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Field Division of Education
Tuzigoot - The Excavation and Repair of a Ruin on the Verde River near Clarkdale, Arizona
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ARCHITECTURE (continued)


In reconstructing the architectural history of the pueblo we get almost no aid from the masonry itself. There was very little change in the style or quality of masonry from the beginning of Tuzigoot's history to its end. There is some slight difference in the materials used in earlier and later periods of building, but the differences are not very definite. Minor period differences in room features, such as in types of fireplaces, or in roof construction, do occur, but they are not consistent enough to serve as reliable chronological criteria. Each successive addition to the pueblo for the most part repeated the building style of the rooms already in existence. Here and there we can put our fingers on a building trait that is definitely late in origin, but so persistently were the older forms of the trait carried into later times that it is always necessary to follow several lines of evidence to arrive at the time of building of any particular room.

There are two main lines for the determination of the relative ages of rooms at Tuzigoot. The first (and the most certain) is the superposition of room on room. The second is the relation of a room to the refuse accumulations, that is, the evidence of the deposition of refuse on the floor of a room indicating its early abandonment or the building of a room on already accumulated refuse indicating a relatively late period of construction. These two kinds of evidence have been the starting point for all chronological placement of the rooms at Tuzigoot.

Little aid has been obtained from tree-ring dating. At the time of the writing of this report, only two dates have been secured from roof beams. These dates are from beams from the same roof and fix the date of the construction of this roof at about 1200 A.D. The two rooms which this single roof covered are obviously neither the earliest nor the latest constructed rooms in the pueblo They were built at some intermediate period in the history of the village. Where we have clear-cut cases of the building of room over room, no dates have been obtained from roof timbers or charcoal from either the later or the earlier room. The obviously earliest rooms yielded no dates in any instance and there has been no better luck with rooms which appear to have been built very late. This unfortunate circumstance arises from the fact not of a scarcity of charred or unrotted roof timbers but from the character of the abundant timber remains that were found. Most of the timber was sycamore, juniper, or piñon. The two former types of wood are not datable by the Douglass Method and the majority of the pieces of piñon have been either too fragmentary or too complacent to yield dates.

There were five instances of the superposition of room on room. At the northwest corner, of the group of rooms which were built over the summit of the ridge, the group given the field designation of Group III, there were three rooms, rooms 7, 8, and 9, over which later rooms had been built. The later rooms are shown in the plan of the pueblo as rooms 3 and 4 Group III. The floors and parts of the walls of the three earlier rooms were well preserved, even the fiireplace of room 8 being intact. The walls of the lower earlier rooms had fallen and were only from 2 feet to 8 inches in height when the later rooms were built. The rock from the walls had, however, been for the most part utilized in other building, be there was a lack of rock in the fill which covered the floors of the early rooms. Refuse and ash in more or less stratified layers had accumulated on the floors of the lower rooms to the height of the still existing walls, at a maximum depth of two feet. The greater part of the bones of the hind quarters of a deer were found, together with many potsherds, in this refuse accumulation beneath the west wall of Room 3. Figure 3 indicates the relation of the early rooms to the superimposed later rooms, by dotted lines showing the earlier rooms.

The small size of the earlier rooms is worth noting. Room 7 was about 9 feet by 6 feet, Room 8 about 12 feet by 8 feet. No other rooms excavated show dimensions quite so small as these two. No postholes were found in the floors, undoubtedly indicating a roof construction which did not involve interior support posts. The fireplace found in the floor of Room 8, beneath the west wall of Room 3 was circular and clay-lined. No fireplaces were found in the other two rooms. The masonry involved some use of rounded boulders, but rough blocks of sandstone and limestone were also used.

Another clear instance of the superposition of room on room was found at the south end of the summit of the ridge in connection with the room given the field designation of Roomo 31-a, Group V. The fireplaces of both the upper and the lower rooms in this instance were circular and clay-lined. The full dimensions of the lower room are not known, but it is clear that it was considerably larger than the lower level rooms in Group III. The roof construction involved interior support posts.

Room 30, Group V, just to the east and below room 31, Group V, was also built directly over an earlier room, which was of approximately the same dimensions as the later room. The lower room had been filled with an accumulation of debris three and a half feet in depth before the upper room was built over it. The lower room utilized interior support posts in roof construction and had a circular, clay-lined fireplace.

