The organic contours of walls in Hovenweep, Utah

One way Hovenweep differs from Chaco is scale. Chaco is massive — it’s a city. Hovenweep’s smaller buildings are scattered around the area more, like a farming village or scattering of families. Another difference is most (though not all) of Chaco’s structures start on flat land. Look at how this wall in Hovenweep emerges out of the underlying rock. 

This particular wall fascinates for another reason: why is it there? It doesn’t appear to enclose a usable space nor form the foundation of such. It appears more decorative than functional. Of course, looking larger isn’t merely decorative — it can be defensive or imposing. The masons of Hovenweep had a flare for the dramatic and skill to produce unique buildings.