Architectural Wood Use in Chaco Kivas

Author(s): Erin Baxter; Stephen Lekson; Catherine Cameron

Year: 2015


The architecture of Chacoan kivas was markedly unlike far more numerous non-Chacoan kivas. While Chaco is famous for its stone masonry, we focus here on wood use, and specifically on radial beam pilasters and wainscoting. Both are enigmatic and, consequently, both have often been overlooked during excavation and sometimes even removed in modern stabilization. But when the kivas were in use these features would have been dominant, eye-level aspects of kiva interiors. Using examples from Chaco Canyon, Bluff Great House, Aztec Ruins and Chimney Rock, we explore the construction, function, and symbolism of these distinctively Chacoan features.

SAA 2015 abstracts made available in tDAR courtesy of the Society for American Archaeology and Center for Digital Antiquity Collaborative Program to improve digital data in archaeology. If you are the author of this presentation you may upload your paper, poster, presentation, or associated data (up to 3 files/30MB) for free. Please visit for instructions and more information.

Cite this Record

Architectural Wood Use in Chaco Kivas. Erin Baxter, Stephen Lekson, Catherine Cameron. Presented at The 80th Annual Meeting of the Society for American Archaeology, San Francisco, California. 2015 ( tDAR id: 395278)


Chaco kiva

Geographic Keywords
North America - Southwest

Spatial Coverage

min long: -115.532; min lat: 30.676 ; max long: -102.349; max lat: 42.033 ;