Other rooms which were clearly abandoned early in the history of Tuzigoot were situated on the west slope below the summit of the ridge. Here there was not superposition of room on room. The evidence consits of deep accumulations of refuse in which burials had been made over the floors of the rooms. Belonging to this early west slope series are Rooms 1, 2, and 5, Group II, and Rooms 12 and 18, Group III. It cannot be said that all these rooms were built or abandoned at the same time. The amount and the character of the accumualtions on the floors differs considerably. Perhaps Room 1, Group II, was the earliest abandoned of the rooms. A description of it and refuse beneath which it was buried will serve as an example of the use of this type of evidence in the determination of the chronological position of rooms.

Trenches driven into the west slope some distance below the summit of the ridge for the purpose of locating burials disclosed the broken top of a wall of a room. The top of the wall was three feet below the surface of the ground and the material covering it was ash and debris of the usual sort encountered everywhere on the slopes below the confines of the pueblo. Following the wall to its base disclosed a floor at the depth of eleven feet below the surface. This eleven foot accumulation was composed of ash and refuse in stratified layers, the obvious year to year refuse thrown out by people living in the rooms on the top, of the ridge. Burials of children and adults had been made at all levels from beneath the floor of the old room to within two feet of the surface. Four burials, which had been made after the refuse had accumulated to a depth of over six feet, had been laid in graves which in the process of digging had entailed the destruction of parts of the walls of the room. This room with its great depth of refuse till was Room 1, Group II.

Unlike some of the other clearly earlier rooms, Room 1, Group II was large, exceptionally so. It was 25 feet in length. In the floor were postholes near the south end, but none was found near the north end. A circular, clay-lined fireplace occurred near the center of the room. The room was built directly against the sheer ledge of red sandstone of the west side of the ridge, like all the rooms in Group II. A single tier masonry wall had been built against the ledge. The floor consisted of the red sandstone of the ledge. That this room was not the earliest constructed in the pueblo, despite the tremendous refuse accumulation on its floor, is certain. Its north wall was built not directly on the sandstone ledge but upon what was clearly a five to seven inch accumulation of refuse, of ash, charcoal, and organic matter, washed down from above in rain formed strata.

In no other room did such a deep deposit of refuse cover the floor. A four to five foot accumulation in which burials had been made covered the floor of Room 2, Group II. Room 5, Group II had been filled with three to four feet of refuse in which two burials had been made. The room had burned and apparently no effort had been made to recover a metate, a large mortar, and a number of manos from its floor after the burning. The room is characterized by a peculiar arrangement of postholes, which will be described later (page 30 of this manuscript). Rooms 12 and 18, Group III were filled with comparatively shallow refuse accumulaions; burials had been made above the floor levels in both rooms.

In four of the rooms which had been abandoned early in the history of the pueblo, potsherds were found on the floors or in the refuse fill which give some indication of the absolute age of the rooms. On the floor of Room 8, Group III beneath undisturbed refuse strata were found two sherds of Walnut Black-on-white. No other types of decorated pottery were found at this level, although in the upper levels of the same general refuse accumulation over Room 9, Group III, were found sherds of Jeddito Black-on-yellow, Tusayan Black-on-red, and St. Johns Polychrome. This, together with the fact that the rooms overlying Rooms 7, 8, and 9 in Group III belong to the series which tree-ring dates indicate was built in 1200 A.D., points to the abandonment of Room 7 and its contemporary two rooms a good many years prior to 1200.

Flagstaff Black-on-white and Tusayan Black-on-red sherds were found at floor level in Room 12, Group III, beneath charred roof material. A child burial which had been made in the refuse accumulation two and a half feet above the floor contained a burial offering of a Kayenta Black-on-white bowl. This indicates that the burial was made sometime prior to 1300 A.D., for that year approximately ends the period of the making of Kayenta Black-on-white. The pottery types found two and a half feet below the burial could have been made a century before the Kayenta bowl or at the same time, insofar as their time relations are now known, but the accumulation of refuse between the bowl and the sherds gives us a basis for saying that the room was abandoned a century or thereabouts before the bowl was buried, which again would place the room as prior to 1200 A.D.

Disturbance of the refuse overlying the floor of Room 18, Group III, negates the validity of ascribing the time period of sherds found on the floor to the room itself, but it is perhaps interesting to note that a great number of Prescott Black-on-grey sherds were found in the fill of the room.

The sherds found in the refuse fill over Room 1, Group II constitute one of our best stratigraphic records and will be discussed below (page 61). Prescott Black-on grey, Walnut and Flagstaff Black-on-white were most abundant in the lowest levels of the accumulation and were found together with two or three sherds of Deadman's Black-on-white on the floor of the room. The presence of Deadman's Black-on-white indicates possibly an earlier period of abandonment for this room than for the early rooms in Group III, carrying it back to the general period of 1000 A.D.

