ASM Occasional Electronic Papers No. 1: Homol'ovi IV
E. Charles Adams
As described in Chapter 1, Homol'ovi IV is a 200-room pueblo consisting of cluster of 25 mostly two-story rooms on top and nine arcs of 10 to 20 rooms each surrounding the south and east sides of a 15 meter-high butte on the west edge of the Little Colorado River floodplain. As noted in the previous chapter, Homol'ovi IV has been the target of extensive vandalism throughout most of the 20th century until acquired and fenced by Homolovi Ruins State Park in 1988.
As noted in Chapter 1, Homol'ovi IV is situated like many of its contemporary settlements in the Hopi Mesa (Tusayan) and Kayenta Anasazi areas of northeastern Arizona, on and along the sides of a butte. The east and south sides were probably chosen to take advantage of the heat of the morning and winter sun. Also, by choosing these sides, the occupants preserved the ancient orientation of Anasazi sites, which face to the south and east. This orientation first appeared in Pueblo I age settlements to the east of Homol'ovi from Zuni to Mesa Verde and southeast Utah about A.D.750 (Brew 1946) and appeared among western Anasazi groups by A.D. 850 (Powell 2002).
Given the intensity of vandalism and the instability of the steep slope of the room blocks, it was decided to concentrate excavations to the lower portions of the room arcs. Each arc was numbered separately from lowest to highest. The lowest scatter of rooms were assigned to the 000 room block, the first clear arc of rooms to the 100 room block, the next arc the 200 room block and so forth to the top. The goal was to sample the architectural diversity of rooms in the lowest five room arcs, the non-architectural space at the bottom of the hill, and the one known kiva, structure 1, on the southwest edge of the village. The results were the testing of four structures and complete excavation of seven others, two of which were kiva/ritual structures, and extensive sampling of the open, or plaza, space at the base of the south slope of the butte (Figure 7.1).
The excavations revealed that all the lower room arcs, at least from arc 400 and lower, were built over extensive deposits of trash that had accumulated while the rooms on top of the butte and upper arcs were occupied and their occupants discarded their trash on the slopes below. This suggested that the lower rooms were the latest built at Homol'ovi IV and gave us a sense that the village grew incrementally from the top down over a fairly brief, but measurable span of time (see Chapter 6). The depth of the fill increased the farther down the side of the butte until it accumulated to over 1 m when the rooms from the 000 room arc were constructed. Additionally, the stratified nature of the deposits gave us hope that quantifiable ceramic change could occur that would help in chronology building. As detailed in the ceramic chapter (also, see Bubemyre et al. 1996), the hope for measurable ceramic change in type frequency or decorative attributes in the stratigraphy in the lower slopes was not realized in the analysis. Nevertheless, the combination of abutment and bonding data and the presence and depth of fill beneath individual rooms enabled HRP to assign relative chronological placement of most of the structures at Homol'ovi IV and the 11 tested or excavated structures.
The abutment and bonding data clearly show that rooms were added to Homol'ovi IV in arcs that spanned the south and east sides of the butte with the upper arcs built first and the lower arcs built last. It is assumed that the rooms on top of the pueblo were built first because stairs and ramps from the top arc of rooms, the 800 arc, lead to the pueblo on top. Thus, the abutment and bonding indicate that the latest rooms at the village were the 000 rooms, which were built at the base of the slopes of the butte and either surround or cover over the plaza. Additionally, structure 2, a ritual structure, was built into the upper plaza deposits. The 11 excavated structures are: 1, 2, 4, 5, 10, 101, 110, 201, 202, 301, and 404, with the room number reflecting the room arc with which the room is associated (see Figure 7.1). In terms of construction sequence, structure 404 is earliest, 301 next, followed by 201 and 202, followed by 2, 4, 5, and 10. The kiva, structure 1, is so remote from the rest of the village and was so badly vandalized that it is impossible to determine its temporal relationship to the rest of the village and the excavated rooms.
