HP 36 (AZ J:14:36)

My previous excavations at HP 36 (officially called AZ J:14:36) uncovered a variety of structures from the 12th and early 13th century A.D. occupation: two pithouses, a community room, an unfinished ceremonial room, and a jacal roomblock. We returned to the site in 2008 in search of additional remains from this Pueblo III occupation to  help understand the spatial organization of this community.   We were especially interested in finding Pueblo III pithouses, which are small and square.

Pithouses are difficult to locate by looking at the surface of a site.  To “see” what was underground, we conducted a geophysical survey in February of 2007.  We used a technique called electrical resistivity, which montors the flow of electricity through the soil. In the map below, the reddish brown spots are areas that are more resistant to the flow of  electricity. Based on previous excavations, I knew that some of these areas are sand filled pithouses from the earlier (Basketmaker III: A.D. 600-800) occupation of the site.  For the 2008 field season, I picked areas where we could  test the accuracy of this geophyscial technique for identifying the location of buried pithouses.  As you will see from the journal entries, we did find pithouses.  However, based on their circular outline and the pottery that was found in them, all the houses we found were from the earlier Basketmaker time period. 

map of known structures, electrical resistivity survey, and 2008 excavation areas

map of known structures, electrical resistivity survey, and 2008 excavation areas

Extramural Testing
Our excavations in this area explored how the space between the community room and the jacal roomblock was used. We also examined the area to the east of the roomblock that the geophysical survey identified as a possible pithouse. It was interesting because it looked square.

Finding Pit Structures
Based on the geophysical survey, this area looked like it contained the remains of two pithouses. We thought the smaller one might be a late pithouse.

Jacal Roomblock
We explored the layout and occupational history of the roomblock to identify what these rooms were used for and when they were built.

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