Archaeologists are obsessed with layers. Typically layers of dirt in the ground, although in this case the layers of dirt are on the wall.
As a result of some recent water damage Ranger Ethan and Site Manager Scott recently removed several layers of plaster on an adobe wall in what is currently the gift shop. As they peeled away the layers they revealed the many uses the room had over the last few decades. They found layers of murals painted by the rangers when the room was used as a children’s museum, then layers of plaster from when it used to be a workshop for the rangers. Eventually they reached portions of the original plaster from the early 1940s.
Once all the layers of paint and plaster were removed they exposed the original adobe bricks of this John
Gaw Meem building which were made on-site between 1938 and 1940. It is not uncommon to see artifacts from the ancient village of Kuaua sticking out of the bricks because the WPA workers that were forming them were utilizing clay from directly around the village. Site staff have plans to leave a portion of the bricks exposed with a piece of plexiglas to show the visitors the skeleton of the historic museum.