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Isolated and Intrusive Features

Submitted by mccaffer on Fri, 03/07/2008 - 3:01pm

By Geoffrey McCafferty (2008)

In addition to the remains of the three structures, numerous other features were encountered that were not related to these major occupation episodes. Most notable were two intrusive wells, located in grid squares N2/W1 and S2/E9, while other features included trash lenses, walking surfaces, and occasional walls. Intrusive burials are discussed below in Section 4.2.5.

Well 1 was found in line with the wall dividing Room #4 and Area A of Structure 1 (Figure 43). The top of the well "wall" was located about 15 cm below the ground surface, or 55 cm above the floor. The "wall" ranged from 8 to 14 cm thick, and was made of unmortared stone. The well measured 85 cm in diameter and featured hand and foot holes in opposite walls for access; it was excavated to a depth of 125 cm. Wolfman (1968:11) suggested that the well was associated with the occupational context of Structure 1. Based on the flimsy construction of the "wall," it seems unlikely that this feature was part of the systemic context of the room. Furthermore, seriation analysis of the pottery found in the well indicates that it probably dates to the Late Postclassic period, and therefore post-dated the occupation of Structure 1 (see discussion in Chapter IX). I am therefore reinterpreting Well 1 as an intrusive feature not directly associated with Structure 1.



Figure 43. Detail of Well 1

Well 2 was found east of Structure 2, on the east side of the exterior wall in Area B. A semi-circle of stones was found at a depth of 30-32 cm below the surface (Figure 44). The sides of the well appeared to be slightly undercut. The interior walls were reinforced with cement and brick fragments near the top, with stone lining further down, and consisted of only hard clay walls below 90 cm. The well was excavated to a total depth of 148 cm, with the soil a consistent loose black fill. Artifacts included large potsherds (many with glaze, indicating a Post-Conquest date), four manos, three figurines (UA-1 #10909, #10929, and #10977), a projectile point (UA-1 #11004), a Colonial style candle holder (UA-1 #10924), and a large quantity of bones including possible European domesticates.

An intrusive trash pit disturbed the north part of Room #3 of Structure 2. Remains of the same midden were found north of a stone wall in Units N1/E6 and N1/E5 East Balk, suggesting that the midden deposit was bisected by, and therefore predated, the wall.

The stone wall extended along the north side of Structure 2, with a corner in Unit N1/E4 and an intersecting wall extending to the south. The east end of the stone wall



Figure 44. Well 2

approaches the adobe structural wall in Trench 2 Section 1, but no definite corner was found. The top of the wall was found at depths ranging from 30 to 47 cm below the surface, and the base was found at a maximum depth of 93 cm. In the field notes this was occasionally described as a "brick wall," suggesting that it may have had a stone base with adobes above, especially at the west end. Alternatively, a later wall may have been built over the stone base. In the preliminary report (Wolfman 1968:13), this was interpreted as the north compound wall associated with the Structure 2 complex. Based on the stratigraphic relationship of the intrusive midden to the floor and wall, I interpret the wall as post-dating both Structure 2 and the midden.

To the north of Structure 2, north of the stone wall, a series of possibly related features were found in Units N1/E4-E6, that included a section of a stucco floor, an adobe wall, and a collapsed adobe structure that was described in the field notes as a possible temazcal. The floor was found at a depth of 58-62 cm, while evidence of the possible collapsed adobe structure occurred from 62-86 cm below ground surface.

Extending south from the north wall was a second stone wall that was found in three units: N1/E4, S2/E4 and S2/E3 East Balk. The base of the wall was found at a depth of 75 cm below the surface, and it stood 28 cm in height. Although the wall was not excavated between S2/E4 and the corner, similar construction techniques, approximate dimensions, and alignment suggest that it was continuous. Since this wall was related to the north wall, it is also reinterpreted as post-dating Structure 2.

A sherd concentration was found in Unit S2/E4 between Structures 1 and 2, at a depth of 51 cm. This lens extended beneath an adobe wall found running in a north/south alignment just east of the stone wall (Wolfman 1968:13). A continuation of the adobe wall appeared in Unit N1/E4, where it occurred in association with a fragment of a floor. Colonial pottery found in the adobes of the wall date this feature to the post-Conquest period. A second sherd concentration, or a possible continuation of the first, was found in Units S1/E2, N1/E2 East Balk, N1/E3, and N1/E4.

Another Colonial period wall was found in Unit S3/E8, running in an east/west alignment, and located just southwest of the Colonial period well in S2/E9. Evidence for this wall was first found at a depth of 36 cm, and the adobe alignment was clearly apparent at 52 cm below the surface.

In addition to these intrusive deposits, several features were encountered above the floor levels of Structure 1. The most extensive was a packed-earth walking surface at a depth of about 50 cm below the surface. Artifacts and sherd concentrations were found in association with the walking surface, although it was such an ephemeral feature that it was not always identified. This surface is interpreted as a possible courtyard area, or even an extramural area between compounds. It is possible that the walking surface was associated with Well 1, although the packed earth surface would still have been lower than the top of the well wall.

A stone wall was found in Units S10/W3 and S11/W3, just east of Structure 3, at a depth of about 50 cm below the surface. The original site plan indicated that the wall made a 90 degree turn to the east, and an end point was shown in S11/W3.

Finally, a number of deeply buried walls and artifact concentrations were found to the north and east of Structure 1 that possibly date to the earlier occupation phase found in the subfloor testings. Collapsed adobe wall material may even relate to the north compound wall of Structure 1. Unfortunately, little of this complex was exposed, so that it is impossible to identify any architectural patterns. In summary, the UA-1 excavations revealed a variety of architectural features as well as other types of deposits. It is unfortunate that the loss of valuable excavation drawings prevents a more complete understanding of these contexts. Through seriation analysis of pottery remains from identifiable depositional contexts at the site some of these features can be interpreted in relation to contemporaneity with the main structural complexes.

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