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Perishable: Willow Mat AMNH 29.0/8062

Creator(s): Laurie Webster

Year: 2006

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Willow Mat, Accession AMNH29.0, Catalog #8062. Morris FS 1512. Analyzed by Laurie Webster, 2006. Sewn willow mat, yucca fiber, mounted to board and wrapped in plastic. Images: AMNH 29.0/8062A: sewn willow mat mounted to board and wrapped in plastic. AMNH 29.0/8062B: close-up showing lengthwise break in mat. Recovered from Earl Morris' excavation of Room 99, Ceiling E, Aztec West Ruin. Earl Morris’ (1928:354) description of Room 99 at the time of excavation is as follows: “The north wall, in which there was a ventilator in each end, had settled and split, throwing almost the entire veneer course down to the foundation into and across the chamber. This took place before any of the ceiling gave way, as shown by fragments of willow mats and poles standing vertically against the exposed core of the wall. Two pine logs, crossing the shorter dimension of the room, had been the ceiling support. The small poles were of pine. Introduced between them and the splints was an ornamental finish, such as has been observed in but one other first story ceiling (Room 93). This was composed of slender willows, peeled and graded to size, and made into mats by being pierced at regular intervals and strung on yucca cords. To equalize the taper, half of the twigs were reversed, that is, each one lay with butt paralleling the tip of the next. The range of size of the mats recovered is from 2 feet 7 inches by 3 feet 9 inches to 3 feet 34 inch by 4 feet 11 inches. These mats were laid with ends and edges overlapping. The western part of the ceiling fell long before the rest, and, as a result, the mats it contained were torn and broken, and having been in contact with earth, were badly decayed.”

Reference: Earl Morris, 1928, Notes on Excavations in the Aztec Ruin, Volume XXVI, Part V, Anthropological Papers of the American Museum of Natural History, New York.

Cite this Record

Perishable: Willow Mat AMNH 29.0/8062. Laurie Webster. 2006. Aztec Ruins National Monument ( tDAR id: 373635) ; doi:10.6067/XCV8FJ2FBR


Temporal Coverage

Calendar Date: 1110 to 1140 (Late Chacoan)

Calendar Date: 1140 to 1280 (Post-Chacoan)

Spatial Coverage

min long: -108.038; min lat: 36.803 ; max long: -107.955; max lat: 36.861 ;

Individual & Institutional Roles

Contact(s): Gary Brown

Contributor(s): Lori Reed ; Joel Gamache ; Anne Grulich ; Aztec Ruins National Monument, Aztec, NM ; Aztec Ruins National Monument

Principal Investigator(s): Laurie Webster

Repository(s): American Museum of Natural History


Rights & Attribution: Artifact was collected from Aztec West Ruin excavations by Earl Morris between 1916 and 1922. Morris' excavations were sponsored and funded by the American Museum of Natural History, New York.

Rights & Attribution: High resolution images of the item are archived and available to researchers through the National Park Service, Aztec Ruins National Monument.

Rights & Attribution: Publication or use of the image is restricted; permission may be obtained through consultation with American Museum of Natural History and Aztec Ruins National Monument.

Source Collections

Original Item: American Museum of Natural History, New York
Image: NPS, Aztec Ruins National Monument, Aztec, New Mexico

Related Comparative Collections

Aztec Ruins Collections housed at Hibben Center, University of New Mexico, Albuquerque
Aztec Ruins Collections housed at American Museum of Natural History, New York
Aztec Ruins Collections housed at Aztec Ruins National Monument, Aztec, New Mexico

File Information

  Name Size Creation Date Date Uploaded Access
amnh-29-0-8062b.jpg 275.93kb Dec 29, 2011 9:41:02 AM Public
amnh-29-0-8062a.jpg 310.61kb Dec 29, 2011 8:40:10 AM Public
Arizona State University The Andrew W. Mellon Foundation National Science Foundation National Endowment for the Humanities Society for American Archaeology Archaeological Institute of America