Montezuma Castle Archeology - Part 1: Excavations



Editor's preface


List of Illustrations


Review of previous work


Results achieved

House remains
   Rooms 1-3
   Room 4
   Room 5
   Room 1a
   Rooms 2a, 3a
   Room 4a
Test trenching in front of Castle A
Human Burials (omitted from the online edition)
   Burials 1-7
Cist graves (omitted from the online edition)
   Cist grave 1
   Cist graves 2 and 3
   Cist graves 4 and 5
   Cist graves 3a and 5a
Objects of material culture
   Stone implements
   Bone and horn implements
   Wooden implements
      Plain ware
      Painted types
      Conclusions, pottery

Summary and conclusions

   Findings of reconnaissance
   Age of the ruins
   Abandonment of the Castles

References cited

Appendix: Crania from Montezuma Castle and Montezuma Well,
by KATHERINE BARTLETT (omitted from the online edition)



1. Castle A in 1929. (George Grant photo)
2. Before excavation, east end of Castle A from front
3. Before excavation, central and west parts, Castle A
4. East part of Castle A base, after excavation started
5. Castle A from east after second tier of rooms was cleaned
6. Castle A from south after completion of work
7. From west, after work was finished
8. Room 3 from southwest; background cave was burial chamber
9. Room 3, with metates and roof fragments
10. Northwest corner of Room 3
11. Room 4—firebox and charred post upright
12. Room 5 floor details
13. Room 5 from west
14. Room 5 firebox and olla
15. Room 2a from southeast showing clay wattle section
16. Room 3a from southwest—floor details
17. Room 3a from south; part of skeleton, metate, and olla (omitted from the online edition)
18. Room 4a from southwest showing rise to level of Room 4
19. Room 4a detail—firebox
20. Cist Grave 1 upper level—disturbed skeletal material (omitted from the online edition)
21. Cist Grave 1, burial in bottom (omitted from the online edition)
22. Cist Grave 3, position of burial and pottery vessels (omitted from the online edition)
23. Cist Grave 3 from east with Nos. 4 and 5 in background (omitted from the online edition)
24. Cist Graves 4 and 5, showing burial in Cist 5 (omitted from the online edition)
25. Cist Grave 7: Burials 1 and 2 (omitted from the online edition)
26. Cist Grave 3a. Detail of damaged skull and pottery (omitted from the online edition)
27. Pit house burial in situ (omitted from the online edition)
28. Pit house burial—detail of skull in situ (omitted from the online edition)
29. Lateral aspects of skulls from cist graves (omitted from the online edition)
30. Lateral aspects of two skulls, extreme and negligible deformation (omitted from the online edition)
31. Frontal aspects of skulls from cist graves (omitted from the online edition)
32. Grinding stones
33. Metates, basin and trough
34. Stone hoes and fragments
35. Stone axes
36. Axes and picks
37. Bone awls, needle, and knife
38. Various stone objects
39. Portion of Gee-string
40. Net fragment of knotted Yucca cords
41. Sandals
42. Cloth fragments
43. Jewelry: shell beads, bracelets, pendants
44. Jewelry: turquoise mosaic on shell bird form and turquoise pendants
45. Whole pottery vessels: Verde Brown, Bidahochi and Winslow Polychromes, and Kayenta Black-on-Whites
46. Bowls: Tuzigoot Red, Verde Brown, White-on-red, and Verde Red (?)


Fig. 1. Idealized cross section of Castle A, lower part
Fig. 2. a, Floor plan Room 5; b, floor plan Room 4
Fig. 3. Sketch of ceiling restoration on Room 5
Fig. 4. Plan and details of Room 3a
Fig. 5. Plan and details of Room 4a. Tiny dots represent peculiar grouping of small holes in limestone floor
Fig. 6. a, Plan of cist grave; b, cist grave from front; c, section of cist grave
Fig. 7. a, weaving technique of large, coarse, coiled basket; b, yucca rope; c, yucca cord; d, cane cigarette
Fig. 8. a, b, c, d, bowl rim forms of Verde Brown; e, bowl form of Verde Brown; f, olla side, cross section; g, olla form
Fig. 9. Designs of Walnut Black-on-white
Fig. 10. Unusual designs of Walnut Black-on-white
Fig. 11. Designs of Jeddito Black-on-yellow
Fig. 12. Interior design of Bidahochi Polychrome bowl
Fig. 13. Interior design of Winslow Polychrome bowl
Fig. 14. a, White-on-red type; b, interior design of Tonto Polychrome; c, exterior design of Tonto Polychrome
Fig. 15. Montezuma Well No. 3. Front and side views of undeformed cranium of long-headed male (omitted from the online edition)
Fig. 16. Montezuma Castle No. 5 (#119). Front and side views of large male cranium with occipital deformation (omitted from the online edition)
Fig. 17. Montezuma Well No. 12. Front and side views of female cranium with lambdoid deformation, the only cranium with this type of deformation from Montezuma Castle and Montezuma Well (omitted from the online edition)
(Photographs by Miss Bartlett)


