores are analyzed during cataloging, and weight and material are the only attributes routinely recorded during this stage; however, other details may be noted in the "Comments" field of the database. Debitage, which consists of flakes and angular debris (or "shatter"), is separated from the rest of the artifact assemblage during cataloging. The debitage from Sand Canyon Pueblo was originally analyzed using methods described in Schwab and Bradley (1987*1). The information recorded included raw material (discussed above), material color, and debitage type. Later, the decision was made to not record material color; for this reason, color is not discussed in this chapter. The types of debitage recorded are flakes, flake fragments, edge-damaged flakes, and "angular debris." Items are assigned to the flake category if they have evidence of a striking platform and bulb of percussion, regardless of whether the flake is whole or broken. Flake fragments are those portions of flakes that do not possess the platform or bulb of percussion. Edge-damaged flakes are those objects that exhibit postmanufacture wear along an edge. Finally, "angular debris" refers to the sharp-edged fragments of rock produced during reduction that do not have the attributes of flakes.


As noted in the introduction to this section, approximately 8 percent of the bags of debitage from Sand Canyon Pueblo were not analyzed. In other words, although we know that these bags contained debitage, we do not know the total amount of debris, its weight, or the raw materials present. Why the contents of these bags were not analyzed is not known. Those locations that appear to be underrepresented are Middens 103 and 1214 and Kivas 517 and 1501. Therefore, interpretations about the debitage from these study units must be made cautiously, and cores are considered the best proxy for lithic-reduction activity when making comparisons between architectural blocks.

Analysis Results


Table 47 presents counts and percentages of debitage and cores recovered from Sand Canyon Pueblo. This same table also considers the quantities of debris and cores in relation to the amounts of corrugated gray pottery recovered from these groups. For this analysis, the groups of interest are those architectural blocks from which a sample of reasonable size was collected. Table 47 ranks the relative amounts of debitage and cores, as determined by the ratio of these artifacts to a kilogram of corrugated gray pottery. Inclusion of Blocks 300 and 800 in the ranking may be problematic. Block 300 has a small number of cores compared with other architectural blocks and, curiously, has little debitage. More significantly perhaps, Block 800, which includes the great kiva, may have been functionally different in ways that affected the amount of corrugated gray pottery deposited in this location. All the other locations ranked in the table appear to have been dominated by household architecture.


Table 47 indicates that the occupants of Block 1500 were more heavily engaged in lithic- reduction activities than were occupants of other excavated portions of the site. This architectural block yielded nearly 25 percent of the site's recovered cores, nearly 30 more cores than Block 1200, which ranks second in the relative number of cores among ranked blocks. Of the architectural blocks considered here, Block 100 ranks last in the relative amount of cores, suggesting that stone-tool manufacture, or at least the early stages of manufacturing, was not as emphasized in this location as in others investigated at Sand Canyon Pueblo.


Table 48 reports the different debitage categories by material type. Again, Morrison materials are the most common in the assemblage, followed by Dakota quartzite. Included in this table are edge-damaged flakes, which differ from the other types of debitage in that they were used as expedient tools. Unlike modified flakes, which were intentionally retouched, the edges of edge-damaged flakes exhibit wear that resulted from simple use. As with the expedient chipped-stone tools reported earlier (Table 43), edge-damaged flakes are made predominantly of materials from the Morrison Formation.


Unmodified debitage makes up more than 97 percent of the debris assemblage, and about two-thirds of the unmodified debitage (or 66 percent of the total assemblage) is classified as "flakes." The ratio of flakes to flake fragments for the Morrison materials is greater than 2:1. In contrast, this same ratio is considerably lower, about 1:1, for the nonlocal materials. This may reflect the more intensive reduction and/or reuse of the finer-grained nonlocal materials (sensu Sullivan and Rozen 1985*1:763).


Table 49 gives the results of Arakawa's recent reanalysis of a sample of debitage from Sand Canyon Pueblo. A total of 593 items (approximately 2.5 percent of the entire assemblage) was included in this analysis, including materials from eight study units (Table 50). Arakawa followed Crow Canyon's current analysis methods as outlined in the online lab manual. The current system differs from the earlier system in that there are more material-type options to choose from, the presence or absence of cortex is recorded, and several size classes of flakes are recognized. In general, the presence of cortex and an increased frequency of large flakes are viewed as indicators of a core-reduction strategy. In contrast, the absence of cortex and an increased frequency of small flakes is indicative of later stages of reduction, including tool production and repair. Because the sample from Sand Canyon Pueblo is relatively small and is drawn from only eight study units (Table 47), the interpretations offered here are necessarily very general.


Arakawa's sample contributes some important information regarding material type in the debitage assemblage (Table 49). For example, although the prevalence of Morrison materials on the site is again obvious, it is also apparent that Morrison mudstone is more abundant than the coarser-grained silicified sandstone. The latter is presumed to be equivalent to the "Morrison quartzite" of the early analysis system, and the former corresponds to the "Morrison chert/siltstone." The higher percentage of the finer-grained material may be a result of sampling error, but it is more likely that the earlier classification of Morrison quartzite included items now considered "mudstone." Another material distinguished here, Brushy Basin chert/siltstone, may have been described during the earlier analysis as a nonlocal chert/siltstone.


Arakawa's analysis also suggests possible variability in lithic-reduction strategies at Sand Canyon Pueblo, variability that appears to be linked to material type. Table 51 records the presence and absence of cortex across material types. As a whole, there is a present:absent ratio of about 1:2. Table 52 shows size categories across material types. In this case, about 10 percent of the flakes have dimensions larger than 1 inch, and nearly 50 percent are in the next-smaller size class. An evaluation of the data presented in both tables suggests that it is the local materials that are most likely to have cortex and to be large. Items of nonlocal material, on the other hand, are much more likely to be small and to have no cortex. This, again, indicates more-intensive reduction of these materials.

Intersite Comparisons


The debitage assemblage from Sand Canyon Pueblo is relatively large (N = 24,106) when compared with the assemblages analyzed for 13 other sites in the Sand Canyon locality investigated by Crow Canyon. The next-largest assemblage in this group is from Castle Rock Pueblo (N = 8,875). Table 53 shows the counts and percentages of flakes, flake fragments, edge-damaged flakes, and angular debris at these sites. Considerable variation is observed among these assemblages. Sand Canyon Pueblo has the highest proportion of whole flakes (64.7 percent), which, as noted earlier, may indicate an overall orientation toward a relatively simple reduction strategy. This is quite different from the debitage assemblage from Castle Rock Pueblo, in which only 46.2 percent of the items are whole flakes.


Table 54 details the material types documented for debitage assemblages from 14 sites in the Sand Canyon locality. The single occurrences of Dakota chert/siltstone at Castle Rock and Sand Canyon pueblos probably reflect the lab's recognition of this as a new material-type category after most of the chipped-stone analyses for both sites were completed. There is considerable variability in material-type distributions among the sites. Judging from the percentages given in Table 54, the material-type frequencies documented for Sand Canyon Pueblo seem to fall within the ranges documented for the other sites.


The material-type categories used in Table 54 are collapsed in Table 55 to more simply reflect the occurrences of local, semilocal, nonlocal, and unknown material types. Although Sand Canyon Pueblo has the highest count of nonlocal debitage items and the second-highest count of semilocal debitage items, it has lower percentages of these materials than do most of the other sites.

Formal Chipped-Stone Tools


This section is devoted to discussion of the 236 formal bifacial tools—92 "generic" bifaces, 36 drills, and 109 projectile points—that were collected from Sand Canyon Pueblo during Crow Canyon's excavations. Table 56 shows the distribution of these tools across the site and presents their quantities in relation to the amounts of corrugated gray pottery recovered from each area.

Bifaces and Drills


As shown earlier in Table 43, the most common material for both bifaces and drills in the Sand Canyon Pueblo assemblage is Dakota quartzite. In contrast, a higher percentage of the projectile points are made from extralocal (semilocal and nonlocal) materials. Table 57 demonstrates how the conditions of these artifacts affect the ability of analysts to recognize them. The high numbers of fragmentary bifaces (percent of total) probably include unidentifiable drill and/or projectile point midsections or tips. The relatively low numbers of incomplete or fragmentary drills indicate how difficult it is for analysts to recognize this artifact type without having the entire object present.


Table 56 presents information regarding the basic distribution of bifaces at Sand Canyon Pueblo. The greatest numbers of bifaces come from Architectural Blocks 500, 100, 1500, 1000, and 200. Some artifacts assigned to the biface category might have been used as knives or scrapers; others might be the remains of projectile points or drills that were broken and discarded during manufacture, repair, or use. Although these distinctions were not made during the Sand Canyon Pueblo analysis, the fact that only 15 bifaces in the assemblage are complete (Table 57) suggests that many of these objects could be the remains of points or drills.


Drills were used to perforate materials such as wood, soft stone, bone, and hide. These objects are quite variable in form, and include relatively formal tools as well as expedient flake tools. Drills are generally distinguished by a polished or worn bit or tip. These objects were found most often in Architectural Blocks 100 and 500 (Table 56). Three drills were recovered from the floor of Kiva 501. Because drills were found in relatively low numbers across the site, the clustering of drills in Kiva 501 may indicate some slightly greater attention to activities associated with tool or ornament production in that location.


The widespread distribution of both bifaces and drills at Sand Canyon Pueblo indicates that tool production, ornament production, or both were activities common to most or all households. The low numbers of these items in Block 800 suggest that these activities were not commonplace in the great kiva.

Projectile Points


In 2004, to better document the projectile points from Sand Canyon Pueblo, Crow Canyon lab staff reanalyzed each point, using current methods as described in the online lab manual. Table 58 and Table 59 present the basic analysis data for projectile points.


A total of 109 points was recovered from the site. The projectile point assemblage includes a variety of point types whose manufacture is known to have spanned considerable time and space. Table 60, Table 61, and Table 62 summarize the projectile point assemblage by location, material type, and condition, respectively. Approximately 40 percent of the projectile point types date from the Archaic through Pueblo II periods, which indicates that the residents of Sand Canyon Pueblo collected and curated many old points. Only about one-quarter of the recovered points are recognizable as potentially dating from the Pueblo III period. Slightly more than one-quarter of the points are "nonspecific," which simply means that they could not be assigned to type. Five of the points are classified as "nonlocal"; these are discussed further in paragraph 167 and paragraph 285.


The distribution of projectile points at the site is important to consider for at least two reasons. First, projectile points may indicate the degree to which hunting played a role in the subsistence of Sand Canyon Pueblo households and of the village in general. Second, the distribution of projectile points may provide additional evidence of the apparent acts of violence that took place at the end of the occupation of the village (Kuckelman 2002*1; Kuckelman et al. 2002*2). Table 56 and Table 60 indicate relatively high concentrations of these artifacts in Blocks 1500 and 100, with 20 and 19 projectile points, respectively. Blocks 1000 and 200 have the third-highest (N = 12) and fourth-highest (N = 11) numbers of points. With the exception of Blocks 800 and 1600, projectile points appear to be fairly well represented in most architectural blocks.


Several additional patterns regarding the distribution of projectile points are apparent in Table 60. Nearly one-quarter of all points—and one-third of the Archaic/Basketmaker II points—were recovered from proveniences described as "other," most of which are modern ground surface. The overall number of these items suggests that there could be one or more Archaic and/or Basketmaker II components at the site, perhaps associated with the use of the spring. Together, Architectural Blocks 1500 and 100 yielded over one-third of the site's projectile points. Block 1500 is notable for having a relatively high number of Pueblo III points, and Block 100 has a relatively high number of the points classified as "nonspecific" (Table 60).