Rooms which have been definitely placed as later in period than other neighboring rooms by means of determining their relations to the refuse accumulations are numerous. In addition to the four that have already been mentioned as having been built over other rooms in which refuse fill occurred, there are one room in Group III, five rooms in Group I, three rooms in Group IV, and four rooms in Group VI, which were built on refuse accumulations of varying depth.

It has been possible to place roughly the time of other rooms whose relative chronological poition was not immediately apparent by a sort of cross-dating with architectural features. of the rooms whose positions were established by the above described methods. A discussion of the general architectural features of the pueblo will make clear the criteria that have been used, after which a reconstruction of the architectural history of Tuzigoot may be attempted.


Because of the character of the material immediately available, the masonry at Tuzigoot is of poor quality. The top of the ridge on which the pueblo was built is composed of partially consolidated conglomerate, made up of river boulders of basalt, red sandstone, and some hard limestone in a soft matrix of limy material. When the first rooms were built, on the top of the ridged, many of these river boulders were utilized in the construction of the walls. Thus one of the distinctive marks of a few of the earlier rooms is the presence of rounded river boulders, most often of basalt, in the masonry. The supply of these, however, was limited and nowhere is a wall found made up entirely of them.

The usual building rock, and the exclusive material of all but the earliest walls, at Tuzigoot consisted of irregular blocks of soft limestone and limy sandstone, white or sometimes pinkish in color. The rock was derived from the Verde Lake beds of which all but thed uppermost stratum of the ridge on which Tuzigoot is built is composed. The limestones and sandstone of the outcropping ledges of the ridge broke unevenly and were pitted and rough due to both internal and external erosion. Consequently the masonry which utilized them is rough and irregular. The material of the walls was rarely in a state of perfect balance, the irregular surfaces of the blocks causing them to slide from position easily.

In occasional rooms of the later periods of building, most notably in Group V and in the wall between Rooms 5 and 7, Group IV, an effort was made to secure thinner and more regularly surfaced limestone blocks. But such well made sections of masonry were exceptional and no room was found composed entirely of this better type of building material.

The building stones were laid up in a great quantity of the natural earth of the vicinity; which is almost like a river silt. The earth mortar makes up fifty per cent or more of the volume of every wall. The typical Tuzigoot wall from the earliest to the latest period of building was composed of a central hearting of earth, containing a few odd scraps of rock, supported on either side by a tier of building stone. There was from an inch to three or four inches of earth mortar between every rock.

Coursing of the exterior layers of rock was rare, occurring consistently in only a few sections of wall, all in the latest rooms. Not only was there a failure to course the rocks, dictated largely perhaps by the irregular shapes and surfaces of the building stones, but the principle of breaking joints was also not practiced. Plate IV, B shows how, for spaces of several feet, joints were unbroken.

Plate IV. A (top). Tuzigoot masonry showing the large boulders used at the base of the wall for a foundation. B (bottom). Group III showing the irregular masonry used in the walls. Rounding of the corners was a common practice in construction.

Walls were not very rarely tied into each other. The south walls of Rooms 3, 5, and 7, of Group IV composed one continuous wall against which all the north-south walls of Group IV were abutted with no tie-in. The same is true of the extremely massive central wall which runs the length of Group III on the summit of the ridge.

Some corners were rounded. The rounding was accomplished at exterior corners by merely bringing the wall around in a curve instead of a right angle in the process of building. Interior corners were rounded deliberately by filling building stone and adobe in an original right angle meeting of two walls.

Spawling with small irregular pieces of rock between the larger building stones was practiced and is illustrated in Plate IV, B. The practice seems to be mainly confined to the later walls and resulted in much more stable and solid construction in that it reduced the proportions of earth mortar and helped to compensate the irregularities of the large blocks.

It was often the practice to lay the foundation of a wall with very large limestone or sandstone boulders. When this was done, boulders large enough to extend across the whole width of the wall were secured. The use of such large boulders is illustrated in Plate IV, A.

In many rooms, particularly in Groups II, V, and VI, the natural ledge was utilized as one wall of a room. In Group II the ledge outcrops are of soft brown shale or red sandstone. Rooms were built against these ledges, which were smoothed and made vertical, and the ledges became the back walls of the rooms. In Groups V and VI the natural limestone and sandstone ledges were utilized as the back walls of rooms, (Plate V, a). In some instances, outcropping ledges were faced with masonry. Room 9 in Group V, (Plate V, b), is a good illustration. Here the natural limestone ledge was faced with a single tier of masonry abutting directly against the ledge, the masonry following the usual type of construction of all later rooms. Such ledge facings were extremely unstable and in most instances have stood up less well than any other form of wall at Tuzigoot.

