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Understanding Native American Structures

"Kings howses"?

These structures may be the remains of buildings inhabited or used by the werowance of 44JC308. Several characteristics of these structures are consistent with "kings howses" as described by English observers.

First, Structures 29, 30, and 33 are larger than the rest of the buildings at the site, meeting Strachey's description of kings howses as "builded alike" to the residences of commoners, yet "both broader and longer then ye rest." Second, Structures 29 and 30 both have complex postmold patterns in their interiors that may have supported the "many darke windings and turnings" that Spelman (1910:cvi) had to navigate before reaching Powhatan in his house. Third, Structures 29, 30, and 33 are located at the highest elevation within the site, possibly a sign of the status of their inhabitants.

This image is a section John Smith's 1612 Map of Virginia.

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Structures 29, 30, and 33.
(Detail of site map for site 44JC308, Hodges and Hodges 1994.)

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Structure 29. Postmolds in the northern half of structure may define an interior passageway and postmolds along the west wall may be a bench.
(Hodges and Hodges 1994: Figure 29)