Nearly one-half of the projectile points are made of local Dakota quartzite (Table 43). However, 40 of the 109 projectile points are made from semilocal, nonlocal, or unidentifiable materials (the last category probably consists primarily of materials that are nonlocal in origin but were not positively identified as such). A review of the "Comments" field in the database reveals that all points whose material types were recorded as generic "nonlocal" were made from red jasper, a material common in southeastern Utah. For this reason, this material is categorized as "semilocal" in Table 61, which tabulates projectile points by type and raw material. More than half the points made from extralocal materials derive from semilocal materials found in adjacent regions (for example, southeastern Utah). Most of the extralocal materials are fine grained, a general characteristic of the stone out of which projectile points were made. More than 40 percent of the points that date from the Archaic through Pueblo II periods are made of extralocal materials, a figure that is twice as high as the percentage of extralocal materials documented for the Pueblo III period. Table 63 indicates no outstanding concentrations of projectile points made of extralocal materials within any particular architectural block.


The relatively distinctive morphology of projectile points makes their identification in a broken state easier than that of drills; hence, more fragments are recorded for this artifact type (Table 57). Table 62 shows differences in the conditions of projectile points considered diagnostic of different time periods. The smallest number of complete points is documented for the group of Archaic/Basketmaker II points, and the greatest, for the Pueblo III group, a pattern that probably reflects the use history of these artifacts (that is, because of their longer history, the Archaic/Basketmaker II points are more likely to exhibit damage through use than are the Pueblo III points). The greatest number of fragmentary points is recorded for the "nonspecific" category; in many cases, the broken condition of these items precluded identification to specific type.


Five nonlocal projectile points, described in Table 64, were recovered from Sand Canyon Pueblo. Four of the five were found in architectural blocks in which violence is inferred to have occurred (Blocks 100, 1000, and 500) (Kuckelman et al. 2002*2; see also Chapter 7, this volume). One of the points, found in Block 100, is a Desert Side-Notched point, a type associated with Numic-speaking peoples from the southern Great Basin. The point (PD 31, FS 23) was recovered from Midden 103. Two other nonlocal points, found in Kiva 1004, are a Parowan Basal-Notched point and a Nawthis Side-Notched point. The Parowan point (PD 530, FS 63, PL 46) was made from an unknown silicified sandstone and was recovered from an abandonment context (roof fall) above a floor on which were found the remains of two violently killed individuals (Chapter 7, this volume) (Database Map 4132, Database Map 4135). Parowan points are associated with the Fremont people and the Virgin Anasazi in southwestern Utah (Holmer 1986*1). The fact that this point is made of an unknown silicified sandstone (Table 64) underscores the likelihood that the artifact was from outside the region. The Nawthis point (PD 593, FS 16, PL 1) was recovered from the surface of Bench 3 in Kiva 1004 (Database Map 4135). This point is also associated with the Fremont culture, but it is more commonly seen in southeastern Utah (Holmer 1986*1). It was made of Dakota quartzite, suggesting a more local origin; nonetheless, because its cultural affiliation is Fremont, the possibility that the point is foreign cannot be ruled out. The fourth projectile point, a Desert Side-Notched point (PD 388, FS 234, PL 88), was found in the burned roof-fall deposits of Kiva 501, approximately 50 cm from the remains of an adult female (Feature 29) in the same stratum (Database Map 4089). Although there is no evidence of perimortem trauma on the skeleton, the bones are burned (Chapter 7, this volume; see also The Sand Canyon Pueblo Database) and numerous axes were found nearby, suggesting the possibility of violence. The fifth and final nonlocal projectile point is another Nawthis Side-Notched point (PD 176, FS 17) found in intentionally deposited materials near the floor of Structure 1219, a kiva corner room. Two other points, both Pueblo III types, were found in the same stratum of this room. The Desert Side-Notched points and Nawthis Side-Notched points could have been produced during the late Pueblo III period (Holmer 1986*1). The Parowan Basal-Notched point, however, was probably made before A.D. 1150, indicating that the object could have been curated.

Summary and Discussion of Formal Chipped-Stone Tools


It is apparent from the data presented above that the preferred materials for bifaces, drills, and projectile points tend to be fine grained. Indeed, over 40 percent of the projectile points are made from extralocal materials, which are generally finer grained than most materials that occur naturally in the Sand Canyon locality.


The distribution of all three formal artifact types across the site is fairly even, with the exception of Blocks 300 and 800. Architectural Block 300 apparently fell into disuse before the occupation of the rest of the village ended (see Chapter 4), and few midden deposits were sampled during the excavation of this block. Thus, the dearth of formal chipped-stone tools in this block is not surprising and can probably be attributed to sampling bias. In contrast, Block 800, which includes the great kiva, was better-sampled and so the low numbers of formal chipped-stone tools may be significant, perhaps indicating that activities associated with these artifacts did not occur often in this part of the site. All three artifact types are reasonably represented in Blocks 100, 200, 500, 1000, 1200, and 1500, indicating that activities associated with them, such as hunting and tool production, were undertaken by the residents of these households.


Some tentative thoughts regarding the nature of the violent events associated with the end of the occupation at Sand Canyon Pueblo are suggested by the five points of extralocal styles. Four of the five points were found in areas of the site where evidence of violence was documented. Furthermore, two of the points (a Nawthis Side-Notched and a Parowan Basal-Notched) were found on a bench and in roof fall, respectively, of a kiva that contained the remains of two individuals who died violently. It is quite likely that these nonlocal points are on the site as the result of curation, trade, or some other contact with nonlocal peoples. However, given the contexts in which they were found, it is also possible that at least some of the violence at Sand Canyon Pueblo occurred as a consequence of contact with foreign, non-Pueblo combatants.

Summary of Chipped-Stone-Artifact Data


Analyses of lithic raw materials, debitage, and chipped-stone tools from Sand Canyon Pueblo provide basic information about source materials, tool manufacture, and exchange networks. The data indicate that the great majority of the materials used in chipped-stone-tool manufacture derived from local sources. Informal tools tended to be made from Morrison Formation materials, while formal tools tended to be made with the fine-grained materials from the Dakota Formation. Nonlocal stone materials appear to be more common in Architectural Blocks 100 and 1500, two areas of the site with nonstandard architecture. Although there does not appear to be a concentration of nonlocal lithic materials at Sand Canyon Pueblo compared with other late Pueblo III sites tested by Crow Canyon in the Sand Canyon locality, it is interesting that turquoise has been found only at Sand Canyon and Castle Rock pueblos.


Analyses of the manufacturing debris (debitage) from Sand Canyon Pueblo suggest that, overall, a relatively simple reduction strategy was used at the site. Although debitage is ubiquitous across the excavated portions of the site, it appears that the occupants of Block 1500 were more heavily engaged in the production of chipped-stone tools than were residents of the other excavated architectural blocks. When nonlocal materials were used, there are indications that these materials were more intensively worked. An intersite comparison revealed that nonlocal materials are not more common in the Sand Canyon Pueblo chipped-stone assemblages than in assemblages from other contemporaneous sites in the locality; this finding mirrors the pattern documented for the pottery assemblages as well. Interestingly, semilocal materials are also relatively rare at Sand Canyon Pueblo when compared with other late Pueblo III sites in the locality. This appears to stand in contrast to the pottery data, which suggest that Sand Canyon Pueblo was the focus of an intraregional exchange network.


Bifaces, drills, and projectile points are relatively evenly distributed across architectural blocks at Sand Canyon Pueblo. Thus, specialization at the level of the architectural block—at least in terms of chipped-stone-tool production and/or use—is not indicated (but see paragraphs 232–236 for a discussion of midden assemblages associated with kiva suites).


The projectile point assemblage from Sand Canyon Pueblo may reflect use of the site area over a long time, extending back to the Archaic period. Indeed, only about one-quarter of the points are categorized as Pueblo III points, which indicates that the occupants of the pueblo collected many projectile points dating from earlier periods. However, because about one-third of the Archaic/Basketmaker II points were found on the modern ground surface, it is also possible that these items are associated with an earlier use of the site that focused on the spring located near the canyon bottom.


Interestingly, four of the five nonlocal points recovered from the site were found in architectural blocks in which there was evidence of violence. These points suggest some form of contact with nonlocal peoples, most likely from regions to the west, and are discussed more fully in paragraph 167 and paragraph 285.

Ground-Stone Artifacts


Ground-stone artifacts were produced for the purpose of grinding other materials, such as foodstuffs, other stones, minerals, and bones. This group of artifacts includes both active (for example, mano) and passive (for example, metate) elements of tool "sets."

Methods of Analysis


The methods used for the analysis of the ground-stone artifacts from Sand Canyon Pueblo are detailed in Schwab and Bradley (1987*1). The artifact types considered here are manos, one-hand manos, two-hand manos, metates, basin metates, trough metates, slab metates, abraders, mortars, pestles, and indeterminate ground stone. For definitions of these objects, see Chapter 4 of the online laboratory manual.



A total of 875 ground-stone artifacts was recovered during the excavation of Sand Canyon Pueblo (Table 65). The five architectural blocks with the highest percentages of identifiable tool types are Blocks 1000, 1500, 200, 100, and 500. Numerous ground-stone artifacts were also recovered from Blocks 800 and 1200. Two-hand manos and abraders are the most common ground-stone artifacts in the assemblage, followed by slab metates. Large numbers of indeterminate ground-stone items were also recovered from Blocks 1500 and 1000. Abraders occur with a particularly high frequency in Block 1000, but are also common in Block 500.


It is likely that the circumstances surrounding the abandonment of the various architectural blocks influenced the composition of the ground-stone assemblage in each block. For example, Blocks 800 and 1200 apparently were abandoned before the depopulation of the pueblo as a whole (Chapter 4). Table 66 shows a high percentage of fragmentary ground-stone items in Block 800 compared with the percentages documented for other architectural blocks, suggesting that whole, useful items were removed from Block 800, perhaps to be used elsewhere in the village. It is also likely that the variable intensity of excavations in different architectural blocks affected the recovery of ground-stone artifacts.


Although architectural block data are useful for calling attention to general distribution patterns, one should also consider the specific contexts in which these artifacts were found. A review of the provenience data shows that 12 study units (Kivas 102, 208, 1004, 1501, and 1502; Rooms 104, 203, 204, 809, and 1512; Courtyard 1000; and Nonstructure 1500) account for about 40 percent of the ground stone recovered from the site. Courtyard 1000 and Nonstructure 1500 contain many indeterminate ground-stone artifacts, which may be explained by the large number of fragmentary items listed for these study units in Table 66. The large number of abraders in Block 1000 (Table 65) is primarily due to their abundance in secondary trash deposits in Courtyard 1000; however, a relatively high number of abraders is also associated with Kiva 1004. Midden and abandonment contexts (particularly de facto refuse) are considered further in the discussion of intrasite analyses (beginning with paragraph 223).

Artifact Type by Raw Material


Table 67 summarizes the ground-stone artifacts from Sand Canyon Pueblo according to the raw materials from which they were made. Most ground-stone tools were made of locally available, relatively coarse grained material (primarily sandstone).

Artifact Type by Condition


Table 68 summarizes the ground-stone artifacts from Sand Canyon Pueblo according to their condition. Relatively few fragmentary ground-stone artifacts are classified as abraders or one-hand manos because, when broken, these tools are difficult to distinguish from other ground-stone artifacts.

