In the Footsteps of Frank H. H. Roberts: Continued Explorations at Roberts Great House, Chaco Canyon, New Mexico


During the 2014 field season, investigations continued at Roberts Great House, a Late Bonito Subphase (1100-1140 CE) site in Chaco Canyon, New Mexico. Severely threatened by erosion, the site was originally explored by Frank H. H. Roberts in 1926. The aims of the 2014 season of fieldwork were to assess the pace of erosional processes and resolve questions concerning the duration of the site’s occupation and the nature of its abandonment. After thoroughly mapping and imaging arroyo down-cutting, exploration targeted two areas of the site for excavation. These excavated areas contained deeply-buried architecture, the remains of trenches excavated by Frank Roberts, and a striking absence of occupational surfaces and intramural or plaza features. The data continues to strongly support Roberts’s interpretation that this structure was not completed and that the site witnessed, at most, a short period of use. Soil stratigraphy visible in the test units indicates a highly dynamic fluvial environment and enables researchers to formulate a testable model of landscape development in the surrounding Rincon and thus a possible explanation for the lack of occupation at the site.

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In the Footsteps of Frank H. H. Roberts: Continued Explorations at Roberts Great House, Chaco Canyon, New Mexico. Adam Watson, Samantha Fladd, Katelyn Bishop, Megan Conger, Sara Morrow. Presented at The 80th Annual Meeting of the Society for American Archaeology, San Francisco, California. 2015 ( tDAR id: 397463)

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Spatial Coverage

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