The House of the Great Kiva at the Aztec Ruin

Author(s): Earl H. Morris

Year: 1921


This monograph chronicles Earl Morris' excavation and interpretation of Aztec West Ruins' great kiva. To quote Morris' introduction to the report “In the summer of 1916 when the Museum began the exploration of the Aztec Ruin, the first work undertaken was the removal of the thicket of chico brush which covered the entire area and obscured the view of the hill-like mounds which marked the several wings of the building. After the destruction of the vegetation, a conspicuous feature was a large crater-like depression, with raised rim and sunken center, lying south of the longitudinal axis of the enclosed court…Recently, the accidental discovery of supplementary chambers concealed beneath the d6bris which formed the rim of the crater, completely altered the point of view, because it indicated the presence of a building markedly different from the ordinary kiva. As a consequence, the removal of the d6bris was begun in February, and completed in March, 1921. The structure proved to be a highly specialized architectural unit of most unusual form. While by no means the only one of its kind to be found among prehistoric Pueblo remains in the San Juan watershed, it is the first to be explored and is deemed of such importance that in the order of publication it is given preference over the results of much previous excavation in the Aztec Ruin” (Morris 1921:113).

Cite this Record

The House of the Great Kiva at the Aztec Ruin. Earl H. Morris. Anthropological Papers of the American Museum of Natural History ,Volume XXVI, Part II. New York City, NY: American Museum of Natural History. 1921 ( tDAR id: 373409) ; doi:10.6067/XCV8513X54

Temporal Coverage

Calendar Date: 1110 to 1140 (Late Chacoan)

Calendar Date: 1140 to 1280 (Post-Chacoan)

Spatial Coverage

min long: -108.041; min lat: 36.81 ; max long: -107.96; max lat: 36.861 ;

Individual & Institutional Roles

Contact(s): Gary Brown

Contributor(s): Lori Reed; Aztec Ruins National Monument, Aztec, NM

Repository(s): American Museum of Natural History, New York City, NY

File Information

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