Summary and Discussion of Ground-Stone Tools


The ground-stone assemblage from Sand Canyon Pueblo consists of 875 artifacts. Several types of artifacts, such as one-hand manos, basin metates, and trough metates, were relatively rare during the Pueblo III period—those recovered from Sand Canyon Pueblo may have been curated from earlier sites. Mortars and pestles were relatively rare throughout the region during all time periods, and this relative scarcity is reflected in the assemblage from Sand Canyon Pueblo (Table 65).


The characteristics of the ground-stone assemblages recovered from individual architectural blocks at Sand Canyon Pueblo were probably affected by the sampling strategy for, and the abandonment mode of, each block. Despite the bias that may have been introduced by sampling strategy and the differences in how various parts of the site were abandoned, it is apparent that food processing was a common activity in many kiva suites, as indicated by the relatively widespread distribution of two-hand manos and slab metates across the site. Some interesting patterns are apparent within Block 100, however. Ground-stone artifacts are relatively abundant in Kiva 102 and a possibly associated masonry surface structure, Room 104, but are relatively scarce in the adjacent kivas (Kivas 107 and 108). This could signal functional differentiation between these kivas, with an emphasis on food processing in Kiva 102 but not in Kivas 107 and 108. Alternatively, it could be that a single residence group occupied the entire architectural block and used and/or stored these tools in Kiva 102 and Room 104.


Functional differences may also be indicated by variation in the numbers of abraders and indeterminate ground-stone items. Abraders are particularly abundant in Kiva Suite 1004, but they also occur with great frequency in Kiva Suite 501. The higher relative frequencies of abraders in these locations suggest that the occupants of these kiva suites may have been particularly engaged in craft or tool production requiring the use of abraders. The elevated frequency of indeterminate ground-stone artifacts associated with Block 1500 is discussed further in paragraph 233, but it is important to note that relatively high numbers of ground-stone artifacts have also been documented for other D-shaped structures in the region (Ortman 2000*2, 2002*1).


The ground-stone assemblage from Sand Canyon Pueblo does not appear to deviate significantly from the ground-stone assemblages from other sites investigated by Crow Canyon in the Sand Canyon locality (Table 69). However, relatively rare artifacts, such as pestles and mortars, are present in the Sand Canyon Pueblo assemblage, and a large number of slab metates were recovered. The discovery of rare artifacts is probably related to sample size—that is, the excavated sample from Sand Canyon Pueblo is larger than that of any other site listed in Table 69, which increases the probability that unusual or rare items will be found. The recovery of a large number of slab metates is probably due in part to abandonment practices. The depopulation of Sand Canyon Pueblo generally coincided with the depopulation of the region as a whole, so it is likely that the village residents, anticipating a long-distance move, left larger, heavier objects behind (see Schlanger and Wilshusen 1993*1). In contrast, several of the smaller sites listed in Table 69 were inhabited somewhat earlier than Sand Canyon Pueblo (Varien and Kuckelman 1999*2:Table 22.1); when residents of these sites left, they likely moved much shorter distances, to nearby sites in the locality, which would have made it more feasible for them to transport larger objects to their new homes. A second possible explanation for the large number of slab metates found at Sand Canyon Pueblo focuses on functional differences: perhaps there was a greater emphasis on food preparation at Sand Canyon Pueblo than at other excavated sites in the locality. Finally, excavation strategy could be a factor in the observed pattern. With more floor area exposed at Sand Canyon Pueblo than at the other sites, the chances were greater that slab metates would be found.

Battered and/or Polished Stone Tools


This section summarizes the analysis of various types of artifacts that were battered and/or polished during manufacture, through use, or both.

Methods of Analysis


The methods used for the analysis of the battered and/or polished artifacts from Sand Canyon Pueblo are detailed in Schwab and Bradley (1987*1). The artifact types considered here are axes, single-bitted axes, double-bitted axes, mauls, axe/mauls, tchamahias, polishing stones, polished igneous stones, polishing/hammerstones, hammerstones, and peckingstones. Definitions of these artifact types can be found in Chapter 4 of the online laboratory manual.



Table 70 presents data for the 649 battered and/or polished stone tools collected from Sand Canyon Pueblo by artifact type. Several striking concentrations of artifacts are apparent. First, a relatively large number of axes and mauls were recovered from Architectural Block 200. These items also occurred with considerable frequency in Blocks 100, 500, and 1000. Hammerstones appear to be concentrated in Block 1500. The largest numbers of peckingstones were recovered from Blocks 1000 and 1500. Finally, one of the higher frequencies of battered and/or polished tools in relation to corrugated gray pottery is in Block 800. Many of these items are from the peripheral rooms surrounding the great kiva.

Artifact Type by Raw Material


Table 71 lists the battered and/or polished stone tools by their raw material types. Morrison quartzite appears to have been the favored material for most of these artifact types, including axes and mauls, hammerstones, and peckingstones. A recent reexamination of the axes and mauls suggests that Morrison mudstone was also a preferred material for these tools (however, in order to provide data that are consistent with previous analyses, this material type is not distinguished in the table). Davis and Montgomery (1995*1) have documented a quarry of this material, located in southeastern Utah, at which there is also evidence of stone hoe and/or axe production. Quartz appears to have been the favored material for artifacts used in polishing.

Artifact Type by Condition


Table 72 lists the battered and/or polished stone tools by condition. Fragmentary and incomplete axes and mauls are often categorized simply as "axe" or "axe/maul" because they do not retain enough of the original tool to allow analysts to categorize them more specifically.

Axes and Mauls


It is important to consider the incidence and distribution of hafted stone axes and mauls because, like projectile points, these artifacts might have been used as weapons during the conflict that apparently played a role in the depopulation of Sand Canyon Pueblo (Kuckelman et al. 2002*2; see also Chapter 7, this volume). For similar reasons, Ortman (2000*2) investigated the axe and maul assemblages from Castle Rock Pueblo.


Axes and mauls are probably most often associated with such activities as wood chopping, field clearing, and stone quarrying and shaping. However, a few lines of evidence may help us discern which objects might have been made, or modified, specifically for use as weapons. Woodbury (1954*1) reviewed ethnographic data on the traditional uses of axes and mauls among Pueblo Indians and found that the types of axes used as weapons were relatively small, lightweight, and well balanced. Morris (1924*1) found a few such axes at Aztec Ruin in association with a thirteenth-century burial that was interpreted as that of a warrior. The individual was a large male, over six feet tall, who was accompanied by a basketry shield, several knives, a flintknapping tool kit, a wooden sword, and several small, single-bitted axes.


Mills's (1987*1) replication experiments and use-wear analysis of axes from Sand Canyon Pueblo led him to conclude that the majority of axes found at the site were used for land-clearing activities. Based in part on Mills's observations, as well as on a recent reanalysis of weight, size, balance, and bit-edge attributes, three basic functions were inferred for the Sand Canyon axes: land clearing, wood cutting, and weaponry (in some cases, more than one function is indicated for a given axe). Mauls are generally considered to have been used for either stone working or vegetal processing, the presence of polish indicating the latter. However, weight and balance may also suggest the use of some of these items as weapons.


A relatively large number of axes and mauls were recovered from Sand Canyon Pueblo (N = 127). The provenience data reveal a concentration of these items in Block 200, specifically in Kiva 208. Other concentrations of axes and mauls are apparent in Kivas 501 and 102.


In Kiva 208, 16 single-bitted axes were recovered from de facto assemblages associated with the structure's floor, bench, and collapsed roof. In addition, one of the few double-bitted axes (PD 215, FS 50) recovered from the site was found in the roof-fall stratum in this structure. The 13 axes found on the structure's floor were concentrated immediately south of the deflector and a short distance into the ventilation tunnel (Database Map 4073). Similarly, six axes were found on the floor south of the deflector and in the vent tunnel in Kiva 501. The Kiva 102 assemblage includes five axes and one maul on the floor, in addition to five axes associated with, or found under, the layer of roof fall; these artifacts do not appear to be clustered.


The distribution of axes in Kivas 208 and 501 may reflect storage of these objects. In part to address the issues of equifinality and function, all complete and nearly complete axes and mauls from the site (N = 92) were closely reexamined for this report. Table 73 and Table 74 provide the analysis data for these objects.


The weight, size, balance, and use-wear data recorded in Table 73 and Table 74 suggest that the majority of the whole axes found in Kiva 208 were used for land clearing. Most of these tools are quite hefty, weighing more than 1,000 g apiece (Table 73). Three of the axes (PD 269, FS 25, PL 107; PD 269, FS 26, PL 105; and PD 289, FS 1, PL 2), however, have attributes that suggest they might have been used as weapons and/or as wood-cutting tools: they are relatively light (most with a maximum weight of about 500 g) and have sharp bits. The clustering of these axes in the south end of the structure suggests that these objects were stored there or in the roof overhead.


The axes in Kiva 501 were similarly clustered in the southern portion of the structure, and they were found both in the roof-fall stratum and on the floor (Database Map 4089 and Database Map 4091). However, the axe assemblage from Kiva 501 is different than that in Kiva 208. Only two of the nine axes documented in Kiva 501 weigh more than 1,000 g; two weigh less than 500 g, and two others weigh between 500 and 600 g. As noted above, these lighter axes may have been used as weapons. Additionally, burned skeletal remains (Human Remains Occurrence 14) (Chapter 7, this volume; see also The Sand Canyon Pueblo Database) were found in the same horizontal position as most of the axes. One of the axes (PD 388, FS 238, PL 165) is near the skeletal remains (Database Map 4089). Although the bit edge of this tool is heavily battered, suggesting stone-working, its weight and balance fit the criteria for a weapon (Table 73 and Table 74). It is possible that this person was the victim of violence, and that an axe was associated with that violent activity, even though there was no direct evidence that the individual was killed with an axe.


Unlike the axes found in Kivas 208 and 501, those in Kiva 102 were not spatially clustered. Seven of the 10 axes recovered from Kiva 102 weigh less than 500 g and therefore could have been used as weapons, although edge wear on their bits suggests other functions, particularly land clearing and wood cutting. The disarticulated remains of at least one individual were found in the fill of Kiva 102 (Table 3 in Chapter 7; see also The Sand Canyon Pueblo Database).


Finally, a maul (PD 797, FS 36, PL 5) with the weight and balance expected of a possible weapon was recovered from Room 1001 (Database Map 4126) just under, and adjacent to, the partial remains of two individuals (Human Remains Occurrences 20 and 21) in abandonment contexts (Database Map 4125) (see also Chapter 7).

Summary and Discussion of Battered and/or Polished Stone Tools


A total of 649 battered and/or polished stone tools was recovered from Sand Canyon Pueblo. Peckingstones, single-bitted axes, polishing stones, and hammerstones compose over 85 percent of this category, and peckingstones are by far the most common, constituting nearly 60 percent of this assemblage. It is likely that abandonment mode significantly affected the recovery of some types of artifacts. For example, the low numbers of single-bitted axes in Blocks 300 and 1200 may be explained by the apparently leisurely manner in which these general locations were abandoned while other parts of the village continued to be inhabited (Chapter 4). That is, given that axes are relatively difficult to produce, it makes sense that axes that were still serviceable would have been removed from abandoned structures for use elsewhere at the site.


Axes and mauls occur with elevated frequencies in Architectural Block 200. Single-bitted axes in particular occur in high numbers in Kiva 208. It seems likely that these items were cached when the village was abruptly depopulated (Kristin Kuckelman, personal communication 2005). Although it is possible that some axes in the Sand Canyon Pueblo assemblage were used as weapons, the majority of the axes found in Kiva 208 are inferred to have been used for land clearing. This suggests that the occupants of Kiva 208 engaged, and perhaps even specialized, in land clearing and/or other farming activities. The locations of axe caches seem to be somewhat patterned: clusters of these artifacts occur immediately south of the deflector in Kivas 208 and 501.


