Pitstructures are pits that were dug into the native soil, then given finished walls and a timbered roof and furnished with features such as central hearths, partitions, and storage cists. Most pitstructures are believed to have been shared by one to several households. Families lived part of the time in adjacent surface apartments and used the pitstructure for tasks such as food processing, tool manufacturing and rituals.

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Here are steps of how ancient pitstructure were made:

1. Posts, cut to size with stone axes are set in place.

2. Primary beams are placed on the posts.

3. Smaller secondary beams provide roof support.

4. Poles are then placed between the roof edge and ground surface above the newly dug pit. Additional poles fill spaces across the top.

5. Sagebrush is used to cover the entire structure.

6. A thick coating of mud finishes the pitstructure. The ladder is placed in a square entrance hole in the roof. This hole also serves as a smoke hole.

Credits: Anasazi Heritage Center Museum

See also: My other travel adventures in the USA.

See also: List of National Parks.