Structure 17-S, masonry surface structure

About this Structure

General Location

Northeast corner of pueblo. Part of rim complex; rests on top of cliff.

Specific Location

Northwest of Structure 18-S, Structure 16-S is within this building.

Interpretive Type

Public architecture.

Structure Use

This is interpreted as a D-shaped building. Evidence of a south wall is lacking, although it may have fallen off the cliff since this structure is close to the cliff edge. It is much smaller than other D-shaped buildings in the Mesa Verde region, including the D-shaped building at Sand Canyon Pueblo and Sun Temple at Mesa Verde National Park. Unlike those buildings, this structure does not appear to have been a bi-wall structure. However, the space within this building was divided and at least one room is contained within the building. This room appears to have had a special use based on the presence of three niches. Access between this room and the northern space of the building was restricted at some point when a doorway was plugged. The morphology of this building appears to be unique at the pueblo. This building rests adjacent to a tower that connected the buildings on top of the cliff with those at the base of the cliff. The close proximity of these two structures is significant and this building may have provided access to and from the tower. These various aspects suggest that this building served a special purpose.


No evidence.


Fill has accumulated in parts of the building; looting activities appear to have taken place just north of the dividing wall; visible walls have partly collapsed.

Excavation Details

No excavations took place inside this structure.

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)