Figure 7.2 illustrates the idealized slope and stratigraphy based on the excavated rooms and underlying deposits. It is a composite of deposits under structures 404, 301, 201, 101, and the plaza south of 101.
Phase, Location and Use: Tuwiuca Phase, West Side of Plaza, Kiva.
Area and Wall Information: The area of structure 1 is approximately 8.00 sq. m (Figure 7.3). All four walls are bonded at the corners to one another, built on top of bedrock, which is incorporated into the wall, made of green Moenkopi and in fairly good condition. The northeast wall is 3.08 m long, 78 cm high and 25 cm wide (Figure 7.4). It is a masonry wall constructed of horizontal sandstone slabs ranging from 10 cm to 37 cm long with the average slab measuring 25 cm by 7 cm. Adobe is used to bond the slabs together. The southwest wall is 2.90 m long, 52 cm high and 13 cm wide. It is a masonry wall constructed out of sandstone slabs from 12 cm to 20 cm long, containing adobe mortar. On average the slabs are 24 cm by 5 cm. For the most part they lay horizontally. However, one piece of sandstone is set vertically. The southeast wall is 2.50 m long, 51 cm high and 30 cm wide. It is a masonry wall constructed out of sandstone slabs from 11 cm to 32 cm long with the average slab measuring 17 cm by 6 cm. The slabs lay horizontally except in the south corner where one slab is placed vertically. Adobe is used as mortar. The southeast wall has two features in it. Feature 3 is a bench niche located in the east corner. This feature measured 39 cm by 40 cm. It is surrounded by six sandstone slabs, 2 upright and 4 horizontal. The soil within the feature is very hard, reddish sand. The feature contained very few artifacts. The second feature, feature 5 is a ventilator shaft. Located in the center of the southeast wall the opening to the horizontal portion of the ventilator is 22 cm high and 26 cm wide. It goes 85 cm back where it connects with a vertical shaft outside the wall with an opening of 38 cm by 21 cm. Finally, the northwest wall is 2.75 m long, 87 cm high and 12 cm wide. It is a masonry wall constructed of sandstone slabs from 7 cm to 36 cm long, with the average slab measuring 29 cm by 10 cm. Adobe is used as the mortar between the horizontal slabs.
Roof: No evidence on the nature of the roofing material was preserved.
Floors: The floors are constructed of red adobe. Feature 2, a charcoal dump, was found on the floor (see Figure 7.4). This feature is situated in a low spot of the bedrock with 2 large sandstone rocks on its north and east sides. Two smaller sandstone rocks are placed on the sides of the bedrock. Undoubtedly, this is the remains of the hearth that was disturbed when the kiva was vandalized. The feature is 14 cm long by 13 cm wide and filled with charcoal. In addition, feature 4, a possible sipapu, is cut out of the bedrock east of the hearth.
Fill: About 1.2 m3 of rock was excavated from the room. All the fill was disturbed in structure 1. It was homogenous throughout the structure, fairly hard, sandy/silty soil with chunks of adobe and charcoal (see Figure 7.5). In addition the fill had a dense amount of artifacts.
Discussion: Due to the nature of the fill the structure was excavated in arbitrary levels-stratum 1, levels 1 through 6. Bits of red adobe were found near the bottom of the structure. These are thought to be pieces of prepared floor except that the floor was never found intact. The structure was excavated down to the bedrock, which is approximately 75 cm below present day ground level. The bedrock is incorporated into the masonry walls of the structure. Feature 1 was found in the disturbed strata and is actually probably trash, not a feature. It contained several articulated bones, several vertebrae and rib bones of a juvenile small mammal about the size of a dog. A few sherds and a hammerstone are associated with these bones. Dog remains have been found in several other kivas in Homol'ovi villages and bear a ritual signature (Walker 1995; LaMotta 1996).
The remainder of the features -- a corner niche, ventilator, hearth, and sipapu all support the interpretation that this isolated structure was used as a kiva during the occupation of the village. The disturbed nature of its fill precludes knowing whether the kiva was in use to the end of the occupation or abandoned and filled prior to the abandonment of the village.
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