Structure 13-S, aboveground kiva

About this Structure

General Location

Northeast corner of pueblo. Part of rim complex; located at base of cliff.

Specific Location

East of Structure 11-S, south of Structure 22-S.

Interpretive Type

Not assigned.

Structure Use

This kiva is located in a prominent place at the pueblo. Access to the kiva was somewhat restricted because it rests on a narrow shelf above and below tall cliffs. Access from the west would have been through a doorway in a second-story room (Structure 21-S). Access from the north would have been through a doorway in an alcove room (Structure 22-S). Both doorways are believed to have led to the kiva roof/courtyard. In addition, a tower, northeast of the kiva, may have provided access to and from structures on top of the rim. The configuration of this kiva is not typical of most kivas in the Mesa Verde region. It appears that pilasters supported the upper lining wall, which in turn, supported the kiva roof. This configuration is similar to Kiva E at Mug House, Mesa Verde National Park (Rohn 1971*1:78,79). In the case of Kiva E, Rohn argues that the upper lining wall must have been built on top of the pilasters as part of an extensive remodeling project. Like Kiva E, it is possible that this kiva was rebuilt. It is also conceivable that this was the original configuration of the kiva. The unusual configuration of this kiva, coupled with its prominent location and somewhat restricted access, suggests the kiva may have had special significance and may have been used differently from other kivas at the pueblo.


No evidence.


Visible walls have partly collapsed; the south portion of the kiva is believed to have fallen off the cliff; kiva filled with sediment and structural debris.

Excavation Details

No excavation details recorded for this study unit.

Groups to Which This Study Unit was Assigned

See The Archaeology of Woods Canyon Pueblo (specifically the chapters on architecture, chronology, and artifacts) for more information on study unit groupings at Woods Canyon Pueblo.

Type ID Description
area 7 Canyon rim
section R Canyon rim
subperiod 9 Late Pueblo III (A.D. 1225-1280)