Moon House: a Pueblo III Period Cliff Dwelling Complex in Southeastern Utah
Bloomer, William W.
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The Moon House Complex is composed of 3 exceptionally well preserved 13th century cliff dwellings. An analysis of construction methods, room function, and construction sequence indicates recurrent reconstruction, remodeling, and reorganization of functionally distinct rooms. The early occurrence of similar residential units at each of the three cliff dwellings contrasts with the latest room configuration. This late A.D. 1260s reconstruction and reorganization resulted in functional differentiation and interdependence between the three cliff dwellings. A high ratio (5:1) of usable storage rooms to living rooms indicates that the potential food storage capacity during the late occupation of the Moon House Complex was approximately 5.9 times that necessary to feed a residential population for one year. Two alternative conclusions concerning food storage are suggested: 1) that the Moon House Complex was used to store an amount of food sufficient to feed a non-resident population greater than that represented by the observed habitation units, therefore probably functioning as a seasonally used storage facility; and/or 2) that a food surplus of greater than 2 years was stored by the Moon House Complex residents as a bugger against anticipated continuing poor harvests.