Big Juniper House of Mesa Verde, Colorado
Wetherill Mesa Studies
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Chapter 2
architecture (continued)


Other areas in and around the rooms and kivas were stripped or trenched to discover walking or occupation surfaces and extramural features.

Areas A, B, and C

These areas (fig. 5) are poorly defined and do not appear to be rooms. Area A was mentioned under Rooms 21 and 22. None of these areas were completely excavated, but they appear not to have been enclosed or covered. Artifacts from Area A are listed in tables 3 and 9. No artifacts were found in Areas B and C.

Test Trench 15

This was a wide trench running from the northern edge of the South Trash Mound to just short of Kiva B (fig. 5). In it we uncovered a good many artifacts and two circular, clay-lined firepits. Inadvertently, many of the sherds from this trench were combined with the sherds from the top level excavated in Kiva B. The 776 sherds are listed in table 3 under Test Trench 15 and Kiva B, Level 1. Five restorable or partially restorable vessels were found in Test Trench 15: a Cortez Black-on-white bowl (fig. 46a), a Mancos Black-on-white pitcher (fig. 58a), a Mancos Black-on-white ladle (fig. 59a), a Mancos Black-on-white bowl (fig. 56b), and a Mancos Corrugated jar (fig. 40i). Next to the Cortez Black-on-white bowl were 13 human teeth. We found no other human skeletal remains in this area.

Area 12, East

This wide trench, east of Test Trench 15, has been discussed under Room 20 (fig. 5). Both this trench and Test Trench 15 were excavated to a probable walking surface. This surface probably correlates with the Component C occupation, with a liberal deposit of both Components C and D trash over it. The walking or occupation surface varied from 0.6 to 1 foot below present ground surface and rested on sterile soil.

Area 12, West

(Combined with Area 12, East, in the tables as Area 12.) Also an area of Components C and D.

Area D

Area D (fig. 5), to the west of Kiva A, had several features on the surface that were primarily related to the Component D occupation. Close to the kiva was a hearth area of charcoal and fire-cracked rocks, and southwest of this area was a Mancos Corrugated jar resting on the surface (fig. 40c).

Feature 1

Feature 1, close to the southern limits of excavation in Area D, was a circular firepit about 2.5 feet in diameter and about 1 foot deep, filled with good-sized chunks of pinyon charcoal, none of which provided dates. Feature 1 is unusual in that it is the only hearth at Big Juniper House that contained charcoal rather than finely powdered wood ash. Its construction was also different from other Big Juniper House firepits in being deeper and having undercut sides. The existence of pinyon charcoal only is also interesting, but what this means is not known.

Pit 1

South of Feature 1, in the northern part of the South Trash Mound, is Pit 1 (fig. 163). Stratigraphically, the pit appears to be the lowest and possibly the earliest feature at the site. It was overlain by the trash mound and obviously made before the trash was deposited. It had a hard clay floor about 3.5 feet in diameter and clay also lined what remained of its walls, which were 0.3 foot high. No materials were found in the pit.

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Last Updated: 16-Jan-2007