Plate V. A (top). Room 4 in Group V showing how the inhabitants dug into the side of the hill and used the natural ledge for one wall of their rooms. B (bottom). Room 9 in Group V showing the top of a ledge used as a bench and how they built a masonry wall against the loose dirt of the side of the hill.

Another type of wall, found only in one room in Group III, where it had served as a partition across the room was supported by means of embedded wooden posts. Plate VI shows the nature of the construction. The wall was composed mainly of earth mortar containing a few odd pieces of rock. It was only 8 inches thick and it was necssary to support it with two wooden posts, 7 inches in diameter, which were sunk eighteen inches below the floor of the room and extended upward through the wall for its full height. Economy of space in partitioning the room no doubt dictated the flimsy character of this wall.

Plate VI. Ceremonial room (Group III, Room 14) showing low wall which had been carefully plastered on the sides and top. At the left can be seen the partition wall which had been built around two posts. Impressions of the posts are all that remain.

The masonry of Tuzigoot was massive, but structurally weak. Walls range in thickness from four feet to eighteen inches, excepting the unusually thin partition wall just described. The average thickness of walls was about 22 inches. The central wall, extending the length of Group III, was unusual, averaging about 3 feet, 9 inches in thickness for its whole length. Unlike the unusually thick wall along the east side of Group III, it does not consist of two walls built at different times against each other, but was constructed as a unit. Its thickness was probably due to the fact that it was originally designed for two-story rooms.

The north wall of Room 15, Group III, was likewise originally found to be about 3 feet, 9 inches thick. During excavation however, a part of it caved off, leaving a 2 foot, 7 inch wall with a smooth face behind it. It became clear that the part which sloughed off was a later facing which had been constructed against the original thinner wall after the room had once burned down. It seems probably that after the room had burned, it was decided to rebuild it with a second story and its north wall had been thickened to provide sufficient support.

The greatest height of wall still standing at Tuzigoot is twelve feet. The majority of walls had weathered down to two or three feet in height, or to the very foundation rocks.


The size of rooms at Tuzigoot is much greater than that of rooms in Southwestern cliff dwellings. The rooms are also somewhat greater in size than rooms of valley and mesa pueblos that have been excavated in the northern and eastern parts of the Pueblo area. The largest room is in Group V, Room 14; it is in greatest dimensions 28 feet, 4 inches by 17 feet, 4 inches. The smallest room is Room 7 in Group III; it is 8 feet, 10 inches by 7 feet, 3 inches in greatest dimensions. There are only 4 rooms of the 86 in the pueblo comparable in size with the latter, and all of these can be identified with the earlier periods of building. The great majority of all rooms in the pueblo are in the neighborhood of 18 by 12 feet, but there are a considerebly number 23 in all, whose longest dimension is 20 feet or over.

The general tendency seems to have been towards an increase in the size of rooms with the increase in population. With one exception, the rooms that can be placed in the earlier building period are the smallest. The Group III rooms on the top of the ridge and earlier Group I rooms are all small, while the definitely late rooms are all large. One of the largest of the rooms, however, is Room 1, in Group II, which is certainly one of the earliest built and earliest abandoned rooms in the whole pueblo.

At least fifteen of the rooms were two stories in height. The evidence for this is of several different kinds. In the case of three rooms, in Rooms 7 and 12, Group I, and Room 14, Group III, the walls are still standing higher than necessary for a single story, in the first instance 12 feet in the second 8 feet. The rooms adjoining Room 14, Group III, to the north and west have walls still standing high enough for a single story, but in addition they were filled to their present depth with fallen wall rock, indicating the callapse of an upper story. Room 4, Group IV, was covered by a wall which had fallen as a unit, all the rocks being still approximately in place. The measured height of this fallen section plus the height of wall still standing from which it had fallen was 14 feet, 4 inches, indicating sufficient height for a second story. In addition, the fill in Room 4 showed clearly two separate layers of charcoal, indicating the collapse of two burning floors.

It is possible that some of the other rooms on the east slope and a few of the rooms in Group V were two stories in height, but positive evidence is lacking. The two story structures were confined to the top of the hill in Group III, the northern rooms in Group IV, and the rooms at the south end of Group I.


