Parallel Wall House & Saddlehorn Hamlet

Date: 6/25/2013
Principal Researchers:
  • Kat Vlahos
  • Mike Nulty
  • Julia Ausloos
  • Lucas Remmert
Location: Canyons of the Ancients National Monument - Cortez, CO

Located in the four corners area of the desert Southwest, Parallel Wall House and Saddlehorn Hamlet Pueblos were constructed and occupied during the 12th and 13th centuries. This impressive architecture includes habitation and storage rooms, kivas, and towers. Including an 8-10 room structure and kiva built against an overhanging cliff face with substantial portions of intact painted interior wall plaster and a tower and adjacent room built on an isolated spire 100 meters southeast. Some masonry wall fabric has collapsed, although several structures contain wall segments which stand over 3.9 meters in height. Various archaeological investigations and preservation activities have occurred at the site since 1969. The site is somewhat remote, accessible by a two-mile foot trail, from the nearest road.

Managed by the Bureau of Land Management (BLM), Canyons of the Ancients National Monument, the integrity of these Pueblos are threatened by a number of natural and human agents. The greatest threat to the site is considered to be human impacts. Natural erosion and weathering, and human impacts, have taken a toll on the standing architecture of the Pueblo and the talus structures.

Historic American Buildings Survey (HABS) documentation was prepared for two twelfth-century Anasazi Puebloan ruins near the Colorado-Utah border outside of Cortez, Colorado. LiDAR scanning was used to create highly accurate three-dimensional models of these non-orthogonal forms. This data was then used to create orthographic views of the structures. Within AutoCAD these scaled views were traced to produce traditional line drawings. The hard line drawings were then printed on Mylar to be rendered by hand.

The work completed for this project by Julia Ausloos, MArch was awarded the 2013 RM-CESU Student Award. As part of the award Julia presented the project and her work at the annual RM-CESU Managers Meeting.

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