Structure 1217, masonry surface structure

About this Structure

General Location

Block 1200, southeast quadrant of site, on cliff edge.

Specific Location

Northeast corner of excavated portion of Block 1200, abutted to site-enclosing wall. Structure 1217 is the upper story of a two-story building; it had almost completely collapsed into the ground-story room, Structure 1205.

Interpretive Type

Not assigned.

Structure Use

Little direct evidence of structure use, as the existence of this second-story structure is mostly inferred rather than observed. The walls of the lower-story room (Structure 1205) were preserved to nearly full height, and included three roof-beam sockets. The abundant wall fall and the two layers of roof fall within that structure suggest the original presence of a second-story room (Structure 1217) above it. The only floor feature inferred from evidence in the collapsed flooring material was a hatchway in the southeast corner of the floor that allowed access between the upper and lower stories. The lower-story room (Structure 1205) has no doorways in the extant portions of the walls. Many artifacts were found just above the floor and in roof collapse material in Structure 1205, but it is not possible to distinguish artifacts that might have been stored in the roof rafters of Structure 1205 (and were thus associated with the use of that room) from artifacts that were on the second-story (Structure 1217) floor, in the second-story rafters, or even on the second-story roof. The conditions of preservation were exceptionally favorable in this structure, and numerous perishable artifacts were preserved, such as fragments of coiled basketry, a gourd vessel, several shaped pieces of wood, several possible reed grass "cigarettes," and a possible fragment of a bow); however, the precise locations of many of these artifacts is unclear, so it is difficult to draw inferences about the use of either of these rooms from these objects. There was no evidence of a hearth in either of these rooms, however, which indicates that neither was probably used for habitation.


The presence of a small amount of refuse on the floor in the southeast corner of Structure 1205 (beneath Structure 1217) is weak evidence that Structure 1217 continued to be used after Structure 1205 was abandoned. There is no means of determining which of the many artifacts in the collapsed roofing material above the floor of Structure 1205 were left on the floor of Structure 1217, and so it is not possible to infer the conditions of abandonment for this second-story room. No evidence of secondary refuse was documented, but its presence prior to collapse of the floor cannot be ruled out.


The roof and upper walls collapsed onto the floor of this second-story room, and this material, along with the floor of the room, collapsed onto the floor of the lower-story room (Structure 1205). The remaining walls of Structure 1217 collapsed, and at least some of this rubble fell into Structure 1205 beneath it.

Excavation Details

No excavation details recorded for this study unit.