Figure 1. Overview of Feature 1 at LA138461 looking south.
LA 138461 is an Early Navajo habitation site that consists of a collapsed forked-pole hogan (Feature 1), an ash deposit (Feature 2) that encompasses several oxidized sandstone slabs (a possible hogan and storage cist), and a sweatlodge discard pile (Feature 3) on an east-facing bench in the pinyon-juniper forest. A few scattered artifacts, including small Din¨¦tah Gray sherds, are present.
Five samples were collected from the site, two from the Feature 1 hogan and three from ax-cut limbs and stumps (CMTs) in the site area. The hogan samples, one pinyon and one juniper, were both hogan leaners; the hogan forks are not present and were probably recycled in another structure. Only the pinyon sample (BBM-60) yielded a date (1797++vv). The three CMT samples include two pinyons and a juniper; one pinyon (BBM-56) yielded a date of 1767+B.
Interpreting the two dates from LA 138461 is somewhat challenging. Clearly, the Feature 1 hogan was in use after 1797. If BBM-60 is a repair beam, a common attribute of leaners, the structure may have been built earlier. BBM-56 indicates wood cutting in the area in 1767 or 1768, but it is very unlikely that Feature 1 was used for 30 years or more; average hogan use-life is approximately 8 years. If Feature 2 represents another hogan, perhaps BBM-56 is related to its construction. In either case, it is probable that there were two short-term occupations at LA 138461 separated by 25-30 years.