Backfilling or Reburial
Archaeological excavations expose rooms and kivas that have been buried under layers of blown sand and rubble. When this protective mantle is removed, deterioration begins immediately. At most sites, some rooms were excavated to the earliest floor levels, 10 to 15 feet below the ground surface. Adjoining rooms may not have been completely excavated, and many rooms were not excavated at all. With a patchwork of uneven levels, drainage problems are severe, and the weight of fill in unexcavated rooms can cause extreme lateral pressure on the walls of the excavated rooms. By replacing or backfilling some of the excavated fill to create more level surface contours, and designing drainage that directs precipitation runoff away from the walls, rooms can be protected but still be viewed.
Did You Know?
On January 21, 1941, after a year of record rains, Threatening Rock fell and crushed about 60 rooms at Pueblo Bonito that had been excavated by Neil Judd in the 1920s. More...