The exact height of the roofs above the floors at Tuzigoot is known in only two cases. In the north wall of Room 12, Group I, still standing to a height of 12 feet, two sockets for roof beams were found. The bottom of one of these sockets was 5 feet, 3 inches above the floor, the other 5 feet above the floor. The sockets were 7 inches in diameter and since the roof rested on the tops of the beams which were fitted into these sockets, the height of the roof rafters above the floor must have been between 5 feet, 9 inches and 5 feet, 6 inches. This room was very probably a storage room, for it was of unusually small extent and lacked a fireplace.

The other room, the height of the ceiling of which is known with exactness, was a living room. In the west wall of Room 26, Group V, a beam socket was found the bottom of which was 5 feet, 5 inches above the floor. The diameter of the socket was 7 inches, giving a height for the roof of 6 feet above the floor.

Undoubtedly other rooms had somewhat higher ceilings, because there are other walls, most notably in Group III on the summit of the ridge, standing in a good state of preservation for a height of 7 feet, in which no roof beam sockets were apparent.

The evidences for the nature of the construction of the roofs comes mainly from charred timbers or other roof materials in rooms which had been burned at or subsequent to abandonment. Thirty-one of the eighty-six rooms had burned down and in varying degree their roof materials had preserved, after their collapse in their charred condition, the structural details of the roofs. From only one room were the roof materials preserved without burning in sufficient quantity to make the details of construction clear.

Excepting two rooms in Group II, which nay have had unusual structural details and which will be omitted from consideration for the present, there were two general types of roof construction in use at Tuzigoot. One type of roof was supported by a single master beam, the other by two master beams. Both types were supported from the floor by two support posts, so that the ground plans of the rooms are identical, regardless of the type of roof in use, The details of the nature and the arrangement of the roof materials in each type of construction vary, but not consistently for the two types.

In the single master-beam form of construction, the beam extended parallel with the long axis of the room. No whole section of any timber was preserved, so that diameters for this member of the construction are not known. Also the kind of wood in use for the beams remains unknown.

The master beam was supported from the floor by two support posts set at points, which divided the axis of the room approximately into thirds. The support posts found were all of juniper, and all that were observed had been set in the floors with their butt ends up for the purpose of giving greater surface to the beams. The diameters of support posts used in the master beam construction varied from 6 to 9 inches at the floor levels.

Resting on the master beams with one end embedded in the walls were rafters of piñon, juniper, cottonwood, sycamore, and rarely pine. Diameters of the rafters varied from 3 to 5 inches. In four rooms they were found set at intervals from less than an inch to four inches. In three rooms they were spaced at greater intervals, from 4 to 7 inches. There was no consistent difference in the diameters of the closely set and widely set rafters.

The type of material which rested on the rafters varied considerably in different rooms. In Group IV, two ridge-pole type roofs consisted of great numbers of small poles from 1/2 to 1-1/2 inch in diameter laid at right angles to the rafters and side by side. The material of the small poles was usually of sycamore, but cottonwood, juniper, and piñon also occurred. In both these roofs in Group IV thick masses of grass had been laid over the small poles and an undetermined thickness of mud over the grass. In another ridge-pole roof, the layer of grass was omitted and the mud had been applied directly to the small poles. In still another, cat-tail reeds had been substituted for the poles and the mud applied directly over these.

In the two master beam type of roof, which was the most common type at Tuzigoot, occurring in sixteen of the rooms in which roof construction was determinable, the floor plan was the same as that for the single master beam type. On each support post rested a single master beam, extending parallel with the short axis of the room. Support posts were set in the floor with butt ends upward and varied from 7 inches to 12 inches in diameter. A few fragments of master beams used in this type of construction were preserved in charred form and varied in diameter from 6 to 10 inches. In the main, the type of smaller material for the roofs was the same as in the single master beam type of construction, but several variations occurred. In the large room, Room 2, Group I, rafters from 3 to 4 inches in diameter were set as closely together as possible. Over these had been laid a mass of reeds, forming a layer as great as an inch and a half in thickness and over these was a layer of mud. In three other instances juniper bark had been substituted for the reeds and mud placed directly on the bark. In one such roof, the mud had been baked in the fire which destroyed the roof and its original thickness was preserved, being from 4 to 6 inches thick.

A third type of roof construction involved no support posts. Rafters had been laid across the tops of the walls of rooms, which in these instances were all small, 9 feet or less in width. Few details of roof construction were preserved in any of these rooms.

In two rooms, Rooms 12 and 15 in Group III, pine planks were found amongst the roof material, but it was not possible to determine just what part, if any, they had played in the roof construction. The plank in Room 12 was preserved for a length of 9 inches and was 4 inches wide and 1-1/2 inches thick. The plank in Room 15 was preserved for a length of 18 inches, was 5 inches wide and 2-1/2 inches thick. Both were found near the centers of the rooms and parallel with the rafters of the roofs.



