The first step in the process was to find a suitable source of rock for the walls. This was located at the outflow of a large arroyo on the property and a number of trips were made collecting and transporting rock to the Rustic Cabin. The next step involved making small (1/4-1/2") gravel for inclusion in stucco mix. Surface material from a sandy arroyo provided the starting material and after sifting out the sand, the residual small rock was collected. Although clay pits were located, commercially prepared stucco/mortar mix was chosen as the binding/filling agent because of its longevity as opposed to using local clay which would require constant maintenance.
The site chosen for the replica walls was the well head and pressure tank at the Rustic Cabin. After running electricity to the site for pipe heating tape, a free standing rock wall was constructed from the rocks collected previously. After a first pass on building the wall it was noted a number of openings and spaces existed. These spaces were filled with smaller rock before applying the stucco. Stucco was made using the small gravel mixed with mortar mix (at a ratio of 2:1, mortar to rock) and then applied by hand to all exposed cracks between the rocks inside and out. The results of replicating a Mimbres style rock wall indicate that building rooms was a slow laborious process and partially explains the location chosen for the hamlet, with access to building materials and clay found on the east side of the San Simon riverbed. The amount of effort taken to build this small reproduction also suggests the quality of workmanship should vary from the Mimbres field houses and hamlets when compared with the larger classic period villages. It is only hoped the reproduction wall will be around in 800 years like the hamlet.
|Stucco from the hamlet. Note the inclusion of small rocks creating a clay based concrete.|
|Well head and pressure tank site|
|Free standing wall around the well head and pressure tank|
|The free standing Mimbres style rock wall with locally produced rock stucco filling open spaces.|