A relatively large number of hammerstones were found in Block 1500. Because numerous cores were also recovered from this architectural block, it seems likely that the manufacture of chipped-stone tools was a common activity in this location.


Peckingstones are fairly common across the site. These objects were used in the manufacture and refurbishment of ground-stone artifacts, such as manos and metates, and in the dressing of stones for masonry walls. The widespread distribution of these items indicates that these activities were common across the site. In the section "Intrasite Analyses" (beginning with paragraph 223), we examine the occurrence of these and other types of artifacts in midden and abandonment contexts. The results of this contextual analysis serve as the basis for inferences about functional variation at Sand Canyon Pueblo.

Other Stone Artifacts and Minerals


A variety of modified and unmodified stones and minerals were recovered from Sand Canyon Pueblo. These are described in Table 75 by material and artifact type. The artifact categories recognized in Crow Canyon's analysis system are modified cobble, other modified mineral, other modified stone/mineral, stone disk, and unmodified stone. Definitions of these may be found in Chapter 4 of the online laboratory manual. The modified items may be polished, ground, flaked, battered, fire altered, or any combination of these. Many of the stone disks might have been used as lids for pottery vessels.


Except for pieces of sandstone, the unmodified items are often of materials that do not occur naturally on the site (for example, pieces of conglomerate). Many of the unmodified sandstone objects at Sand Canyon Pueblo are described as possible "trivets" in the "Comments" field in the database.

Animal Remains 



The recovery of eggshell, in addition to turkey bone, in most of the excavated architectural blocks at Sand Canyon Pueblo is evidence of turkey husbandry within the confines of the village (Munro 1994*1). Fifty-four occurrences of eggshell were documented for Sand Canyon Pueblo. Related, nonfaunal evidence of turkey husbandry consists of gizzard stones—that is, small stones that were ingested by turkeys to aid in digestion. Although gizzard stones were recovered from Sand Canyon Pueblo, they were not identified as consistently at Sand Canyon Pueblo as at other sites investigated by Crow Canyon, so it is likely that they are underrepresented in the database.

Bulk Animal Bone


The vast majority of the animal remains recovered from Sand Canyon Pueblo consist of bones that were never used as tools or modified into ornaments. The types of bones in the bulk assemblage and the contexts in which they were found provide important information about a host of topics, including subsistence strategy, diet, and possible ritual behavior. The analysis of the bulk animal bone from Sand Canyon Pueblo is reported in detail in Chapter 5.

Bone Tools


Definitions of the bone tool types recognized in the Sand Canyon Pueblo assemblage may be found in Chapter 4 of the online laboratory manual, and the techniques used for analyzing the bone tools are described in Driver (1999*2) and Bullock (1992*1). Table 76 shows the distribution of bone tools collected from the site. The greatest frequencies of these items occur in Blocks 200, 1000, 100, and 500. However, no great concentrations are evident, suggesting that the activities associated with the various bone tools were common across the site.


The most common type of bone tool in the Sand Canyon Pueblo assemblage is the awl. Bullock's analysis of bone awls from Sand Canyon suggests that different awls were used for different tasks and that, therefore, they should not be regarded as all-purpose, interchangeable perforating tools (Bullock 1992*1:134) . Similar to the overall animal bone assemblage from Sand Canyon Pueblo, the bone tool assemblage from the site is more taxonomically diverse than the faunal assemblages from other excavated sites in the Sand Canyon locality (see Chapter 5).


Table 77 summarizes the conditions of the bone tools recovered from Sand Canyon Pueblo. The data presented in this table indicate that the different types of bone tools are readily distinguishable from one another even when in fragmentary condition.

Objects of Adornment


Sixty-three beads, 55 pendants, 35 tubes, and one piece of modified shell were identified in the Sand Canyon Pueblo assemblage and are inferred to have been items of personal adornment. Table 78 examines the distribution of these artifacts across the site. More than one-quarter of the assemblage comes from Block 1000, mostly from midden deposits. A relatively large number of pendants were recovered from Block 1000, including seven from de facto or primary refuse. Blocks 100 and 200 had relatively high numbers of adornment artifacts as well, but most of these were found in contexts other than floors or roof fall.


Table 79 summarizes the materials from which items of personal adornment were made. The majority of the artifacts were made of locally available materials, and of these, animal bone is the most common. However, some nonlocal materials were also identified in the assemblage. Marine shell accounts for 11 beads and one item described as "modified shell." At least three of the shell beads are described in the database as possibly being Olivella. How exactly the material came to be at Sand Canyon Pueblo is unknown. Other extralocal materials in the assemblage include turquoise (two beads) and jet (three pendants). The turquoise probably came from sources in Arizona or New Mexico. It is worth noting that, of the sites excavated to date by Crow Canyon in the Sand Canyon locality, the only two from which turquoise has been recovered are Sand Canyon and Castle Rock pueblos, which may underscore the significance of these community centers on the social and ritual landscape. However, as noted earlier (paragraph 141), the distribution of extralocal lithic materials in general in the Sand Canyon locality suggests that people's access to such materials during the Pueblo III period does not appear to have been dependent on an immediate association with the large community centers.


Table 80 describes the distribution of beads, tubes, modified shell, and pendants by study unit type and context. Only 16 items (about 10 percent) were found in floor contexts, and most of these were found in kivas. Twenty-three were located in masonry surface structures, all but two in room fill.


In general, items of personal adornment were found throughout the site, but they are particularly well represented in those portions of the site associated with household activities. Adornment artifacts are conspicuously underrepresented in the great kiva. It is possible, however, that sampling methods as well as abandonment mode affected the recovery rates of these objects in various parts of the site.


Table 81 compares the recovery rate of adornment items from Sand Canyon Pueblo with the recovery rates at other excavated sites in the Sand Canyon locality. The weight of corrugated gray pottery recovered from each site is used to derive a ratio of the objects of adornment to a kilogram of corrugated pottery per site. The community center sites might be expected to have a higher frequency of adornment items compared with the contemporaneous smaller sites, particularly if the community centers were foci for ceremonial events. Interestingly, however, Sand Canyon Pueblo and Castle Rock Pueblo, the two late Pueblo III community centers in the locality, have the same relatively low ratios of adornment items to corrugated pottery. Nine of the other 12 sites—and all of the single-component late Pueblo III small sites—have higher ratios than the community centers. Lipe (2002*1:227–229) reported similar results in his summary of beads, pendants, rings, and bone tubes from Pueblo III sites in the Sand Canyon locality.

Other Artifacts


This section describes those uncommon objects that do not fall into the other artifact categories described elsewhere in this chapter. These artifacts include basketry, textiles, and stone cylinders and effigies. The worked-vegetal artifacts are discussed in Appendix A. The proveniences and contexts of the remaining objects are provided in Table 82, and their material and condition are described in Table 83.


Perhaps the most intriguing of the artifacts are the two effigies. One of these (PD 0, FS 24) is a fist-size human head carved and incised into a piece of sandstone. This effigy was found on a backdirt pile, and it appears to be modern; it is believed to have been deliberately placed during excavation, probably as a hoax or practical joke. The other effigy (PD 33, FS 11) is clearly ancient (Database Photo 2728). It was found in the collapsed wall of Tower 101. The sandstone object had been shaped by pecking, incising, and grinding. Measuring about 11 (diameter) by 35 (length) cm, the object somewhat resembles the head of a juvenile bighorn sheep. It is possible that this figure was originally incorporated into the wall of Tower 101. An artifact very similar to this was recovered from Escalante Ruin near Dolores, Colorado (Hallasi 1979*1:307, Figure 31).


All three cylinders recovered from Sand Canyon Pueblo are probably hematite pigment. Two of these were recovered from Architectural Block 1000; the third was from Block 500.

Probability Sampling


Limited stratified random sampling was conducted in nonarchitectural areas of Sand Canyon Pueblo. These areas were divided into three sampling strata, each of which was investigated through the excavation of 10 2-x-2-m test pits (Database Map 4002). Stratum 1 is designated Arbitrary Unit 1, and it wraps around the north, east, and west exterior sides of the site-enclosing wall. Stratum 2 is designated Arbitrary Unit 2, and it more-or-less consists of the spaces between the architectural blocks within the pueblo, most of which are in the west half of the site. Stratum 3 is designated Arbitrary Unit 3, and it accounts for the canyon rim and slopes immediately below, or south of, the site's architectural units. Table 84 summarizes the artifacts recovered from each arbitrary unit. The sherd data included here are for white ware bowl, white ware jar, and corrugated gray jar sherds only. The table does not include data for bulk animal bone.


Perhaps the most interesting pattern in the artifact data for the probability sample is the marked decrease in artifact frequency outside the site-enclosing wall. The artifact totals in Arbitrary Units 2 and 3 are much higher than in Arbitrary Unit 1. It seems likely that this distribution reflects a conscious decision on the part of the village residents to not deposit their trash outside the site-enclosing wall.

Intrasite Analyses


In this section, artifact assemblages from midden areas and abandonment contexts are used to address several important research problems, including community organization, abandonment, and the change in function of public structures or areas through time.


Lipe (1992*3:3) notes that "the degree of functional differentiation and hierarchy within and between social units" is critical to understanding community organization. To better understand functional differentiation at Sand Canyon Pueblo, we focused on two key questions. First, do the artifact data support the interpretation that the great kiva and the D-shaped block served as public architecture, and if so, do the data shed light on the extent and nature of that public use? Second, can the artifact data be used to infer functional differences, such as might arise from specialization, between kiva suites?


The location of Sand Canyon Pueblo's public architecture—the great kiva, the D-shaped block, and a plaza—on the west side of the site suggests that the residents of this portion of the village may have had greater access to social power than those living on the east side of the site (Lipe 2002*1:224–227). Comparisons of midden and abandonment-context assemblages between public and nonpublic areas of the site, and between the east and west sides of the village, may help us evaluate the extent to which such a social hierarchy existed at Sand Canyon Pueblo.


In this chapter, the term "abandonment" is used to describe the cessation of use of a particular structure or feature. In Chapter 4, Kuckelman et al. argue that most of the structures at Sand Canyon Pueblo were abandoned abruptly at the end of the occupation, citing as evidence the general lack of secondary refuse in structures, the presence of de facto refuse on structure floors, and the evidence of violence observed on some human remains. The artifact data for selected abandonment contexts, particularly the floors and collapsed roofs with de facto refuse, are examined and discussed in this section. We also examine abandonment assemblages (1) to better understand the role that conflict may have played in the site's depopulation; (2) to identify the attacking party, at least in general terms; (3) to assess the assertion by Kuckelman et al. (in Chapter 4, paragraph 197 and paragraph 201) that the villagers' final move was one of long distance; and (4) to determine whether existing long-distance relationships might have encouraged Sand Canyon Pueblo emigrants to travel in certain directions. Finally, several postabandonment assemblages in Kivas 102, 108, 1501, and 1502 (see Chapter 4) are discussed.


