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Chetro Ketl Painted Wood Records

Identifier: Coll 0004

Scope and Contents

Scope and Contents:

Gordon Vivian's records documenting the analysis and writing of the report. Includes correspondence, memos, draft reports, drawings, maps, black & white and color prints and negatives, and card files.


  • 1947-1978


Biographical / Historical


In August 1947, a heavy rainstorm created a new channel that carried water directly into Chetro Ketl, flooding several lower rooms, weakening wall bases, and collapsing a major section of the back wall. The Ruin Stabilization Unit crew, under the direction of R. Gordon Vivian, began emergency work to prevent further wall collapse. In November 1947, work began in Room 93. It was decided to excavate the upper room to relieve the weight on the lower room walls. In the dry layer about 10 inches above the floor, an assemblage of approximately 200 artifacts, mostly fragments of carved and painted wood, were uncovered. Gordon Vivian requested assistance from his son, Gwinn Vivian, in excavating this collection. The artifacts are in the park's museum collection (Accession 10). In 1958, Gordon Vivian, based at the NPS Southwestern Archeological Center (SWAC), and with the assistance of Dulce Dodgen, began work on a descriptive report. Gordon Vivian died in 1966, before the report was completed. NPS archaeologists Jon and Karen Young began work on the collection and the report, but that work was halted when SWAC was moved to Tucson in 1971. In 1972, the NPS contracted with the Arizona State Museum (R. Gwinn Vivian, principal investigator) for the completion of the report. In 1972, C. Randall Morrison organized data and worked on the comparative sections of the report. Gayle Hartman was employed in 1974 to edit the manuscript, and assist in the final research and writing phases.


1930 items

Language of Materials




Organized into eight series:

Series 001: Project Phase A - 1947-1948, R. Gordon Vivian

Series 002: Project Phase B - 1963-1967, Dulce N. Dodgen

Series 003: Project Phase C - 1968-1971, Karen and Jon Young

Series 004: Project Phase D - 1972, C. Randall Morrison

Series 005: Project Phase E - 1974-1977, R. Gwinn Vivian

Series 006: Dendro Analysis of Rooms 92-93, Chetro Ketl

Series 007: Report

Series 008: Maps

Arrangement: Series 001-006 arranged by R. Gwinn Vivian prior to donating the records to the National Park Service.


Provenance: R. Gwinn Vivian
Finding Aid for Chetro Ketl Painted Wood Records
Coll 0004
Chaco Culture National Historical Park, National Park Service
Description rules
Describing Archives: A Content Standard
Language of description
Script of description

Repository Details

Part of the NPS Chaco Culture National Historical Park Repository

Chaco Culture NHP & Aztec Ruins NM Museum & Archives Program
Hibben Center Rm 307 - MSC01 1050
450 University Blvd NE
Albuquerque NM 87106 USA