Wednesday, February 20, 2019

Journey to Chaco Canyon (video)

The Experience Project, Aug. 9, 2018; Xochitl, Crystal Q., Wisdom Quarterly

Chaco Canyon: A Journey into the Ancient World
Let's explore Pueblo Bonito and the various petroglyphs found in Chaco Canyon National Historical Park. The Experience Project examines Native American culture. "Today the massive buildings of the ancestral Pueblo peoples still testify to the organizational and engineering abilities not seen anywhere else in the American Southwest. For a deeper contact with the canyon that was central to thousands of people between 850 and 1250 A.D., come and explore Chaco through guided tours, hiking and biking trails, evening campfire talks, and night sky programs." More:

Where is Chaco Canyon?
Large circular depression outlined by a stone wall. The bottom is flat and grassy, and has a collection of rectangular stone foundations and smaller circles of stone. A great sandstone cliff towers in the background, and beneath the cliff are other stone foundations that are larger and higher.
Great kiva of Chetro Ketl, Chaco Canyon, New Mexico.
Chaco Canyon is a United States national historical park hosting the densest and most exceptional concentration of pueblos in the American Southwest.

The park is located in northwestern New Mexico, between Albuquerque and Farmington, in a remote canyon cut by the Chaco Wash.

Containing the most sweeping collection of ancient ruins north of Mexico, which is full of them, the park preserves one of the most important pre-Columbus cultural and historical areas in the United States.

Between AD 900 and 1150, Chaco Canyon was a major center of culture for the Ancient Pueblo Peoples.

Chacoans quarried sandstone blocks and hauled timber from great distances, assembling fifteen major complexes that remained the largest buildings in North America until the 19th century.

Evidence of archeo-astronomy at Chaco has been proposed, with the "Sun Dagger" petroglyph at Fajada Butte being a popular example. Many Chacoan buildings may have been aligned to capture the solar and lunar cycles, requiring generations of astronomical observations and centuries of skillfully coordinated construction.

Climate change is thought to have led to the emigration of Chacoans and the eventual abandonment of the canyon, beginning with a fifty-year drought commencing in 1130.

Comprising a UNESCO World Heritage Site located in the arid and sparsely populated Four Corners region, the Chacoan cultural sites are fragile: Concerns of erosion caused by tourists have led to the closure of Fajada Butte to the public.

The sites are considered sacred ancestral homelands by the Hopi and Pueblo people, who maintain oral accounts of their historical migration from Chaco and their spiritual relationship to the land.

Though park preservation efforts can conflict with native religious beliefs, tribal representatives work closely with the National Park Service to share their knowledge and respect the heritage of the Chacoan culture.

The park is on the Trails of the Ancients Byway, one of the designated New Mexico Scenic Byways. More

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