The arrangement of post-holes has already been indicated in describing the roof construction of the pueblo. In addition to the usual two support posts, in a few rooms the evidence of auxiliary posts was found, the holes for such posts occurring in various places over the floors of rooms.

Rooms 4 and 5 in Group II show evidence of some sort of structure supported on small posts above the floor. It is possible that these small posts entered into the roof construction, but their position does not indicate that they would have supplemented the two principal support posts in any necessary manner. The arrangement of the holes in which these small posts were set is indicated in the diagram of Room 5, Group II (Fig. 4).

Fig. 4. Floor plan of Room 5, Group II, on west slope. The lettered circles represent post-holes. E and F mark the position of the two principal posts supporting the ridge pole of the roof. A, B, C and D mark the position of posts of unknown function. Room 4, Group II had an identical floor plan.


With four exceptions every room had some type of fireplace (Plate VII). The fireplace was situated about midway between the two major support posts, or, in the case of rooms in which there were no support posts, in the approximate center of the room. In all of the rooms that have been established as of a relatively early period, the type of fireplace was circular (Plate VII A) and lined with clay. The average size of such fireplaces is about 13 inches in diameter and 5 inches in depth. Although this was the exclusive form of fireplace in the earlier rooms, it was also in use in the later period and was found in such late rooms as Room 7, Group IV and Room 31a, Group V.

Plate VII. A (top left). Round fireplace which seems to be the earliest type. B (top right). Fireplace with stones planted in the floor for sides. C (bottom left). Fireplace built up of clay and stones. D (bottom right). Depression in floor lined with flat stones.

However, the general type of fireplace in use in the later period at Tuzigoot was a rectangular depression lined with stone. Frequently manos and broken pieces of metates were employed as the stone lining. Occasionally the bottom as well as the sides was lined with a stone slab, but generally there was only earth for the bottom. Sizes and shapes of these stone lined fireplaces varied greatly, but the majority were rectangular and in the neighborhood of 10 by 12 inches. The largest uncovered was 14 inches by 8 inches. The usual depth was 5 or 6 inches. A few of this type fireplace were found in which the stone lining did not extend across one end, which was left open, perhaps for the more easy removal of ashes.

There were numerous variations in the usual rectangular fireplace, illustrated in Plate VIII. In twelve of the rooms, no special facilities had been provided for the fire, but it was clear that fires had been built continuously on the floor in the centers of such rooms, where the floor materiel was hard baked and there were in some cases deep accumulations of wood ashes.

Sub-Floor Ollas

Nine rooms had as a feature of the floor the presence of large ollas sunk beneath the floor level. In most cases the mouths of ollas were flush with floor level. In some instances the mouths projected for a few inches above the floor. Ollas buried in this manner varied from 18 inches to 20 inches in diameter. They were not the largest of the ollas found in the excavation. There was much variation in their position but as a rule they were either close to the walls or in the corners of the rooms. In three instances oval sandstone slabs were found covering the ollas. Nothing was found inside any sub-floor olla. The number of ollas varied from one to three in a room.

Floor Caches

In three rooms small holes in the floor served as repositories for various objects. No coverings were found over such caches. In Room 2, Group III, a hole about a foot deep and 7 inches in diameter was found in the floor near the north wall; it contained a large quantity of obsidian, flint, and chalcedony flakes. In Room 26, Group V, a small hole occurred near the south post-hole and was filled with a handful of unworked azurite and malachite fragments. In Room 6, Group III, a hole 3 inches in diameter and 2 inches deep contained a small quantity of powdered specular hematite.

Storage Cist

In Room 2, Group I, a large pit which may have been a storage cist was found near the northeast corner of the room. It was roughly circular in form and was neatly lined with limestone slabs. Its diameter at the top was 3 feet, at the bottom 4 inches; its depth was 2 feet, 8 inches. Three similar pits were found outside the confines of rooms on the west side of the patio, one directly in front of the doorway of Room 7, Group IV. In one of these outside cists some fragments of charcoal and burned rocks were found, but in none of the others was anything indicating great heat in the pits found. No evidence of the erection of any superstructure over any of the cists could be found.

Roasting Pit

In Room 1, Group V, was found a roasting pit near the south end of the room. It was lined with boulders of lava rock. Circular in form, it was 2 feet in diameter and 9 inches deep. It had clearly been subjected to considerable heat at some time.