The examination of functional change through time focuses on public areas of the site, particularly the D-shaped block. Both the great kiva and the D-shaped block are believed to have originally functioned to integrate the community associated with Sand Canyon Pueblo, but architectural data indicate that these public functions were discontinued toward the end of the site's occupation. The great kiva does not appear to have been reused after it was abandoned, but the D-shaped block was heavily remodeled, indicating continued, and perhaps a different, use later in the occupation. In the following section, two different areas of midden associated with the D-shaped block are examined to evaluate the degree to which there might have been a functional or hierarchical change through time. Midden outside the D-shaped block might have been deposited by the original occupants/users of the complex. Later, after one or more remodeling episodes, trash was deposited inside some of the rooms. It seems likely that the trash found in these rooms was associated with the later use of Block 1500. A comparison of these two midden assemblages is used to assess the degree to which use of this block might have changed through time.

Results of Midden Analysis


The analysis of midden assemblages from Sand Canyon Pueblo is based on several assumptions about how trash accumulates at ancestral Pueblo sites (following Varien and Mills 1997*1). First, the artifacts in a midden are presumed to constitute the trash from a particular kiva or kiva suite. Second, the assemblage is presumed to derive from a set of particular activities or behaviors. Third, the activities or behaviors resulted in the use of tools and/or the discard of certain remains associated with these activities (for example, flintknapping requires hammerstones and antler tools, which result in the production and discard of debitage). Fourth, all things being equal, the discard of both tools and refuse occurs at a relatively consistent rate. Finally, the relative amounts of different types of artifacts in a midden are assumed to reflect the relative frequencies with which the activities associated with those artifact types occurred.


Seventy-six proveniences at Sand Canyon Pueblo were recorded as deposits of secondary refuse (midden); Table 85 lists the 20 proveniences selected for this study. Midden assemblages not selected had one or more of the following problems: small sample size, problems with interpretations of the particular deposits, and the lack of a clear association between some deposits and specific kivas or kiva suites. Table 86, Table 87, and Table 88 specify the particular study units from which midden deposits were selected and associate these with certain kiva suites. For example, midden deposits that the authors interpret as being associated with Kiva Suite 108 were recovered from Kiva 108 and Midden 109. It should be noted that throughout the rest of this chapter Midden 103 is associated with Kiva Suite 102, and Midden 109 is associated with Kiva Suite 108. These associations are made on the basis of the proximity of the middens to the kivas, as well as on their positions immediately south of the structures. Similar associations are inferred for Midden 515, which is close to Kiva Suite 501.


Table 86 and Table 87 summarize the artifact assemblages for the midden deposits by counts and percentages, respectively. Middens were combined according to their association with particular kiva suites. Midden 1214, which is combined with midden deposits found in Room 1207, is assumed to be associated with Kiva Suite 1206, but it should be noted that it may actually be associated with an unnumbered and unexcavated kiva suite to the north. Table 86 and Table 87 also collapse several artifact categories. The category "formal chipped-stone tools" consists of bifaces, projectile points, and drills; "informal chipped-stone tools" are modified cores, modified flakes, and "other chipped-stone tools"; "food-grinding tools" are manos, metates, mortars, and pestles; "bone tools" include bone awls, needles, and scrapers; "pottery-production items" include polishing stones, other ceramic artifacts, and unfired sherds; and "personal-adornment items" subsume beads, pendants, other modified shell, and bone tubes. Debitage (chipped-stone manufacturing debris) was not included in these inventories, because not all pieces were counted during analysis (see paragraph 122). Several additional artifact categories were excluded from consideration as well (for example, modified cobbles, stone disks, and basketry).


Because some artifact categories are much more common than others, the percentages given in Table 87 are converted to Z-scores in Table 88; the Z-scores are in turn graphically represented in Figure 12. Z-scores rescale the values of a distribution in such a way that the mean value equals 0 and the standard deviation equals 1. The boxes in Figures 12 and 13 represent the middle 50 percent of cases for each artifact category; the thick, horizontal line inside each box represents the median value; and the tails represent the range of cases, excluding outliers. Outliers (indicated by circles) are values for a given artifact category that fall more than 1.5 box lengths away from the boundaries of the box, and extremes (indicated by asterisks) are values that fall more than three box lengths from these boundaries. In other words, outliers and extremes represent unusually high or low relative frequencies of a particular artifact category.

Midden Assemblages and Community Organization


The analysis of midden assemblages from Great Kiva 800, the D-shaped block (Block 1500), Kiva Suite 102, and perhaps Kiva Suite 208 reveals several anomalies that hint at functional differences. Although not apparent as outliers in Figure 12, the Z-scores for white ware bowl sherds indicate relatively high frequencies of this artifact type in middens associated with both Kiva Suite 208 and Great Kiva 800 (Table 88). This supports the notion that, compared with other activities, the serving of food was emphasized more in these places than in other excavated areas of the village. Alternatively, more people could have been served food in these places than in other areas of the village. Either way, this pattern supports the interpretation of the great kiva as a ceremonial structure or place where groups would periodically assemble (sensu Blinman 1989*1; Lipe 1970*1). As noted earlier, the ratio of white ware bowl sherds to cooking (corrugated gray) jar sherds may be used as a proxy for the prevalence of food consumption and/or food preparation. Data presented in Table 86 demonstrate that the great kiva has the second-highest ratio of bowls to cooking jars (0.75); this ratio is superceded only by that calculated for the midden in Kiva Suite 208 (0.76). Interestingly, the assemblage associated with Kiva Suite 102 also has a fairly high (0.62) ratio of bowls to cooking jars and, as shown in Table 88, the third-highest Z-score. All other middens have ratios below 0.5.


The middens excavated "outside" the D-shaped block (labeled as such in Figure 12) are characterized by a high frequency of indeterminate ground-stone artifacts. These artifacts could have been deposited by the original occupants or users of the structures in the D-shaped block. It is also possible that these materials could have derived from the plaza area to the north and west. Over 80 percent of these materials come from Nonstructure 1500, which was investigated through the excavation of several test units (Segments 1–3; see Database Map 4196). Nearly 75 percent of the Nonstructure 1500 materials were recovered from Segment 2, which is located immediately adjacent to a doorway. It seems likely that this relatively large quantity of trash was discarded through the doorway by the occupants of the D-shaped block. Additionally, Ortman (2000*2:par. 164, 2002*1:par. 142) documents that ground-stone tools are also unusually abundant in D-shaped structures at Castle Rock and Woods Canyon pueblos, suggesting a patterned set of activities associated with these types of structures. It is possible that the D-shaped block at Sand Canyon Pueblo was originally a locus of frequent and/or intensive corn processing, perhaps related to the preparation of cornmeal for ceremonial events. Corrugated gray jar sherds occur with an average frequency here, suggesting that cooking did not occur more often in this location than in other kiva suites excavated at the site.


At first glance, the midden associated with Kiva 108 seems notable for its high frequency of food-grinding tools and its low frequency of peckingstones (Figure 12), but these outliers are probably related to the small size of the sample (N = 206 items). The midden associated with Kiva Suite 102 has a higher total number of items (N = 1,227), and it stands out for its relatively large number of formal chipped-stone tools (Figure 12) and, as noted above, white ware bowl sherds (Table 88). The middens associated with Kiva Suite 1206, on the other hand, are notable for their relative dearth of white ware bowl sherds (Table 88). The contrast in the relative abundance of white ware bowl sherds in the two kiva suites is also reflected in the ratios of white ware bowl sherds to corrugated gray jar sherds in their associated middens (0.62 for Kiva Suite 102 and 0.28 for Kiva Suite 1206). Very basically, this suggests that food consumption or food presentation was emphasized over food preparation in Kiva Suite 102, whereas the opposite occurred in Kiva Suite 1206.


The midden assemblages were also examined for clues that might indicate the degree to which specialization in particular activities occurred at the site. As noted above, the midden associated with Kiva Suite 102 is characterized by a relatively high number of formal chipped-stone tools: two bifaces, two drills, and eight projectile points. However, given the relatively small number of cores (Table 86), tool production does not seem to have been emphasized in this location as much as the use of the tools themselves, particularly the projectile points. Only one of the eight points, a Desert Side-Notched point, is complete; the seven other points are broken. High counts and percentages of cores in Kiva Suite 1206 suggest that flintknapping may have occurred more often in this kiva suite than in others excavated at the site (Table 86, Table 87, and Table 88).


The question of hierarchy, or social stratification, is addressed by looking at the distribution of (1) items of personal adornment (Table 86, Table 87, Table 88; Figure 12), (2) stone tools and debitage made of extralocal materials (Table 89), and (3) nonlocal pottery (Table 89). Items of personal adornment appear to be fairly evenly distributed across the site, both at the level of the kiva suite and in terms of the east-west division of the village (Kiva Suites 1004 and 1206 are located east of the drainage; Kiva Suites 102, 108, 208, and 501, the great kiva, and the D-shaped block are located west of the drainage). An evaluation of the distribution of extralocal items, on the other hand, shows that Kiva Suite 102 has the greatest quantity, both absolutely and relatively. The total number of extralocal items is small (N = 98), and seven of the objects from Kiva Suite 102 are pieces of debitage made from semilocal materials. Nonetheless, the midden associated with this kiva suite does have an inordinate quantity of extralocal artifacts, including pottery. At a larger scale, the midden data do not indicate an unequal distribution of extralocal materials between the east and west sides of the village.

Midden Assemblages and Functional Change


Finally, the midden assemblages associated with the D-shaped block were evaluated for evidence of functional change through time. As noted earlier, the midden deposits located immediately outside the D-shaped wall may be associated with the original use of the block, and these deposits are characterized by a higher frequency of fragmented ground-stone artifacts than is documented for midden deposits located inside the block (Figure 12). The "outside" midden also has an average number of white ware bowl sherds, as reflected in a 0.46 ratio of white ware bowl sherds to corrugated gray jar sherds. In contrast, excavation of midden deposits inside the D-shaped block, which may be associated with later use(s) of the complex, produced average quantities of ground-stone tools but markedly fewer white ware bowl sherds, resulting in a bowl-to-jar ratio of only 0.27 (Table 86, Table 87, and Table 88). Thus, it appears that corn grinding was associated with the earlier use(s) of the D-shaped block, whereas cooking was emphasized later in time (however, see paragraph 265 for more information regarding the last use of Kiva 1501 in the D-shaped block).

Results of Abandonment-Context Analysis


In contrast to midden assemblages, which offer a long-term perspective, abandonment contexts provide "snapshots" of the activities conducted in a particular place during its final period of use. The artifact assemblages from abandonment contexts at Sand Canyon Pueblo provide information relevant to research questions regarding community organization, abandonment, and functional change.

Identification of Abandonment Contexts


The criteria used to identify abandonment contexts at Sand Canyon Pueblo are discussed in detail in Chapter 4 (paragraphs 22–28). Briefly, they are as follows:

The absence of secondary refuse and the presence of de facto refuse in structures

The presence of human remains that were not formally buried

The condition of structure roofs


Following the recommendations put forth in Chapter 4 for what constitutes evidence of village-wide depopulation, we selected abandonment assemblages from surface-contact and roof-fall contexts for comparison. In two cases (PDs 41 and 131, in Kivas 102 and 108, respectively), contexts that were included in the analysis of abandonment assemblages were also used in the later analysis of postabandonment contexts (see paragraphs 260–266). The justification for this is twofold: (1) the subtle nature of these particular deposits can be used to argue for either an abandonment or postabandonment interpretation (but both deposits clearly represent activities at the terminus of occupation) and (2) inclusion of the two contexts in both analyses helps increase the sample size needed for both.


