Kin Klizhin Great House

Kin Klizhin is a small Chacoan great house that lies about 7 miles west of the immediate Chaco Canyon area. Located by Kin Klizhin Wash, it was connected to Chaco's core by a Chacoan road.

The great house was constructed so that the rooms provided a stepped buttress for the tower kiva (elevated ceremonial rooms). The pueblo contains 8 ground floor rooms, 6 possible secondstory rooms, and 2 enclosed surface kivas. In modern Puebloan cultures, kivas are multi-functional buildings used for religious worship, prayer vigils, preparation, and ceremonies. The most spectacular part of the site is a 3 to 4 story tower kiva.

The tower kiva is located in the central part of the building at the back west wall. This circular multi-story room (15 feet in diameter) was housed within a solidly-filled, rectangular masonry enclosure. The interior of the tower kiva may have contained 3 or 4 floors and had a very special ceremonial function. Some researchers suggest that the towering structures may have been used for signaling to other communities. Less than a dozen tower kivas are known to exist in the Chacoan world. Three tree-ring dates (A.D. 1086, 1087, and 1087) collected by Florence Hawley in 1932 indicate that a major construction period occurred about A.D. 1087.

The masonry of Kin Klizhin is typical Chacoan core and veneer masonry, a distinguishing feature of Chacoan great house construction. The core consists of roughly shaped pieces of sandstone laid in a mud mortar. The core is then faced on both sides with carefully selected and shaped stones to create the veneer.

Kin Klizhin Kin Klizhin Kin Klizhin
Kin Klizhin Kin Klizhin Kin Klizhin
Kin Klizhin Kin Klizhin Kin Klizhin

Photos by EMKotyk