Structure 1201, aboveground kiva

About this Structure

General Location

In the great tower complex.

Specific Location

At the northwest corner of the architectural block.

Interpretive Type

Public architecture.

Structure Use

The precise use of this structure is not known, but the structure's unusual architecture (large size, location within a two-story tower that would have limited access into the kiva, and possible octagonal shape), floor features (masonry-lined floor vault, elaborate subfloor feature of indeterminate function associated with the hearth), and a few in situ floor artifacts (large fossil shell, oddly shaped river cobbles, complete projectile point on the floor of the hearth) all indicate special use, possibly religious, political, and/or social. The size and distinctive aspects of this structure led to an inference that it was probably not constructed and used by only one family, and is therefore labeled "public architecture."


The only areas of intact fill in this structure were on the floor just in front of the east and west bench faces; this fill was composed of naturally deposited lenses that apparently accumulated before the roof collapsed. Thus, the roof was probably intact when the structure was abandoned.


Most of the structure fill was removed by Western State College field school excavators in 1931; the structure was then backfilled, probably with fill from a nearby structure.

Excavation Details