Counts and percentages of various types of artifacts from the assemblages included in this study are presented in Table 90 and Table 91, respectively. Table 92 reports vessel-form data for pottery vessels from these same contexts. As can be seen from the tables, few assemblages associated with village depopulation were identified in the public architecture excavated at Sand Canyon Pueblo. This is consistent with the interpretation that these facilities ceased being used for public functions—and that ritual paraphernalia and other useful items may have been removed from them—while other parts of the site were still occupied (see paragraph 108 and paragraph 185 in Chapter 4). No contexts from the D-shaped block (Block 1500), and only one (Kiva 815) in the architectural block that contains the great kiva, are included in Tables 90 through 92. Kiva 815 was investigated with a 1-x-1-m test unit, from which a very small number of artifacts were recovered. Therefore sample size is problematic for this structure.

Abandonment Assemblages and Community Organization


This section examines both functional and hierarchical differentiation as a means of understanding village organization. Summing the artifact data by kiva suite allows us to infer the last uses, or functions, of these suites. In Table 93, the individual study units listed in Tables 90 and 91 (with the exception of Kiva 1010) are collapsed into seven kiva suites, and counts and percentages of various artifacts are given for surface and roof-fall contexts combined. Table 94 presents the Z-scores for these abandonment assemblages. Because the total counts of artifacts from Kiva 107 and Kiva 815 are so low, interpretations about these units should be approached with caution.


The artifact assemblages from the abandonment contexts listed in Table 93 include artifact categories for which the items are too few to provide meaningful information. These categories are indeterminate ground-stone artifacts, hammerstones, gizzard stones, and shaped sherds. The other types of artifacts, however, occur with sufficient frequency to allow us to make some general inferences about the activities that took place in various kiva suites shortly before, or at, abandonment.


First, most of the artifact categories are represented in almost all the kiva suites for which the sample size is relatively large. This suggests that the same wide range of activities was performed in most of the excavated parts of the village at or near the time of abandonment. These activities included food preparation and consumption, chipped-stone-tool manufacture and/or repair, pottery production, and storage. We can also infer that residents of the village engaged in hunting, the clearing of agricultural fields, construction, ritual or ceremonial events, and perhaps warfare.


These broad functional similarities notwithstanding, the data presented in Table 93 and Table 94 suggest that there may have been some differences in the relative emphases placed on certain activities in different kiva suites. For example, the relatively high frequency of formal food-grinding tools in Kiva Suite 102 (and, in particular, in Room 104 [Table 90]) suggests that the preparation of foods for feasting was an important activity in this part of the site. In addition, relatively large quantities of corrugated gray jar sherds were recovered from this kiva suite (Table 94), suggesting that foods may have been cooked more often here than in other parts of the site.


The elevated Z-scores for white ware bowl sherds in Kiva Suites 107 and 815 (Table 94) may suggest a focus on food consumption. However, as noted earlier, the sample sizes for Kiva Suites 107 and especially 815 are small and therefore may be skewing the results.


A large number of axes and mauls were recovered from Kiva Suite 208, particularly from Kiva 208. It seems likely that these artifacts were stored in the structure and were probably used by the kiva occupants to clear agricultural fields and cut wood. Additionally, Table 93 indicates that Kiva Suite 208 yielded the highest number of bone tools. Of these, 28 were bone awls from Kiva 208, which could indicate an emphasis on basketmaking, weaving, or leather working in this structure. Appreciable quantities of these tools (mostly bone awls) were also recovered from Kivas 501, 1004, and 108 (numbering 18, 16, and 12, respectively).


Kiva Suite 501 is particularly notable for the large number of reconstructible vessels it contained (Table 93). Most of the vessels were found in Kiva 501, which had more vessels than any other single study unit excavated at Sand Canyon Pueblo (Table 92). The large number of vessels in this structure may relate to some specialized function(s), or it may simply reflect a decision made by the occupants of Kiva 501 to leave behind more than the "usual" number of vessels. Nonetheless, the vessel assemblage from this kiva includes a significant number of kiva jars, which may indicate some specialization in the storage of dry goods in this location. The two "rectangular forms," or boxes, which were found in a niche in this kiva, also suggest some special activity not indicated for other excavated kivas at Sand Canyon Pueblo. These unusual vessels may derive from an antecedent form, the feather box, a container used during the Basketmaker period to store paraphernalia associated with birds (Morris 1939*1:167). Kiva Suite 501 is also noted for its relatively high frequency of white ware jar sherds, which suggests a focus on water storage (Table 93 and Table 94).


Almost every artifact category is well represented in Kiva Suite 1004, indicating that a wide variety of activities occurred there; however, particularly high counts of, and/or Z-scores for, abraders, peckingstones, cores, formal and informal chipped-stone tools, and items of personal adornment are documented for this kiva suite compared with the quantities documented for other suites (Table 93 and Table 94). The numbers of cores and formal and informal chipped-stone tools may indicate a focus on flintknapping and/or stone-tool use. Abraders were probably used in the production of a wide variety of items, including items of personal adornment (for example, stone pendants) and tools of various materials. Peckingstones are often associated with the dressing of masonry and the shaping and maintenance of formal ground-stone artifacts. Finally, Kiva Suite 1004 yielded more than twice the number of adornment objects recovered from any other kiva suite (Table 93). It is possible that these objects could have been associated with the many human remains (representing at least 11 individuals) found in Block 1000, more than were found in any other excavated block at the site.


In addition to function, another aspect of social organization that may be addressed using the abandonment assemblages is that of hierarchical relationships, or social differentiation. The question of hierarchical relationships is examined at the level of the east-west division of the pueblo and in terms of the distribution of items of personal adornment (Table 93 and Table 94) and extralocal artifacts (including nonlocal pottery and stone artifacts made from extralocal materials) (Table 95). Table 95 includes data for three items of personal adornment (two jet pendants from Kiva Suite 1004 and one jet pendant from Kiva Suite 102) that are also listed in Table 93.


Conclusions drawn from these data are very tentative because only one kiva suite from the east side of the pueblo—Kiva Suite 1004—is considered. Nonlocal items appear to be relatively evenly distributed between the two sides of the pueblo (Table 95). Personal-adornment items, however, are present in greater quantities, both absolute and relative, in Kiva Suite 1004 (Table 93 and Table 94). If simple quantity of adornment artifacts is a proxy for the degree of social status of a particular group, then these results run contrary to what one might expect—that is, more adornment artifacts associated with the known public architecture on the west side of the drainage. But the data should be viewed with caution. First, sample size could well be skewing the results. Second, the public architecture on the west side of the village—in particular, the D-shaped block and the great kiva—probably fell out of use before the site as a whole was depopulated; items of personal adornment and/or of extralocal origin may have been removed from these areas while other parts of the village were still inhabited. Third, the large number of adornment items from Kiva Suite 1004 may be related to the fact that multiple human bodies were also found in this location; that is, the artifacts may have been worn by the individuals when their bodies were deposited either formally or informally. It seems likely that if bodies were not formally interred, personal adornment items might have become disassociated from these individuals soon after the disposal of the bodies.

Abandonment Assemblages and Abandonment


The question of abandonment requires that we first address the depopulation of the pueblo, which took place shortly after A.D. 1277 (see Chapter 4, paragraph 160), and then consider that event in the context of the coincident depopulation of the Mesa Verde region as a whole. Only the former is discussed in this section; the wider, region-wide depopulation is considered in "Summary and Conclusions."


Violence, resulting from either intraregional or interregional conflict, evidently played a significant role in the final depopulation of Sand Canyon Pueblo. The clearest evidence of violence may be found in the human remains data for the site (Kuckelman et al. 2002*2; Chapter 7, this volume); the artifact evidence, on the other hand, is more ambiguous. Although 75 axes, mauls, and projectile points were recovered from abandonment contexts (mostly in kivas [Table 96]), none was directly associated with human remains, and even when potential weapons were found in the same structure as human remains, the artifacts usually were not found close to the human remains. Nonetheless, as described in paragraph 167, paragraph 199, and paragraph 201, there are instances in which a spatial association between human remains and possible weapons (projectile points, axes, and a maul) can be argued. Thus, although the artifact evidence is not overwhelming, some of the data tentatively support the inference that one or more violent events coincided with the depopulation of the village.


Lipe (1995*1:161–162) argues that the violent acts surrounding the depopulation of Sand Canyon Pueblo probably stemmed from local conflict. He notes that the evidence for the presence of non-Pueblo populations, particularly Numic and Athapaskan peoples, is scant for the late Pueblo III period. As discussed earlier in this chapter, however, several projectile points recovered during the Sand Canyon Pueblo excavations suggest that at least some of the violence could have been the result of conflict with non-Pueblo peoples, such as hunter-gatherers or Fremont people from the area that is now Utah. At least two points of possible Numic origin were recovered from abandonment contexts (Table 64) in the same stratum as human remains.


The artifacts from abandonment contexts may provide some insight into the identity of the village's attackers. If the aggressors had been neighboring Pueblo people, it seems likely that useful, high-input artifacts such as pottery vessels, axes, manos, and even metates, would have been scavenged. However, numerous such items were recovered from the site. This, in addition to the presence of the aforementioned non-Pueblo projectile points, suggests that we should not exclude the possibility that the violence involved conflict with non-Pueblo peoples.


The contents of the artifact assemblages from abandonment contexts also imply that the residents of Sand Canyon Pueblo left abruptly or that they anticipated traveling a great distance. Many of the items left behind were heavy (for example, manos and metates) or otherwise inconvenient to carry, especially in large numbers (for example, pottery vessels). However, a number of small, useful objects were also left behind, including formal and informal chipped-stone tools, peckingstones, and bone tools. That these objects also remained may indicate that the village inhabitants left hastily. Interestingly, items of personal adornment are few in number. Such items could have been removed by the villagers or by their attackers.


Where did the people of Sand Canyon Pueblo go? If the pueblo's surviving members had moved into one or more local communities, then one would expect more of the larger, high-input items to have been scavenged or recycled. If, instead, a long-distance move was their intention, it seems likely that they would have chosen a region with which they had some previous contact or an existing affiliation. The abandonment assemblages provide little or no information in this regard. None of the vessels and only two pottery sherds from the abandonment assemblages were of nonlocal origin. Both of the sherds, which are Tsegi Orange Ware, were found in Kiva 102. One sherd, found in roof-fall deposits, is a Tusayan Polychrome bowl rim sherd; the second sherd, found on the structure floor, was identified simply as a body sherd from a Tsegi Orange Ware bowl. Both of these Tsegi Orange Ware sherds originated from the Kayenta region of northeastern Arizona, suggesting a connection with that region.


A number of extralocal stone artifacts were recovered from abandonment contexts at Sand Canyon Pueblo (Table 97 and Table 98). Most of these, however, are semilocal in origin; few are made of nonlocal materials, and none was found in direct contact with a floor, although several were found in fill just above floors. These nonlocal stone artifacts are a biface and pendant from Kiva 102; a biface, an "other chipped-stone tool," and a polishing stone from Kiva 208; a projectile point and two drills from Kiva 501; a biface and a pendant from Kiva 1004; and a pendant from Tower 1008. Only one of the nonlocal stone items, a drill from Kiva 501, was positively identified to a specific material type. This artifact was made from Washington Pass chert, indicating an association with the Cibola region of northwestern New Mexico.

