Basalt cobble with corn impressions

The eruption of Sunset Crater Volcano occurred between 1040 and 1100 CE, and based on tribal oral history was witnessed by pre-contact people at the time. Collected in 1984 at Sunset Crater Volcano National Monument, this corn rock is believed to be the result of pre-contact people deliberately placing corn at or near the base of an erupting hornito, a spattering vent that forms above lava flows. In theory, as volcanic spatter erupted from the hornito or vent, it covered the corn, cooling to create a corn mold. Dozens more corn rocks have since been found in the walls of habitation structures at site NA860 about four kilometers west of Sunset Crater Volcano.


  • Title: Corn Rock
  • Contributor: Sunset Crater Volcano National Monument
  • Park Website: Park Website
  • Other Related Links: Learning Center of the American Southwest
  • National Park Service Catalog Number: SUCR 1917
  • Measurements: L 27.9, H 15.2 cm
  • Material: Basalt cobble with corn impressions
  • Date: ca. 1040–1100 CE

Get the app

Explore museums and play with Art Transfer, Pocket Galleries, Art Selfie, and more

Flash this QR Code to get the app
Google apps