Maxwell Museum Sponsoring Excursion to South Chaco Canyon Outliers
Tom Windes will lead a Maxwell Museum sponsored two-day excursion to Chacoan outlying sites found in the general area of Grants, New Mexico on Saturday-Sunday, April 17-18. These early communities span the Pueblo I, II, III and IV periods (CE 900-1400’s) and provide a visible impression of architectural and ceramic change through the centuries during the Chacoan period and beyond.
Windes will show sites on BLM land that are normally closed to the public. There are Greathouses, kivas and spectacular settings at Las Ventanas, Cebolla Canyon, Andrews Greathouse and Casamero Ruin.
There is a $75 per day charge, and UNM Tuition Remission is accepted. For two-day registrants there is $20 van transportation available. Each of the areas to be visited has had some research conducted by archeologists, such as inventory surveys and interested tour members can get a more in-depth look at the sites.
For more information, please contact Mary Beth Hermans at (505) 277-1400 or
Media Contact: Karen Wentworth, (505) 277-5627; e-mail: email@example.com
The Ancestral Puebloans
I go to Chaco Canyon every year (except for this one). In 2008, I also traveled to a couple of outliers west of Chaco. The road into Kin Bineola (“where the wind whirls,” Navajo) crosses a dirt dam. I had never seen any water on either side of that dam before, but on this trip in May, there was a small pond near the dam, well below the road. I saw something circle over the pond. I stopped on the dam to consider taking a picture. The two adult avocets were cute enough – and seemed out of place enough – to warrant a photo. I just got lucky that the babies flew in just as I clicked. I respect photographic skill, experience, and equipment, but lucky timing is the most valuable asset a photographer can’t buy. I never expected to photograph shorebirds in the desert.
I am again recommending the Chacoan website created by Teofilo – Gambler’s House (an allusion to the Navajo history of Chaco). He writes well and thoughtfully, interspersing interesting photos in the text. In particular, Teofilo sums up the information about the source of all of the wood used in Chaco in this entry:
Where They Got the Wood « Gambler’s House
I’m certain it is not for lack of knowledge that he doesn’t mention that some think Chimney Rock was an outpost for gathering wood that might have been floated as far as Chaco. I don’t know if there is any merit to this idea. However, waterways may explain why wood would come from some areas and not others. In particular, Jemez may not be upstream from Chaco. peace, mjh
Update 7/9/09: Asked and answered. In his next post, Teofilo destroys the floating logs hypothesis, which I think I heard at Chimney Rock — and clearly, the eponymous rocks are all the reason the Chacoans needed to be there. Nothing like the careful consideration of facts to undermine a lovely idea. Still, in all matters, remember that the word facts often should be followed by “as we know them now.” Not said to undermine Teofilo’s facts — he has quite a grasp.
The Gambler’s House blog has an interesting account of the analysis of Macaw feathers at Edge of the Cedars.
The organization will use the funds to promote and educate tourists about the "North Road Experience," created about an Anasazi-built road running from Chaco Canyon through Salmon Ruins, Aztec Ruins, passing through some of Aztec’s arches to Durango, Colo., then branching to Chimney Rock and Mesa Verde.
"This puts Aztec square in the middle," Christensen said. "We are promoting this as a trip through the sacred territory of the Ancestral Puebloan, and offering to help plan trips and tours to experience this area by staying in Aztec and taking day trips along the North Road."
The promotion will include interpretive archeological information, American Indian and Hispanic cultural mythology about nearby geological formations and research into astro-archeological discoveries proximate to Aztec.
Tom and Sue Weiss have posted some nice photos as well as an account of a trip led by Dr. David Wilcox. Worth a read — he mentions many sites I’ve never heard of. peace, mjh
Data on Chacoan or Chacoan-Like Great Houses by David R. Wilcox
I’ve gone to Chaco Canyon every year for most of 25 years. It’s my pilgrimage. This year was possibly the windiest (and that’s saying a lot). My journal may be a little less inspired than we’d like, but in it, you’ll read about my new friends and some old roads.
Read the journal (link to photos at the end) …
“The Chaco Collection contains approximately one million artifacts from over 120 sites in Chaco Canyon and the surrounding region. Because most of the artifacts were systematically collected and documented, the collections are extremely valuable for scientific studies.
The Archive documents over 100 years of excavation in Chaco Canyon, and contains approximately 300 linear feet of records, 30,000 photographs, 7,000 color slides, 600 glass lantern slides, 2,000 maps, 1,000 manuscripts, and field notes, reports, and other written records.
The objects in this exhibit represent the range of materials in the Chaco Collection. They give us insight into the remarkable achievements of the Chacoan culture, and help us connect more directly to the past. ”
[mjh: Intentional reburial of ruins. I knew it is done, but didn't realize it has been done a lot at Chaco lately. Follow the link and compare the two photos.]
NPS Archeology Program: Research in the Parks
“Intentional site reburial is an effective, practical, and economical treatment for the most threatened structures with the greatest visitation and is a sustainable and relatively low-tech solution to some of the more complex structural problems”
[mjh: From my alma mater, UVa.]
“Welcome to the Chaco Digital Initiative! CDI is a collaborative effort
to create a digital archive that will integrate much of the widely dispersed archaeological data collected from Chaco Canyon in the late 1890s and the first half of the 20th century.”
Lowry Pueblo is located 28 miles northwest of Cortez, off Highway 666 at Pleasant View on County Road CC. Guidebooks are available at the site or at the Heritage Center. The Heritage Center also offers exhibits on Lowry and an interactive computer program “People in the Past” that provides interpretation of prehistoric pueblo life from both scientific and Native American perspectives.
Limited facilities at Lowry include picnic tables and restrooms. Lowry is handicapped accessible. Please remember to bring water with you when visiting the site. Suggested visitation time, with driving, is 1/2 day, or combine your Lowry visit with a visit to the Heritage Center for a full day of activities.
Fangars visits the Four Corners more thoroughly than I do. He has a lot of interesting photos of a wide range of ancient ruins. I recommend you visit his flickr site:
Flickr: Photos from fangars
At the same time, let me mention a way to see 200 thumbnails at once: www.flickrleech.net. Here’s the link to peruse Fangars’ pix: http://www.flickrleech.net/nsid/41362104@N00 (I have misgivings with this function because I know some pictures don’t show up well in this format, which can easily overwhelm the individual photos.) mjh
Your Input Needed!
The New Mexico Department of Transportation and Federal Highway Administration, in cooperation with San Juan County, has initiated a study to evaluate alternatives for improving the unpaved portion of San Juan County Road 7950, the roadway providing primary vehicular access to Chaco Culture National Historical Park.
DATE: Thursday, November 15
WHERE: NMDOT District 3 Office
7500 Pan American Freeway, NE
Albuquerque, NM 87109
TIME: 6:00 pm: Open House
6:30 pm: Staff Presentation
7:00 pm: Public Comments
If you are interested in the project, but are unable to attend the meeting, please contact John Taschek, at TEC, (505) 821-4700. Comments will be accepted at the meeting or can be mailed to John Taschek at 8901 Adams, N.E., Albuquerque, NM 87113, or e-mailed to firstname.lastname@example.org. Requests for Americans with Disabilities Act-related accommodations should also be directed to John Taschek.
For Talking Points Contact Nathan Newcomer (email@example.com)