Abandonment Assemblages and Functional Change


Considered alone, the abandonment assemblages described above provide little evidence of functional change through time. However, when the abandonment data are compared with midden-assemblage data, some interesting contrasts suggest possible changes in the use of some areas of the site over time. For example, whereas the Z-scores for the abandonment assemblage from Kiva Suite 1004 (Table 94) suggest a focus on flintknapping (note the relatively high frequencies of cores and debitage), the Z-scores for the associated midden assemblage do not support this same conclusion (Table 88). Similarly, the relatively high frequency of chipped-stone tools in the midden associated with Kiva Suite 102 (Table 86, Table 87, and Table 88; Figure 12) is not reflected in the abandonment assemblage from Kiva 102 (Table 90 and Table 91). It is possible that these variations indicate changes in the use of these structures over time. Their use histories could have included changes in household composition, or they may reflect changes in the interests or proficiencies of suite residents. It is also possible that the differences between midden and abandonment assemblages in the same kiva suite were affected by the immediate conditions under which the village was depopulated.

Postabandonment Assemblages


The term "postabandonment" is used in this chapter to refer to the cessation of the primary use of a structure, even though the secondary use might still have been by the structure's original residents. The structures with postabandonment features at Sand Canyon Pueblo are Kivas 102, 108, 1501, and 1502. The artifacts from all these structures except Kiva 1502 are summarized in Table 99, Table 100, Table 101, and Table 102. Artifacts from Kiva 1502 are not included in these tables, because it was not possible for the field archaeologists to distinguish the postabandonment materials from items left on the floor.


In Chapter 4 (paragraphs 43–46), Kuckelman et al. argue that Kivas 102 and 108 were probably abandoned during the village-wide depopulation shortly after A.D. 1277. De facto refuse left on the floors of these structures was overlain by naturally deposited sediments, and the structures appeared to have been reused during or after the deposition of those sediments. The assemblage in Kiva 102 was confined primarily to the southwestern quarter of the structure (Database Map 4031). The context in which the artifacts were found is described in The Sand Canyon Pueblo Database as "fill below wall and roof fall." This stratum is sandwiched between Surface 1 (an ephemeral re-use surface in structure fill) and Surface 2 (the actual constructed floor of the kiva) (Database Map 4023). The assemblage includes an interesting mix of tools (Table 99) and pottery vessels (Table 100). Most of the ground-stone artifacts are fragmentary, indicating that these items would have been of little use to those using the abandoned structure. The complete items are diverse: a two-hand mano, two peckingstones, two axes (one a possible weapon, the other a land-clearing tool), a bone awl, two polishing/hammerstones, and a modified cobble that had been ground and battered. Incomplete objects include a biface (PD 41, FS 15, PL 12) that appears to have been made from petrified wood, and a small tchamahia. The 11 pottery vessels are similarly diverse; most of these are complete, or nearly so. The vessel assemblage consists of four mugs (one of which is described as a "rectangular form"), a kiva jar, an effigy vessel (possibly representing a bird form), three corrugated jars, a sherd container, and a bowl.


The variety of artifacts in the postabandonment assemblage from Kiva 102 and the apparent clustering of materials in the southwestern portion of the structure suggest that the assemblage may have been associated with a ritual closing of the structure. Alternatively, these items may have been stored for future use after the abandonment of the structure or even after the depopulation of the pueblo as a whole. No nonlocal pottery and only one semilocal stone artifact were found in this postabandonment context; thus, as with the abandonment contexts discussed earlier, no extralocal affiliations are indicated to suggest where the Sand Canyon Pueblo population moved to.


The postabandonment assemblage in Kiva 108 is not as strongly patterned as that found in Kiva 102. The artifacts, which are interpreted to be de facto refuse, were in sediment described as naturally deposited materials with unburned and burned roof fall (Database Map 4046). They were found between Surface 1 (an ephemeral re-use surface in the structure fill) and Surface 2 (the floor of the kiva) (Database Map 4024). It should be noted that these same artifacts were also used in the earlier discussion of abandonment contexts (see paragraph 240). Unlike the artifact assemblage in Kiva 102, the assemblage in Kiva 108 has no pottery vessels, and it appears to consist of a more "workaday" assortment of artifacts (Table 99). Notably, however, this stratum also includes many disarticulated human bones ( Table 3 in Chapter 7; see also Database Maps 4046 and 4048). A small cluster of artifacts and some isolated human bone near the mouth of the kiva vent tunnel may be associated with each other. The cluster of artifacts includes a mano fragment, a peckingstone, a drill, and a bone scraper (Database Map 4046). Other artifacts found nearby include two bone awls and a slab metate. As a group, these artifacts do not appear to constitute a typical funerary assemblage. Whereas the postabandonment assemblage in Kiva 102 seems likely to have been left behind by residents of Sand Canyon Pueblo, the postabandonment assemblage in Kiva 108 was probably left behind by an aggressive party, especially given the proximity of disarticulated human remains.


Kuckelman et al. observe that Kivas 1501 and 1502, both of which are in the D-shaped block, apparently fell into disuse before village-wide depopulation (see Chapter 4, paragraph 153). The postabandonment contexts in these structures are problematic because associated surfaces were not clearly defined. Furthermore, in both structures, only very thin deposits of natural sediments had accumulated under the hatchways in the kiva roofs.


Evidence of the reoccupation of Kiva 1501 consists, in part, of Feature 10 (an informal firepit in the center of the kiva) and possibly Feature 9 (a metate bin on the west edge of the kiva) (The Sand Canyon Pueblo Database, Database Map 4203, and Database Map 4204). These features were found near the bottom of a thin layer of sediment consisting of angular, unburned chunks of gray, green, and yellow clay with occasional small pieces of rotted, sooted wood (these sediments are labeled as "Sed" on Database Map 4200). These sediments were interpreted by the field archaeologist as material that exfoliated from the kiva ceiling after the kiva was abandoned, but before the roof was dismantled and burned. The associated artifact assemblage is dominated by ground-stone artifacts, including four two-hand manos and two slab metates (Table 99). In addition, a core, a bone awl, sherds, and an unknown number of stone flakes were point-located (as shown on Database Map 4203 and Database Map 4204, debitage is present, but these materials are among those never analyzed and so are not included in the tallies in Table 102). Overall, the postabandonment assemblage in Kiva 1501 appears to represent a brief reuse of the structure as a mealing facility.


The postabandonment context defined in Kiva 1502 is indicative only of a possible ephemeral reuse of the structure. A small amount of sediment was deposited naturally in the central portion of the floor, and then the structure was briefly reused (for an unknown purpose), as evidenced by the presence of a burned spot (Feature 8) on top of this sediment (Database Maps 4209 and 4215). The sediment rests on Surface 1, and the field archaeologists did not distinguish the burned spot and its associated assemblage (if any) from the floor or its assemblage. Therefore, no artifacts from this context in Kiva 1502 are included in Tables 99 through 102.

Summary and Conclusions:
The Sand Canyon Archaeological Project Research Design


In this section, the results of the Sand Canyon Pueblo artifact analysis are used to address key questions articulated in the research design for the Sand Canyon Archaeological Project (Lipe 1992*3). Aspects of the research design considered here include community organization, abandonment, and change.

Community Organization


Lipe (1992*2:124–129) addresses the question of community organization in terms of Blanton et al.'s (1981*1) "dimensions of organizational variation," which include scale, differentiation (horizontal and vertical), integration, and intensity. Each of these dimensions is discussed below in light of the artifact data presented in this chapter.



Scale is the size of a community's population as well as the size of the geographic area that the community occupies (Lipe 1992*2:124) . In addition, scale describes the "reach" of a community, which is the distance from which exotic and imported goods were obtained. The geographic area for which Sand Canyon Pueblo was a center has been described as the Upper Sand Canyon community (Lipe 1992*2). Varien (1999*1:Table 7.3) has defined the "community catchment" area for Sand Canyon Pueblo to be approximately 71 km2, an area that is bounded in part by the Goodman Point Pueblo catchment to the east and the Castle Rock catchment to the south.


Architectural evidence observed on the modern ground surface at Sand Canyon Pueblo suggests that as many as 90 kivas were present in the village (Chapter 4, paragraph 2 ). Assuming that all the kivas were in use simultaneously, and assuming that each kiva represents a household conservatively estimated to consist of five people (Kuckelman 2000*4; Lightfoot 1994*1:148), the population of the village would have been about 450, an estimate that is slightly higher than that calculated by Varien (1999*1) and slightly lower than that proposed by Lipe and Varien (1999*1). Although the artifact data cannot be used to corroborate this estimate, they can be used to estimate the sizes of individual groups that participated in communal meals at Sand Canyon Pueblo. Ortman (2000*1) established that a bimodal distribution of bowl sizes is apparent in the assemblages from community centers in the Sand Canyon locality. In this chapter, we have described how a small bowl filled with corn mush could feed a single individual and how a large bowl could feed five to six people, which is close to the conservative household size estimate mentioned above.


Artifact data indicating the "reach" of Sand Canyon Pueblo are tentative, but interesting. Overall, extraregional pottery is very rare, composing only 0.1 percent of the total pottery assemblage. Nonlocal pottery recovered from the site indicates minimal connections with the Kayenta region to the southwest and perhaps with the Cibola region to the south (the latter is suggested by only two White Mountain Red Ware sherds). Evidence for connections within the region, as manifested by pottery, are greater. INAA data suggest that pottery moved from the Sand Canyon locality to Mesa Verde and into nearby southeastern Utah, but that pottery from these locales was not brought back into the Sand Canyon locality as often. Finally, the results of a cross-tabulation study of temper types and paint types illustrate that if igneous-tempered sherds are local to the Sand Canyon locality, then mineral-painted sherds probably are not. The greater occurrence of mineral-painted pottery at Sand Canyon Pueblo than at the smaller, nearby, contemporaneous habitation sites suggests that the community center could have functioned as a "nexus" of intraregional exchange during the late thirteenth century.


The raw materials identified in the stone-artifact assemblage are better indicators of extralocal and regional connections at Sand Canyon Pueblo. Small amounts of obsidian (though not traced to a specific source), Washington Pass chert, and turquoise (again, not sourced) indicate connections with northwestern New Mexico. The larger quantities of artifacts made of petrified wood, red jasper, and agate suggests associations with southeastern Utah—in particular, the area east of Cedar Mesa. A few shell artifacts suggest trade with peoples of, or associated with, the Pacific Ocean and the Gulf of California. The nature of this trade was probably indirect, or "down-the-line."



Two types of differentiation are considered here: horizontal and vertical differentiation (see Lipe 1992*2:124–127). Horizontal differentiation is defined as the functional specialization among parts of equivalent rank within a community. Vertical differentiation is defined as rank differences among functionally diverse parts within a community.


In general, significant horizontal differentiation is not indicated between the kiva suites investigated at Sand Canyon Pueblo. For example, artifacts associated with pottery making were found in most of the architectural blocks investigated, and assemblages from abandonment contexts indicate that a wide variety of activities occurred across the site. These activities included the preparation and consumption of food, the clearing of agricultural fields, the shaping of architectural stone, the manufacture and repair of chipped-stone tools, the production of pottery, the storage of goods, and the weaving of textiles and manufacture of baskets.


However, this does not mean that no horizontal differentiation is indicated by the Sand Canyon Pueblo artifact data. The midden data tentatively suggest that the great kiva functioned as a community integrative structure and that the D-shaped block may have originally been a place where ceremonial cornmeal was prepared, an inference made for other D-shaped structures in the region (Fratt 1997*1; Ortman 2000*2:par. 164, 2002*1:par. 142). At the level of the kiva suite, both midden and abandonment-context data suggest some differentiation between households. Midden data suggest a relatively strong emphasis on food consumption in Kiva Suites 102 and 208, food preparation and stone-tool production in Kiva Suite 1206, and the use of formal chipped-stone tools in Kiva Suite 102. Data for abandonment contexts provide glimpses into the final uses of the structures. These data suggest that the residents of Kiva Suite 102 could have been involved in the preparation of foods for feasting (indicated by the large number of ground-stone artifacts); that the occupants of Kiva Suite 208 engaged in activities requiring the use of axes and bone awls; and that Kiva Suite 501 had an especially high concentration of pottery vessels, including a concentration of kiva jars, which may suggest a focus on seed storage. A pair of rectangular pottery "boxes" found in a niche in Kiva 501 suggests ritual use of this space.


