University of Calgary
UofC Navigation

Structure 2

Submitted by mccaffer on Fri, 03/07/2008 - 2:56pm

By Geoffrey McCafferty (2008)

A second architectural complex, designated Structure 2, was found in the eastern portion of the project area, (Figure 40). Due to a lack of time, this area was not investigated as thoroughly as Structure 1, with only one of the intervening balks removed. Nevertheless, the structure shows evidence of at least four rooms (Rooms #1-#4) and two possible exterior porch areas (Areas A and B). The construction techniques used were similar to those of Structure 1, and included adobe walls and stucco floors over a mud base.

Based on measurements taken from the site plan, and using small fragments of the exposed wall alignments, I estimate that Structure 2 had an orientation of 8 degrees east of grid north, or about 23 degrees east of magnetic



Figure 40. Map of Structure 2

north. This is roughly similar to that of Structure 1, as well as for the Great Pyramid (Marquina 1970:36) and the grid orientation of modern Cholula. A possible exterior wall was found in Units S1/E8 to S3/E8, where it forms the east wall of Room #4 and of a possible exterior porch area (Area B). It is composed of two courses of adobe brick covered with a stucco facing, and with some rocks inlaid in the base.

The stucco floors were usually found at a depth of about 65 cm below the surface, while the tops of the adobe walls were reached between 35 and 50 cm below the surface. Several of the rooms showed evidence of fire, including athick deposit of charcoal and ash over the floor, and associated floor contact artifacts had indications that they had been burnt in situ. Several artifacts were found in association with the floor, and they probably represent de facto refuse abandoned at the time that the building burned (Schiffer 1972; 1987:89-98).

The central rooms of Structure 2 were the best defined, although none were completely exposed (Table 5).

Room #1 included east and south walls, and remains of a floor at 63 cm below the surface in the northwest corner of S2/E5. The east wall separates the room from Room #3, and the wall has an intentional opening on the north end indicating a doorway.




Room # N/S Axis E/W Axis Total Area

Room 1 2.40 m *1.00 m *2.40 sq. m

Room 2 .75 m *.40 m *.30 sq. m

Room 3 2.50 m 1.75 m 4.38 sq. m

(niche .15 m *1.00 m *.15 sq. m)

Room 4 1.00 m *2.75 m *2.75 sq. m

(Room 4a 1.00 m 1.75 m 1.75 sq. m)

(Room 4b *1.00 m *.75 m *.75 sq. m)


(subtotal *9.98 sq. m)

Area A 2.00 m 3.25 m 6.50 sq. m

Area B *5.50 m *1.00 m *5.50 sq. m


(subtotal *12.00 sq. m)

TOTAL *21.98 sq. m

Note: asterisk (*) indicates minimum length where no end wall was identified




Room #2 is defined by portions of north, east, and south walls, but it was only found in the southwest section of Unit S2/E5 (Figure 41). A stucco floor was found between

61 and 65 cm below the surface, with two coats of stucco, suggesting successive replastering.

Room #3 was the largest and most complete of the rooms identified in Structure 2. It was defined by west, south and east walls, and a portion of the north wall, and had dimensions of 2.50 m on its north/south axis and 1.75 m on its east/west axis. An opening in the north end of the west




Figure 41. Architectural features in Unit S2/E5

wall indicated a doorway connecting Room #3 with Room #1. The stucco floor was found at depths that ranged from 53 cm below the surface against the west wall in S1/E6 to 71 cm in S2/E6. This room contained evidence of burning, with charcoal and ash deposits associated with the floor contact level. The north portion of Room #3 was disturbed by an intrusive pit filled with charcoal, pottery, and animal bones. This feature was apparently dug through the north wall of the room.

To the south of Room #3, a narrow space was discovered that may have been an associated storage niche, although the small size makes any interpretation problematic. No opening was identified for access to the space. The space had dimensions of 1.00 m on its east/west axis and only 0.15 m on its north/south axis. Beneath a layer of collapsed wall material was a surface of "firm clay" from 70-77 cm below ground surface.

Room #4 consisted of north and west walls, and a section of the south wall was found in Unit S2/E6. The north/ south structural wall found in Unit S2/E8 may have formed the eastern boundary. Another north/south wall found in Unit S2/E7 may have been a division between eastern and western sections to create Rooms #4a and #4b. There was evidence of stucco beneath the dividing wall, suggesting that this was a later addition. An excavation through the floor in Unit S2/E6 determined that this room was built immediately above sterile clay. A complete bowl (UA-1 #10080) was discovered beneath the room floor, perhaps representing a dedicatory offering.

Two other areas were found associated with Structure 2, possibly as porch or courtyard spaces:

Area A was located north of Room #4, between Room #3 and the possible exterior wall. It was only exposed in Units S1/E6 and S2/E7. A portion of floor was identified at 64 cm below the surface, and it was covered with a layer of carbon.

Area B was found in Units S1-S3/E8, on the east side of a well-built adobe wall that may have formed the east wall of Structure 2. The wall consisted of adobes set onto a stone foundation that extended to a depth of 87 cm below the surface. A packed "walking surface" was found at a depth of 61-64 cm, with sherd concentrations against the wall and a layer of ash and charcoal beneath the collapsed adobe wall.

Several intrusive features were found within Structure 2 that disturbed its contextual integrity. These features will be discussed in greater detail in Section 4.2.4.

In summary, Structure 2 was an architectural complex of at least four rooms, that was generally comparable to Structure 1 in terms of construction techniques, orientation, and approximate size. Wolfman (1968:13) interpreted Structure 2 as being roughly contemporary with Structure 1, but speculated that it may have been a separate compound. Since none of the interior rooms was completely exposed he did not attempt functional interpretations.

Site Admin