Embedded Slab

In Room 4, Group IV, a small sandstone slab, 8-1/2 by 5-1/2 inches and 2 inches thick, was found embedded in a mass of clay with its surface about three inches above the floor. The surface showed no evidence of grinding and while very smooth was not entirely level. It was situated nearly between the west post-hole and the fireplace. It was carefully embedded in the clay and the clay was smoothed up in a gradual curve from floor-level to the level of the upper surface of the slab.

Central Floor Depressions

Five of the later rooms were characterized by a marked depression extending the width of the floor through the center and covering about one-third of the floor area. In three of these rooms the floors had been built over deep accumulations of soft debris and the floor, for the sake of solidity, had been made of a white clayey earth. The clay had been worked up into ridges at two points across the short axis of the room and between these ridges in the floors the depression occurred. In every case the depression began near the support post-holes, but in one instance included the post-holes, in another did not, and in a third the ridges bordering the depression extended through the centers of the post-holes. The depressions varied from 2 to 5 inches in depth below the two higher end portions of the floor. The diagram, (Fig. 5) illustrates the nature of the depressions AND their relations to the other floor features.

Fig. 5. Floor plan and section of Room 8, Group I, on east slope, showing central depression. Three other late rooms on the east slope have similar depressions.

No similar depressions occurred in any of the earlier rooms. It has been suggested that the depressions were made for the purpose of collecting any rain water that might beat through the hatchways and thus keep the portions of the room used for sleeping perfectly dry.

Another type of depression occurred in Room 25, Group V, in which the depression embraced only a space, roughly rectangular in shape, surrounding the fireplace. The area of the depression was about four by five feet and from three to five inches lower than the surrounding portions of the floors.


Entrances to rooms were almost exclusively by means of hatchways through the roofs. Only five side entrances were brought to light and two of these had been completely sealed up sometime during the period of occupation of the pueblo. Three niches in the walls of three rooms on the top of the ridge in Group III may have also been doorways at one time previous to the building of some later walls which sealed them partially. The five side entrances of which we are certain were in Room 31a, Group V, leading into Room 16, Group III; between Room 15, Group III and Room 11, Group III; between Rooms 7 and 5, Group I; from Room 7, Group IV, leading into the patio; and in the south wall of the upper story over Room 4, Group IV.

Three of the entrances were identical in construction and it may be assumed that the other two, in Group IV, for which the evidence is fragmentary were of the same type. The entrance leading from Room 31a, Group V, into Room 16, Group III, was 3 feet, 4 inches wide and 3 feet, 6 inches high. It had a sill rising 6 inches above the floor of Room 31a. It was covered with a lintel consisting of six poles extending the width of the entrance and embedded in the wall on either side for a depth of from 4 to 8 inches. The poles were about 3 inches in diameter and had been plastered with mud.

A similar side entrance, with similar lintels, but somewhat smaller, was apparent in the east wall of Room 7, Group III, about midway of the room. It had been sealed up with solid masonry, probably at the time that Room 5, Group I, had been added to the pueblo. It had no sill.

The side entrance between Rooms 11 and 15, Group III, brings us back again to the peculiar history of Room 15. Early in the history of this room its roof had burned and at the same time the roof of the adjoining Room 11 had burned. At this time the two rooms were connected by the entrance under consideration. The entrance was 3 feet high and 2 feet wide, with pole lintels as described above. After the burning of the two rooms, the entry was sealed up with masonry on the Room 11 side. On the Room 15 side chunks of burned roof clay resulting from the burning of the rooms were piled into it and the new one foot facing, described above, was built across the front of the entrance, thus sealing it also on the Room 15 side.

The discovery of the entry at the second story level over Room 4, Group IV, resulted from the fact that the wall in which it had been made had fallen as a unit across Room 4. The stones after their fall remained pretty much in their original position with respect to each other and an open space in which no wall rock occurred was clearly apparent. This opening was approximately 3 feet, 10 inches high and 3 feet, 6 inches wide. No trace of lintels was preserved.


In the east walls of Rooms 2 and 6, Group III, occurred very prominent niches. The former was 3 feet, 10 inches wide and its depth into the wall was 15 inches. It extended to the full present height of the wall which is 2 feet, 7 inches. The whole east wall of Room 2 in which the niche occurred is exceptionally thick and was found to be a combination of two walls, built at different times. Possibly the niche is the remnant of an outside entrance to Room 2, which was sealed to half its depth when the later wall to the east was built. If so, the niche was retained for some special purpose with which we are not acquainted, for the interior face was carefully laid and plastered.

A similar niche, but narrower and deeper, occurred in the east wall of Room 6, Group III. The niche is about 22 inches deep and 22 inches wide and extends to the present height of the wall which is 2 feet, 2 inches. The east wall of Room 6 is also exceptionally thick, resulting from the combination of two walls built at different times.

