Cedar Mesa Architecture: Analysis of Earthen Mortars, Decorated Plasters, and an Intact Wood Roof at Bare Ladder Ruin, Natural Bridges National Monument, Utah
This is an abstract from the "SAA 2019: General Sessions" session, at the 84th annual meeting of the Society for American Archaeology.
People of the southwestern United States traditionally used earthen materials for building and architectural embellishment. Examples include pointing stone and earthen unit masonry; layering floors and roofs; fabricating architectural features such as mealing bins, fire hearths, and nichos, and; plastering surfaces to protect them from weather and as a ground for painted and incised designs. Though these mortars and plasters differ in terms of material components and the contexts in which they were used, they share characteristics that provide evidence about how materials were selected, processed, and applied. This presentation focuses on the characterization of ancient earthen plasters and mortars in Structure 14 at Bare Ladder Ruin, which was constructed and used between c.1142 -1216. Our analysis, conducted through the University of New Mexico’s Department of Anthropology, the Institute for Meteoritics, and the Colorado Plateau Cooperative Ecosystems Study Unit, clearly supports the idea that materials for earthen construction were specifically selected and then modified to suit the unique site conditions and physical properties required for specific architectural uses. In addition, we will discuss the construction and structural analysis of the intact wood-framed roof on the Mesa Verde-style kiva, and how the analysis informed our recommendations for its long-term preservation.
Cite this Record
Cedar Mesa Architecture: Analysis of Earthen Mortars, Decorated Plasters, and an Intact Wood Roof at Bare Ladder Ruin, Natural Bridges National Monument, Utah. Douglas Porter, Angelyn Bass, Michael Spilde, Katherine Williams, Noreen Fritz. Presented at The 84th Annual Meeting of the Society for American Archaeology, Albuquerque, NM. 2019 ( tDAR id: 449402)
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min long: -124.365; min lat: 25.958 ; max long: -93.428; max lat: 41.902 ;
Abstract Id(s): 25637