Structure 108, aboveground kiva

About this Structure

General Location

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

Specific Location

Below Arbitrary Unit 115, in east "wing" of Block 100. Located along the east edge of the excavated area, east of, and adjacent to, Structures 102 and 104.

Interpretive Type

Not assigned.

Structure Use

Features within this structure are typical of Pueblo III kivas in this region (formal hearth, pilasters, benches, southern recess, sipapu, deflector, ventilator system, bench-face niches), so it is inferred that this structure was probably used in the same ways that other small kivas in this area were used during Pueblo III times (in general, for domestic purposes and household-level rituals). However, this kiva does contain only four pilasters instead of the usual six; in this region, most four-pilaster kivas were constructed during the late Pueblo II period. The significance of this four-pilaster kiva being constructed during the late Pueblo III period is not known. Also worthy of note is the presence of a sizable petroglyph that was pecked and abraded into the kiva floor and covered with floor plaster. This image has been interpreted as representing Kokopelli. A substantial amount of de facto refuse was found both on the floor and in roof fall. It is not clear how many or which of these artifacts were associated with the floor, because many artifacts found in roof fall resting on the floor might have come into the structure with the collapsed roofing material. Also, additional activity might have occurred in this structure after it was abandoned, as evidenced by burning (Feature 29, burned spot) at the top of roof fall. Thus, it is risky to make inferences about use of the kiva on the basis of the artifacts found on or near the floor. For example, sherds from nine reconstructible vessels were found both in roof fall and on the floor. These vessels thus might not have been associated with the use of the structure, but might have entered the structure when the roof collapsed. The distribution of sherds in the excavated portion of this architectural block suggests that one residence group might have occupied several of the structures that were excavated. Different portions of a few vessels were found in Structures 102 (kiva), 105 (storage room), 107 (kiva), and 116 (corner room), and portions of several vessels were found in both Structure 102 and Structure 107. Alternatively, it is possible that the distribution of these broken vessels was not related to habitation of the structures but instead to chaotic (perhaps violent) abandonment events or to activities surrounding the postabandonment reuse of these rooms.


Some roofing material might have been burned during postabandonment activities. Many artifacts were found on and near the floor of this structure and in collapsed roofing material mixed with naturally deposited sediments. The presence of so many artifacts (including reconstructible vessels) suggests that the abandonment was not leisurely, or that it occurred at or near the end of the occupation of the village. Human remains, most of which were from an adolescent but some of which were from at least one adult, were found on the floor. These remains were probably deposited when the structure was abandoned. Only a few of the bones were in articulation at the time of excavation; it is unlikely that the body of the adolescent (or the adult, either) was formally interred originally. Bones from this body were subsequently redeposited in several different locations within this kiva suite (see "Postabandonment Processes"). The remains of a young woman were found on the floor of nearby Structure 107 (kiva), and the remains of a man whose skull exhibited lethal depression fractures were found on the floor of Structure 105 (storage room). Thus, the abandonment of this architectural block or at least this portion of the architectural block appears to have been associated with a violent event in which at least some of the residents were killed and their bodies were not formally interred.


After the structure was abandoned, the roof might have been fully or partly dismantled intentionally. In any case, after an indeterminate amount of roofing sediment collapsed onto the floor of the structure, burning (Feature 29, burned spot) occurred on top of this sediment in the northwest quarter of the structure. The reason for this burning is not known, but it indicates that some activity or activities took place in this structure after some roofing material had come to rest on the floor. Other activities that occurred at the time or shortly after this structure was abandoned include the disarticulation and deposition of bones from the adolescent and at least one adult represented in Human Remains Occurrence 4 in different locations both within this structure and in multiple contexts in other structures. These locations include the roof fall of Structure 108; refuse on the floor of the ventilator tunnel, also in Structure 108; and refuse in Structures 116 and 118. Sherds from four different vessels were also deposited in several of those same locations. Neither the precise sequencing of these postabandonment events--nor the motivation behind the disarticulation and redeposition of bones and the deposition of the sherds--is known, although bones from both bodies exhibit human modifications. After these events, the remaining depression filled with collapsed wall debris and naturally deposited sediments.

Excavation Details

No excavation details recorded for this study unit.