Structure 1501, aboveground kiva

About this Structure

General Location

Block 1500, west-central portion of site, east of plaza.

Specific Location

East half of the D-shaped building. Below Arbitrary Unit 1520.

Interpretive Type

Not assigned.

Structure Use

Most features observed within the excavated portion of this structure are typical of Pueblo III kivas in this region (formal hearth, pilasters, benches, southern recess, deflector, ventilator system, niches), so it is possible that this structure was 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, the structure is also unusual in several ways that might reflect special use or status. Unlike other kivas at this site (except for Structure 1502), this kiva is located within a D-shaped, bi-wall structure. An unusual feature within the kiva is a large floor vault (Feature 17), which was associated with the earlier floor. This type of feature is thought, by some researchers, to have been used as a foot drum. The feature had been filled and plastered over sometime during the use of the kiva. Another unusual aspect of this structure was that it contained a subfloor ventilator tunnel as well as a more typical, floor-level ventilation system. Both were reportedly still in use when the structure was abandoned. Lastly, the structure contained two pit features (Features 11 and 12), each of which had been partly constructed of a pottery mug from which the bottom had been removed. Other artifacts on or near the floor and bench surfaces included a few stone tools, bone awls, a remnant of burned basketry and stick mats, and a typical array of domestic-type trash. Possible final use or reuse of the structure is indicated by the introduction of a metate bin (Feature 9) and numerous ground-stone tools, among other items.


Abandonment appears to have been leisurely, and probably occurred while occupation of other areas of the village continued. Brief re-use of the structure is indicated by the presence of an informal firepit (Feature 10) that was constructed in sediment that rested on the last prepared floor (Surface 1). Possibly also constructed during this reuse was a metate bin (Feature 9), although, alternatively, it is possible that the bin was constructed prior to the original abandonment of the structure.


The structure roof was burned, and the resulting debris collapsed into the structure. The upper portions of the structure walls (and also possibly materials from the upper portions of the surrounding structures) collapsed into the structure depression, and additional sediment was naturally deposited.

Excavation Details

No excavation details recorded for this study unit.