A less obvious niche was present in the west wall of Room 5, Group III. There was no addition of a wall on the west side of this room and hence if this was an entrance which had been sealed, the sealing was done deliberately and not as a result of any constructional necessity.


The interiors of rooms at Tuzigoot were plastered. Abundant evidence of interior plaster came to light in a majority of the rooms. A red clay, containing much sand was the general type of plaster in use. It was applied with the fingers in thick coats and worked into the deep interstices between the projecting rocks of the walls. The coating of plaster is in some places 3 or 4 inches thick. Over the surfaces of the rocks of the walls it is rarely as much as an inch in thickness. No white plaster replaced the coarse red material in any room. As a rule the plaster coats were blackened with smoke, so that the interiors of rooms must have presented a very dark aspect indeed.


No room containing all the specialized features of the kiva or of other forms of ceremonial room with which we are familiar in the Southwest was found at Tuzigoot. One room, however, Room 14 in Group III, at the south end of the summit of the ridge, proved to have several unusual features, one of which, a raised platform at one end, seems analogous to a feature of modern Hopi rectangular kivas.

The walls of this room were still standing to a height of 7 feet, 8 inches. At the south end of the room there was a raised platform made of clay. The platform rose 8 inches above the level of the rest of the floor. Its edge was composed of irregular small pieces of rock laid up in clay. The clay composing the platform was from 5 to 8 inches deep, resting on the conglomerate stratum of the ridge top. The platform extended across the whole width of the south end of the room and was 6 feet long.

At a distance of about 7 feet from the edge of the platform to the north, there were the remains of two sections of masonry wall. One of these on the west side of the room extended for a distance of 7 feet into the center of the room. It was 16 inches thick and had been a little less than 2 feet high. The top and side surfaces had been carefully plastered. On the east side of the room, almost opposite but a little to the south of the western wall fragment, was another much broken down fragment of wall, of the same thickness. It extended about 4 feet toward the center of the room from the east wall of the room, leaving a gap of nearly three feet between its western end and the end of the other low wall. The height of this fragment was not determined.

No post-holes and no definite fireplace were found anywhere in the floor of the room.

At some time, a thin partition wall had been built partially across the south end of the room directly in front of the raised platform. The partition, of masonry about 8 inches thick, had been given added strength by building it around two 7 inch posts. The impressions, but no trace of the wood, of the posts were still clearly apparent (Plate VI). The partition was still standing to a height of 5 feet, 7 inches and may have been somewhat higher. Its base was not entirely parallel with the edge of the platform, but met it at an angle about midway of the room. There was a space of 2 feet, 8 inches between the east end of the partition and the east wall of the room, thus leaving a passageway between the two sections of the room.

It seems probable that this room, with the features of raised platform at one end and the low walls near the other, had some ceremonial or other specialized use and later was remodelled into a living room with the platform end partitioned off for storage purposes. That the final use of the room was as a living room is indicated by the finding of a metate and eight manos on the floor between the partition and the low walls. In addition, it was apparent that the center of the room had seen considerable service as a fireplace, although no actual fireplace structure had been present. Furthermore a considerably number of child burials were found beneath the floor of thc room. Seven children and infants had been buried beneath the floor, some with slab coverings, near the passageway at the east end of the partition. Three burials were found beneath the southeast corner of the platform. Thus it appears that the room had taken its place as ordinary living quarters during the last phases of its occupation, despite the existence of unusual and special features which point toward ceremonial purposes during the early part of its use.

The early abandonment of this as a ceremonial room and the absence of any other similar structure in the pueblo suggests that a second story room somewhere may have taken the place of this for ceremonials.


All evidence indicates that every room in the pueblo served at some time as a living room. Although four of the rooms lacked fireplaces and also any indication of wood ash or baked areas on the floor where fires might have been built, yet the plaster of their walls was smoke-blackened as though from the presence for long periods of fires in the rooms. The final use of these rooms, however, was very probably for storage purposes, for they were not serving as living rooms at the time of the abandonment of the pueblo and yet they were undoubtedly still in use. These rooms are Rooms 12 and 13, Group I; Room 3, Group VI; and Room 10, Group III. They are, with the exception of the Group VI room, rather small, being in the neighborhood of 9 by 11 feet.

In addition to these rooms which seem to have been storage rooms on the evidence of lack of living room floor features, there were two other rooms which from the abundance of large storage ollas in them seem to have been in use only for storage at the time of abandonment. These are Room 6, Group I, and Room 31a, Group V.


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