1. Room measurements (omitted from the online edition)
2. Cist grave measurements (omitted from the online edition)
3. Analysis of potsherds from Castle A
4. Pottery types listed by ware in order of their abundance at the site
5. Analysis of pottery seen in museum at Montezuma Well in May, 1937
6. Age at death of individuals (omitted from the online edition)
7. Deformation of skulls (omitted from the online edition)
8. Measurements and indices, males, Montezuma Castle (omitted from the online edition)
9. Measurements and indices, males, Montezuma Well (omitted from the online edition)
10. Measurements and indices, females, Montezuma Castle (omitted from the online edition)
11. Measurements and indices, females, Montezuma Well (omitted from the online edition)


Location map, Montezuma Castle district (PDF format)
Plan showing work on part of excavated ruins, Montezuma Castle National Monument, done under C.W.A. project, 1934 (PDF format)



The Association, which is an incorporated nonprofit sharing Organization, has several objectives, of which probably the most important is to publish, and make available to the public, accurate and interesting scientific and popular material. Others of its goals include the fostering in the Southwestern National Monuments the development of libraries, museum and trailside exhibits, the encouragement of research, etc.

The eight booklets of the Popular Series (which are listed on the back cover of this report) have appeared with some frequency, and have enjoyed immediate acceptance as valuable information concerning the Southwestern scene. The only Technical Series publication to appear, however, was Prehistory of El Rito de los Frijoles, Bandelier National Monument, by J. W. Hendron in 1940, now long out of print.

It is hoped that the logjam of unpublished scientific papers, of which this is the first to emerge, can be broken to make this valuable material available for use by scientists, and to form the solid foundation for a well-built interpretive structure in the Southwestern National Monuments.

Herein is announced a change in nomenclature: the above-mentioned Technical Series No. 1 will henceforth be considered as Volume 1, and archeological and historical volumes will be numbered with odd numbers. Natural history ones will receive the even numbers. Thus an individual or library interested in only one of the subjects need be concerned with only one of the number series. Most volumes will be complete in one cover, but in order not to delay the issuance of minor papers on the multiplicity of activities which center in the widely-varied Southwestern National Monuments, an occasional volume will be made up of shorter articles, each printed promptly upon completion, and issued unbound, but with successively numbered pages. When these parts add up to a hundred pages or so, a final paper will close the volume and include an index.

To sum up: those requesting notification of publications of historical and archeological papers should specify odd-numbered volumes; conversely, for natural history, even-numbered ones. Volumes containing miscellaneous shorter papers, in both series, will be closed, when of a convenient size, by the issuance of a volume index.

DALE STUART KING, Executive Secretary RAYMOND RAMOS, Treasurer

JOHN M. DAVIS, General Superintendent, Southwestern National Monuments, Globe, Arizona; Chairman
HORACE M. ALBRIGHT, New York City, N. Y.
ADREY E. BORELL, Oklahoma City, Okla.
DR. HAROLD S. COLTON, Flagstaff, Arizona
DR. EMIL HAURY, Tucson, Arizona


This little Gambel Quail, as painted in red on a piece of buff pottery by a prehistoric Hohokam Indian artist, is the colophon of the Southwestern Monuments Association. As such, it has appeared on many hundreds of thousands of pieces of stationery, and interpretive booklets, and, through the latter, has become widely known as a symbol of authentic interpretation of the great Southwest.

Strangers are inclined to think him a squawking parrot, but the "upper beak" was really meant to represent the curved feather topknot of this interesting desert bird. The design was copied from a piece of broken prehistoric pottery at Casa Grande National Monument, Arizona.

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Last Updated: 04-Mar-2008
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