Accession: refers to copies of electronic or printed material from archives held by the CRA. Individual Accessions reference all or part of an Object.
Arbitrary Units: denotes a space that is designated by the excavator and not defined by cultural, architectural boundaries, such as a masonry room, pithouse, or kiva, or a unit that does not follow the boundaries of a structure. Examples include mounds, trenches, test pits, or a trench that crosses the wall of a kiva.
Artifact: Objects or ecofacts collected during fieldwork and recorded in catalogs or described in field notes, forms, or manuscripts. Note than when a Specimen is composed of two materials, such as turquoise and bone, there will be a Specimen entry for each type of material.
Burial: see Burial Set, Individual Burial, and Non-human Burial
Burial Set: is a spatially distinct cluster of burials or skeletal elements. A Burial Set thus may consist of (a) spatially discrete Individual burials or skeletal elements or (b) groups of burials or skeletal elements the excavator found in clear association with one another. Every Individual Burial is thus a member of a Burial Set.
Bustard Indices: a variety of space syntax measures that are included in the database when available in Wendy Bustard’s 1996 PhD dissertation “Space as Place: Small and Great House Spatial Organization in Chaco Canyon, New Mexico, A.D. 1000-1150.”
CDI: the initial stages of the work that led to the creation of the Chaco Research Archive were referred to as the Chaco Digital Initiative or CDI.
Collection: a set of materials typically defined by the archival institution, such as the Papers of Neil Judd at the National Anthropological Archives. Collections may include correspondence, manuscripts, images, electronic files, field notes, drawings, maps, and other documents. Each Collection may include multiple Objects and Accessions. When materials gathered by a project or individual are held by multiple institutions, a different Collection is created for material in each Institution.
Construction Episodes; see Lekson Construction Episode and Windes Construction Episode.
CRA: Chaco Research Archive
Database Schema: a document and flow chart that defines individual tables in the database, the data fields in each table, and the relationships (1:1, 1:m, m:1, or m:m) among tables. This document provides essential information for anyone who queries or explores the database.
Descriptive Strata Levels: captures further detail about the Provenience Strata Levels. Descriptive Strata Levels capture individual depositional units (e.g., floor, fill, or roof) when described by the excavator. There thus may be one or more Descriptive Strata Levels for each Provenience Strata Level depending upon the manner in which artifacts were collected and provenienced, as well as the level of information the excavator provided. Descriptive Levels may capture levels described by the excavator but not excavated as such.
Ecofact: see Specimen
Excavator’s Cultural Attribution: a data field often left as “unspecified,” this field captures any designation the excavator may have made in regard to the builders of a particular structure. For example, Judd will occasionally refer to construction as Late or Early “Bonitian.” Masonry Type designations given by the excavator are also sometimes entered in this field.
Excavation Unit: The Excavation Unit is defined by the largest horizontal dimensions given by the excavator for a specific excavation context (e.g., test pit, trench, square room, round room, trench, etc.). For many excavations of structures in Chaco, an Excavation Unit is often equivalent to a Square or Round Rooms. See also Related Excavation Unit.
Excavator’s Subunit: the smallest horizontal unit of excavation designated by an excavator, be it a room quadrant, round room quarter, trench sub-section, within-room test pit, grid unit etc.
Feature: a discrete architectural modification of a room such as a hearth (firepit, thermal features), niche, post, sipapu, burial pit, storage pit, window, ventilator, or door
Filled: a data field in the Floor Feature and Wall Feature tables to record when features filled through trash deposition or natural formation processes as opposed to being intentionally filled (see Sealed definition below).
Hawley Ceramic Tallies (pre and post): In 1936 Florence Hawley published Field Manual of Prehistoric Pottery Types, which became the standard categories for ceramic classification for the next few decades. Pre-Hawley Ceramic Tallies are ceramic counts for the general ceramic categories (e.g., Hachure A, Late Hachure) that pre-date Hawley’s ceramic typology. Post-Hawley Ceramic Tallies capture ceramic counts for the types typically employed after the publication of Hawley’s ceramic typology. No ceramic tallies are available from the Hyde Exploring Expedition. During the National Geographic Society excavations, Roberts employed the pre-Hawley categories. In contrast, the University of New Mexico-School of American Research excavations generally used Hawley’s types (post-Hawley).
Individual Burial: Individual Human Burial is a table that records greater detail for individual human burials than can be captured at the Burial Set level. If the excavator singles-out an individual inhumation for description, that burial received an Individual Human Burial table entry. Isolated human bone finds were also given Individual Human Burial entries to capture as much detail as possible. Individual Burials that were clustered in association with each other were part of a single Burial Set with multiple Individual Burials. All burials (clustered or not) have a CDI Burial Set ID. (see Burial Set)
Lekson Construction Episode ID: Refers to distinct construction episodes, often temporally different, identified by Stephen H. Lekson’s in Great Pueblo Architecture of Chaco Canyon, New Mexico, originally published in 1984.
