Aztec Ruins - Great Kiva

May 29, 2006
Aztec, New Mexico

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kiva photos
Aztec Ruins : two kivas
Aztec Ruins : entrance to great kiva
Aztec Ruins : across the courtyard

Several exterior views of the reconstructed great kiva in the plaza of the ruins. The entrance is seen in the upper left, exit in the upper right and a view of the roof to the left.

Earl Morris excavated this kiva in 1921 and performed a reconstruction 1934. There is a ring of outer rooms which may have connected to the large central chamber. When Morris reconstructed this kiva, he built a doorway from each outer chamber to the central area. These doorways could have been niches.

Aztec Ruins : Inside rebuilt kiva The interior of the great kiva shows the reconstructed doorways, floor vaults, and a central firepit. It is unknown what the floor vaults were used for. It is also suspected that the roof was originally lower.

There are four pillars holding the roof and made from alternating layers of masonry and wood created the strength needed to support the roofing. The roof was made from timber with a final layer of earth on the top.

Aztec Ruins : View of entrance from inside
Aztec Ruins : View of pillar construction Aztec Ruins : stones used for base of pillar
Stones used in the base of the pillar


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