Structure 101, masonry surface structure

About this Structure

General Location

Block 100, north end of site, just west of drainage.

Specific Location

East "wing" of Block 100; north of Structures 106 and 107; attached to outside of site-enclosing wall.

Interpretive Type

Tower.

Structure Use

The structure has been labeled a "tower" because it is D-shaped and is in a special location (outside the site-enclosing wall), although that label does not imply any particular type of use. The curved wall of the tower abuts the outside face of the site-enclosing wall, and the site-enclosing wall itself forms the straight, south wall of the tower. It further appears that, although the enclosing wall was built first, the construction of the tower was anticipated, because doorways to access the tower were built through the site-enclosing wall when that wall was constructed. Also, a niche (Feature 3) was constructed in the north face of the site-enclosing wall when the wall was constructed, and niches are seldom found outside structures. Originally, both a floor-level doorway (Feature 1) and a raised-sill doorway (Feature 2) provided mutual access between Structure 101 (tower) and whatever structure predated Structure 107 (kiva). The floor-level doorway (Feature 1) was later blocked and remodeled into a niche (Feature 8), but the raised-sill doorway (Feature 2) was still functional when this portion of the architectural block was abandoned. There was no floor-level access into this tower through its curved wall, nor was there a raised-sill doorway in that wall, at least not in the preserved portion of the wall (which rose a minimum of 80 cm above the floor). That is, there was no preserved access into Structure 101 from outside the site-enclosing wall. If there never was any such access, this design might have been defensive. The presence of a firepit suggests a need for light and/or heat; it might also indicate that food was prepared there. Also, a complete slab metate was found on or near the floor. The presence of two niches, which are typically found in kivas, might indicate some ritual use. And an unusual, possibly ritually significant artifact--the head of an animal ("lamb") fashioned from sandstone--was found in structure fill and had probably projected from the interior wall face. Thus, this structure could have been used for defense, storage, domestic activities, ritual activities, or any combination of these. There is no evidence that this tower was more than one story tall. There is also no clear evidence of association of this structure with any structure other than Structure 107 (kiva) and the structure or structures that preceded Structure 107, although a kiva suite consisting of only a tower and a small, remodeled, abovegound rectangular kiva was not the norm.

Abandonment

The roof was not burned. Few artifacts were left on the floor; this could indicate either a leisurely abandonment in which the residents took most of their belongings or a hurried abandonment after which belongings were scavenged by others. However, the absence of trash in the fill of the structure suggests that this tower was abandoned at the same time and in the same manner as most of the other excavated structures in this part of Block 100. The context, condition, and depositional environments of human remains found in associated structures (Structures 102, 105, 107, 108, 116, and 118) suggest that at least this section of the architectural block was abandoned as a result of a violent event in which at least some of the residents were killed and their bodies were not formally buried. Two subadult rib fragments were found in the fill of Structure 101.

Postabandonment

Roof and then upper walls appear to have collapsed naturally.

Excavation Details

No excavation details recorded for this study unit.