The Journey Into Art: San Juans In The Fall - Day 3 Cutthroat Castle Group - November 13, 2020

A ruin should always be protected but never repaired - thus may we witness full the lingering legacies of the past.

Walter Scott

This is one of the pueblos in Hovenweep National Monument.

Not much is known about this pueblo, except it differs from the other pueblos in the area, because it is built below the rim of the mesa. It is also unusual in that there are more kivas per house than other places. Also there is a kiva with a room surrounding it. That is very unusual for the construction of kivas.

Kivas are a places of great spiritual significance. The floor is always below ground level to signify a connection to the underworld and the world of the spirit. Important religious ceremonies are still carried out here.

Despite all these unusual features the site has not been significantly excavated. So one is left to the imagination about what went on here.

I don't know why it is called Cutthroat. I expected something related to a massacre. But no where in the research about this pueblo did I see anything like that.

A brief and rather generic description associated with the site can be found here.

These places must be experienced to be appreciated. A hasty tour along the trails and reading of information signs will not do it. It takes moving oneself into a place of awe and wonder to see further into the surrounding scene. Sitting for some time along the walls of the kiva helps me. Touching the stones helps me also. I was moved by what I saw. Engaging my senses has made this a lasting experience.

My experience of this time really cannot be easily shared. It lives as a memory that impacts other memories. Sharing these images is the best I can do to convey the essence of my time in this ancient pueblo.


the room surrounding the central kiva
the entrance into the room surrounding the central kiva

standing in the central kiva