Structure 1222, masonry surface structure

About this Structure

General Location

In the great tower complex.

Specific Location

Westernmost, upper-story bi-wall room in the great tower bi-wall structure.

Interpretive Type

Public architecture.

Structure Use

This is the westernmost upper-story room in a ring of two-story structures that encircled an oversized kiva (Structure 1201). No floor was present--the only architecture preserved for this room is the lower portion of the east wall, which is recorded (under "masonry") as the east wall of Structure 1214 (room directly below 1222). Because no roof beam sockets were exposed in our test trench, we could not determine the vertical location of the floor of Structure 1222 (which was also the roof of Structure 1214), so the entire east wall (2.71 m tall) was assigned to Structure 1214. Much of the fill and most of the artifacts in and above the lowermost layer of collapsed roofing material contained in Structure 1214 must have actually originated in or on the roof of Stucture 1222, and these data will be used here to make inferences regarding the use of Structure 1222. In the rooffall material in the southwest quadrant of the test trench was a concentration of burned corncobs, burned nonhuman bone, charcoal, ash, one burned bean, and several fist-sized burned rocks. This concentration is believed to have been the collapsed remains of a hearth or firepit that was in the floor of Structure 1222. Thus, food could have been prepared in this upper story bi-wall room. A fire could also have met heating and lighting needs. The fill of Structure 1214 contained abundant wall stones, and some badly decomposed roofing timbers. Artifacts found in the excavated portion of this fill (probably originally from the roof or floor of Structure 1222) included six bone awls, five two-hand manos, three modified sherds, two antler tools, 124 pieces of flaked lithic debitage, and one each of the following: Mesa Verde Black-on-white kiva jar lid, lap stone, grooved axe, core, drill, polishing stone, projectile point, peckingstone, partial corrugated gray jar, fossil mineral, and lots of sherds (have in a table). Also found were bones of turkey, deer, cottontail, jackrabbit, wood rat, prairie dog, and mouse. Any of these items could have been stored, used, or left as casual refuse either inside Structure 1222 or on the roof of that room. There was no indication that any of this material had been deposited as secondary refuse (trash). Several human bones and teeth were also found; the taphonomy of these items is unknown. The large number and wide variety of artifacts suggests that many different types of activities could have occurred inside or on the roof of Structure 1222, including: meal preparation and cooking, food storage, pottery production, flaked- lithic and groundstone tool production and/or maintenance, and hide working, weaving or basket-making. This structure has been designated as public architecture because it is likely that this bi-wall structure and the oversized kiva within it were constructed and used by more than one residential group.


The presence of decomposed timbers in the collapsed roofing material indicates that the roof was not burned at abandonment, and that the beams were not salvaged for reuse. These circumstances suggest a leisurely abandonment that coincided with the abandonment of the village.


The presence of two separate strata of unburned roof collapse material indicates that the floor and the roof of this structure collapsed naturally after the structure (and probably the village as a whole) ceased to be occupied.

Excavation Details

No excavation details recorded for this study unit.