Long/short Axis (for Square Rooms): the longest and shortest sides of a Square Room, regardless of direction (e.g., north-south). When the excavator provided directional information for the room measurements, these are included in the first “Notes” field in the Square Room table.
Minimum/maximum Number of Floors: Minimum/Maximum number of floors refers to the number of room floors (living surfaces NOT stories) described by the excavator. These two measures may be equivalent when the excavator’s description clearly identifies discrete floors. When the excavator’s description is ambiguous, however, these fields attempt to capture the ambiguity.
Modification: The Modification data field appears in both the Artifact and Wall Features tables. For Artifacts, modification refers to whether an object is in a “worked” state, i.e., modified beyond its primary function: a bone worked into an awl, a potsherd that has become a pendant, etc. Artifacts such as a yucca sandal, a bowl, or a projectile point are coded as “Not Applicable” in this field because they are objects fashioned directly from the raw material, rather than a finished object modified into another distinct object.
In the Wall Features table, Modification refers to a change that transform the original feature into one with a different function, such as a doorway being altered to form a niche or vent. In such cases, two individual features, one for the original feature and a second to record the new function, were entered into the database, with the transformation noted in either the “Modified To” or “Modified From” fields.
Non-human Burials: Non-human Burials includes any animal that the excavator states was intentionally interred in a prepared burial feature. Birds most often fall into this category, but at times canines and other species were formally buried as well.
Object: refers to a set of archival data in a Storage Unit of a Collection. The object entry may be a single document, a scanned journal, a list of artifacts, a map, a series of photographs, etc. If the CRA holds a copy of the Object, it will be linked to an Accession.
Project: refers to the heading or title under which a group or organization originally excavated, collected objects or specimens, mapped sites, tabulated lists of photographs taken, etc. – such as the Hyde Exploring Expedition, or the National Geographic Society Expedition.
Provenience Strata Level: the stratigraphic layers identified and dug as such by the excavator. Where possible, this is the stratigraphic layer used as the referent in recording the provenience of any collected Artifacts. Given the time period when most of the excavations in Chaco Canyon occurred, excavators often dug a room or kiva in as a single level. In these cases, there would only be one Provenience Level for an entire room. For example, in room 35, although the field notes describe roof fall, floor, and subfloor levels, George Pepper excavated the room in one single level, and assigned Artifacts only to general room fill. We thus defined a single Provenience Level for the room. The more detailed levels described as roof fall, floor, and subfloor are captured in the Descriptive Level table, as they are described, but did not define the excavation strategy. Every Provenience Strata Level will have at least one Descriptive Level. The Provenience Level also allows CRA to capture different levels within a structure when excavated by different projects, such as when George Pepper excavated down to the floor of a room and later, Neil Judd excavated the subfloor.
Related Excavation Unit: a database table used to connect areas of excavation that overlap with one another, such as a trench that extends into a room that, once discovered, was excavated separately, or a square room later remodeled into a round room. (see Excavation Unit)
Round Room: kivas and pithouses approximately round in shape. Most excavators used the Round Room as their Excavation Unit. Some characteristics of Round Rooms are recorded in the Round Room Wall table.
Schema, see Database Schema
Sealed: a data field in both the Wall Features and Floor Features tables to denote when a Wall Feature was intentionally blocked with masonry, plaster, or other material or Floor Features appear to have been intentionally sealed. (see Filled definition above)
Site Sub-area: general areas of excavation, such as Roomblock, Plaza, or Refuse Mound, associated with Excavation Units. These categories allow researchers to select information from specific areas of a site.
Specimen: See Artifact
Square Room: masonry or jacal rooms approximately square in shape. If a Square Rooms is multi-storied, each story is described separately. Most excavators used the Square Room their Excavation Unit. Some characteristics of Square Rooms are recorded in the Square Room Wall and Square Room Ceiling tables.
Square Room/Round Room Relationships: allows structures to be linked to other structures (square or round) to which they are horizontally connected via a window, vent, or door, or vertically connected (above or below) via roof or floor hatches. Table fields list the rooms that are connected and the identifier for the feature (e.g., door) that links the rooms.
Storage Unit: denotes the individual boxes, folders, or containers where sets of information or Objects are curated at the repository Institutions. Every Storage Unit is part of an individual Collection.
Unit Equivalencies: used to note cases where there is more than one designation for the same context. For example, Judd and Pepper occasionally assigned different numbers to the same room and some rooms numbered by Judd were later re-numbered by the Park Service.
Vents/Ventilators: a “window,” or any non-doorway connection between two rooms, is categorized as a vent or ventilator. Vents in walls are described in the Wall Features table, while Round Room vents are described in the Ventilators table.
Windes Construction Episode Dates: construction episodes of Pueblo Bonito identified by Thomas Windes In “This Old House: Construction and Abandonment at Pueblo Bonito,” published in Jill Neitzel’s (ed.) Pueblo Bonito: Center of the Chacoan World.