Archaeology Magazine

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Conservators Stabilize Hovenweep Monuments

Monday, May 05, 2014

Cajon-Canyon-Hovenweep CORTEZ, COLORADO—Hopi stonemasons led by Herschel Talashoma are working at the Cajon Canyon site at Hovenweep National Monument, as part of a restoration project to stabilize the thirteenth-century ruins affected by erosion and modern visitors. Previous conservation efforts in the 1940s and 1960s used concrete, but an acrylic polymer mixed with earth and mortar are now employed to strengthen the double-stone construction. “There’s always a learning process to stabilization. The terrain, the weather, the exposure: every site and situation is different,” National Park Service archaeologist Noreen Fritz told the Cortez Journal. Talashoma is keeping detailed records of all of the work he and his team have done at Hovenweep. “The work is important so future generations can enjoy these sites,” he explained.