Implied in the definition of vertical, or rank, differentiation is the notion that people had differential access to sources of economic, ideological, and/or military power. Because evidence of this may be difficult to discern in the material culture, a gross examination at the village level seemed most appropriate for our study of Sand Canyon Pueblo. Thus, vertical differentiation was considered in terms of the two sides of the site—east of the drainage and west of the drainage. The location of public architecture (the great kiva and the D-shaped block) on the west side of the site suggests that differences in social rank, if they existed, may have been signaled by where one lived in relation to the drainage. For this study, we examined the distribution of items of personal adornment, items made of nonlocal materials, and nonlocal pottery. The midden data reveal little or no differentiation for items of personal adornment. However, Midden 103, the midden assemblage that the authors believe is associated with Kiva Suite 102, does have the greatest amounts of extralocal items recovered from the site, both absolutely and relatively. Vertical differentiation may also be indicated for Kiva Suite 102 by the postabandonment assemblage recovered from Kiva 102. The contents of this assemblage, including as many as 11 pottery vessels of diverse forms, suggest a ritual closing of this structure. This assemblage is unlike any other excavated during the Sand Canyon Archaeological Project.



Integration refers to the interdependence of structural units in a community and the means by which that interdependence is accomplished (Lipe 1992*2:127–128). Crow Canyon's ongoing study of how and why communities form has used and rigorously tested a model in which certain sites are constructed and occupied to serve as community centers. Dendrochronological (tree-ring) data indicate that Sand Canyon Pueblo came to prominence within the Sand Canyon locality in the middle to late thirteenth century. Pottery-assemblage data corroborate these dates. Accumulations data are ambiguous on the question of how long the site was occupied, although they do suggest that the site was occupied for a minimum of 16 to 28 years. It seems likely that the occupation of the site began at least by A.D. 1250. Clusters of cutting dates suggest that early construction could have occurred in the A.D. 1240s, with more construction or repair through the mid-1270s (see The Sand Canyon Pueblo Database).


Sand Canyon Pueblo has several examples of architecture that suggest integration at a broader, community level. As discussed above, midden data for the great kiva and the D-shaped block suggest that these complexes did indeed function differently than other areas of the site. Other artifact data suggest that the site as a whole functioned to integrate the population of the Upper Sand Canyon community (Ortman 2000*2). Ortman has documented a bimodal distribution of serving bowl sizes at community center sites (that is, at Sand Canyon and Castle Rock pueblos), but not at contemporaneous smaller sites in the locality. Additionally, he documents a greater frequency of designs on the exterior surfaces of bowls in assemblages from the community centers (especially Sand Canyon Pueblo) and a larger mean cooking-jar size in these places as well. He argues that these patterns suggest that the villages were the foci of communal ritual, which involved the consumption of food. In this chapter, we have also used the ratios of white ware bowl sherds to corrugated gray (cooking) jar sherds in Pueblo III community centers to argue that food preparation was emphasized over serving at these sites. Thus, large amounts of food were prepared for special events (feasts) that involved large groups of people.


It is possible that certain kiva suites in the pueblo had integrative functions as well. Kiva Suite 102 is probably the best example of a suite that may have served to integrate the community. As discussed above, the midden assemblages from Kiva Suite 102 are characterized by a relatively high frequency of white ware bowl sherds, whereas abandonment contexts yielded a wealth of ground-stone artifacts. Thus, both the food-preparation and food-consumption aspects of feasting might be represented in this location. Alternatively, the food-consumption group associated with Kiva Suite 102 may simply have been a larger family. Interestingly, though, the greatest frequency of extralocal materials at the site is documented for Kiva Suite 102, which suggests that the residents of this suite had greater access to exotic materials (including items of personal adornment and extralocal objects) than did other individuals in other parts of the village. Finally, the postabandonment assemblage from Kiva 102 is quite different than other postabandonment assemblages excavated at the site and suggests a final "closing" ceremony for this structure.



Intensity is defined as the measures of population, material, information, or energy use per unit area or per capita (Lipe 1992*2:128–129). The general model that is emerging for the last decades of the thirteenth century is that smaller habitation sites were abandoned in favor of larger villages. Certainly this intensified the interactions between people and across space. This intensification is suggested somewhat by pottery gathered from Sand Canyon Pueblo and other sites in the Sand Canyon locality. As discussed above, a bimodal distribution of white ware bowls and a relatively larger cooking-jar size is indicated for the late Pueblo III community centers. These data suggest that these sites were the locations of community-wide feasts. Alternatively, the food-consumption groups (perhaps extended families) may have simply become larger and may have included individuals in neighboring architectural blocks. It is more likely, however, that the higher frequencies of painted bowl designs at the village sites reflect the importance of visually signaling socially meaningful information at these large sites (Ortman and Bradley 2002*1:68) and is indicative of communal ritual involving groups more extensive than the family.

Abandonment and Change


The issue of abandonment is considered here at the structure, site, and regional levels, but the emphasis is on the village-wide depopulation of Sand Canyon Pueblo. At the site level, questions about the depopulation of the village concern its timing and the circumstances surrounding the event or process. At the regional level, the destination of the residents is of primary interest.


Dendrochronological data indicate that Sand Canyon Pueblo was depopulated as a whole shortly after A.D. 1277. Pottery data indicate that, indeed, both the occupation of the site and its depopulation occurred in the late A.D. 1200s. Accumulations data suggest that Sand Canyon Pueblo was probably occupied into the early A.D. 1280s. The presence of unfired pottery in a few locations very tentatively suggests that the final depopulation of the site did not occur during the winter, because pottery probably was not made during the cold months).


The depopulation of Sand Canyon Pueblo appears to have occurred as the result of two very different processes. The means by which certain groups of structures (for example, Kiva Suite 306 and Kiva Suite 1206) were abandoned before the final depopulation of the village suggest that the moves were done at a "leisurely" pace, or were planned. For example, the floors of Kivas 306 and 1206 yielded very few artifacts. If the occupants had made a long-distance move and left objects behind, useful items may have been recycled by the remaining villagers. Alternatively, the household may have simply moved to another place in the village, in which case many or all of the items used in the kiva and its associated rooms were probably moved to the new location.


The apparent abandonment of public architecture, particularly the great kiva, before the rest of the village was depopulated does suggest a significant change in how villagers conducted their ritual life. The presence of secondary refuse above the latest floor revealed in Segment 2 of the great kiva (Database Map 4281; see also The Sand Canyon Pueblo Database) indicates that the ritual use of this structure had ceased while other parts of the village remained inhabited. It may be that community ritual necessitated a minimum number of people to justify its practice and that the community population had declined to the point where the rituals conducted in the great kiva were not sustainable. However, it is also possible that individuals with certain knowledge necessary to the perpetuation of this ritual life emigrated or died, resulting in the discontinuation of certain ceremonies.


In contrast to the gradual abandonment processes just described, other circumstances contributing to the village-wide depopulation appear to have been abrupt and violent (Kuckelman et al. 2002*2; see also Chapter 7, this volume). De facto refuse in a number of structures includes large, heavy, and/or cumbersome items (for example, manos, metates, and pottery vessels), which may simply indicate a planned long-distance move. However, the fact that many small items were also left behind, including small stone and bone tools, suggests a hasty departure. The presence and condition of human remains (Chapter 7), the aforementioned de facto refuse in structures, and some tentative artifact data strongly indicate that the lives of some residents ended violently and that the violence compelled the remaining Sand Canyon Pueblo villagers to leave quickly (see also Chapter 7 and Chapter 9). The question of whether the violence was internal or whether it was perpetrated by other Pueblo people or even non-Pueblo people is open to further debate. Artifact data do not exclude the possibility that non-Pueblo people could have participated in this event. Several nonlocal projectile points were recovered from late and abandonment contexts, including Desert Side-Notched, Parowan Basal-Notched, and Nawthis Side-Notched points.


Even if non-Pueblo people were not directly involved in the depopulation of Sand Canyon Pueblo, the presence of foreign artifacts in the latest assemblages from the site suggests contact between the villagers and non-Pueblo populations, perhaps Numic-speaking peoples moving from west to east. The movement of Numic populations into the region just before, during, and after Pueblo emigrations from the Mesa Verde region has been cited as a possible reason for the region's depopulation by Pueblo peoples (e.g., Haas and Creamer 1996*1). This is not to assert that the depopulation of Sand Canyon Pueblo was necessarily due to foreign incursions; however, it does suggest that at the time of village depopulation, a change in regional demographics may have been under way.


The abandonment and postabandonment assemblages found at Sand Canyon Pueblo provide clues to the events surrounding the last days of the village. The postabandonment assemblages in the kivas of the D-shaped block indicate that these structures were abandoned leisurely and then eventually reused by village occupants—in the case of Kiva 1501, the structure was reused as a mealing facility. The postabandonment assemblage in Kiva 108, on the other hand, includes disarticulated human remains with possibly associated artifacts, suggesting an abandonment that was neither leisurely nor planned. Finally, the postabandonment assemblage in Kiva 102, which includes an unusual collection of pottery vessels and stone artifacts, could indicate a ceremonial closing of this structure. The fact that the roof was burned and then collapsed on top of this assemblage suggests that the practice of roof burning was a part of a ritual closing.


Duff and Wilshusen (2000*1) argue for a gradual emigration from the Mesa Verde region, particularly during the A.D. 1200s. Artifact assemblages from sites dating from this century tentatively suggest a change in the nature of the relationship between the Mesa Verde region and Pueblo populations to the south during this time period. Sites with a primary occupation during the early part of the thirteenth century have slightly more nonlocal pottery in their assemblages, indicating that vessels, and perhaps people, moved into the Mesa Verde region from elsewhere (Ortman 2000*2:par. 87–90, Table 24). The slight decline in the frequency of nonlocal pottery at sites that are dated to, or later than, the mid-1200s may indicate even less communication between Sand Canyon Pueblo and outlying regions.


As noted in paragraph 109, nonlocal white and gray ware pottery can be very difficult to distinguish from the local Mesa Verde wares, so most researchers use the presence of red ware pottery as evidence of extralocal pottery exchange. As with other late Pueblo III sites in the Sand Canyon locality, very little nonlocal pottery was recovered from Sand Canyon Pueblo. There is also a near absence of pottery from New Mexico. The few nonlocal sherds that are present are dominated by wares from the Kayenta region, suggesting that contact with Pueblo populations in northern Arizona was perhaps stronger at the end of the thirteenth century.


1The smaller Pueblo III sites tested by Crow Canyon are divided into "early" and "late" groups, as follows: early thirteenth century—Kenzie Dawn Hamlet, Lillian's Site, Shorlene's Site, and Roy's Ruin; late thirteenth century—Saddlehorn Hamlet, Troy's Tower, Lester's Site, and Lookout House. See Varien (1999*7) for details on these and other sites investigated as part of Crow Canyon's Site Testing Program.

References cited
| To borrow, cite, or request permission

Copyright © 2007 by Crow Canyon Archaeological Center. All rights reserved.