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Author Topic: The mystery of chaco canyon ....  (Read 839 times)

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Offline dcdaveclarke

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The mystery of chaco canyon ....
« on: June 13, 2010, 03:54:51 PM »
After years of intensive research, Chaco Canyon, located in a desolate region of northwestern New Mexico, leaves us with more questions than answers. A unique feature in the construction of many of the pueblos is that they were aligned not only with the movements of the sun, but also the 18 1/2 year lunar cycle. No other civilization is known to have accomplished this. Some 200 miles of straight roads 24- to 36-feet wide were built with raised beds, bridges, stairways and ramps. For the most part, these roads led to nowhere. For many years the theory prevailed that the "Chaco Phenomenon" existed as the distribution center for a large trading network. Colorful parrot feathers, copper bells and seashells from up to 3,000 miles away have been found in the ruins.
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Huge pueblos, known as "Great Houses" are the distinguishing feature of a culture that flourished in this area starting around 850 AD and continued until 1250 AD. Ten massive structures, some four stories high, had approximately 3,000 rooms. Pueblo Bonito was the size of the Roman Coliseum.

Generations of The Ancient Ones, known also as Anasazi, dedicated themselves to the building of these pueblos. Not only did it require the transportation of sandstone from the cliffs above, timber required for the construction of the four story buildings was not available in the area.


Click and drag photo to resize.

 Modern research has proven that the trees were carried by workers over 50 miles. Few crops could be grown in this arid region, so food to support the thousands of builders had to be imported. A unique feature in the construction of many of the pueblos is that they were aligned not only with the movements of the sun, but also the 18 1/2 year lunar cycle. No other civilization is known to have accomplished this.

Some 200 miles of straight roads 24- to 36-feet wide were built with raised beds, bridges, stairways and ramps. For the most part, these roads led to nowhere.

For many years the theory prevailed that the "Chaco Phenomenon" existed as the distribution center for a large trading network. Colorful parrot feathers, copper bells and seashells from up to 3,000 miles away have been found in the ruins.

Current archaeology disputes this theory. Upon closer examination, it is doubtful that these pueblos were used for ongoing habitation. Most of the rooms were closed off from the outside and at times, closed off from each other. Poor ventilation precludes heating the rooms by fire. In fact, evidence of very few hearths was found.

Only a few hundred burials have been found in the area. There is very little evidence of mounds containing household refuse. If these immense buildings were not used for day to day living, why were they built?

Click and drag photo to resize.  Most likely it was a ceremonial center and was largely empty between periodic rituals. Modern day Pueblo descendants, the Hopi, Zuni and others, say their oral history indicates Chaco was a special gathering place where many peoples and clans converged to share their ceremonial traditions and knowledge.

This would explain the 15 Great Kivas, each capable of holding more than 400 people, and over 100 small Kivas that held from 50 to 100 people.

About 1250 AD, doors were sealed up, Kivas burned and the area abandoned. A modern day mystery exists. Chaco Canyon has been added to the World Heritage List, along with other notable places as the Egyptian Pyramids, Yellowstone, and the Great Wall of China. Why then do so few Americans know about this unusual place?

Source: American Archaeology summer 2003 and video "The Mystery of Chaco Canyon"

Originally published Monday, November 24, 2003

Reply tp Article: "Folks: In the article on Chaco Canyon it was mentioned that no other culture knew about the 18 1/2 year moon cycle. This is not correct. Many cultures knew about this cycle and used it in their ritual layouts.

That includes the Egyptians, Mayans, Stonehenge, and many others. Check the book "Hamlet's Mill" and you will find that astronomy is the most ancient science. Archaeologists don't realize the extent of the abilities of the ancients. And never correlate their finds to other finds.....Dave Edwards.




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Offline thinker

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Re: The mystery of chaco canyon ....
« Reply #1 on: June 14, 2010, 04:34:10 AM »
Make(s) a compelling case for this ancient people's astronomical prowess. The film argues that the massive multistory buildings and roads the Chacoans constructed in a forbidding stretch of what is now New Mexico were designed to form a vast, stunningly precise map of the yearly cycle of the sun and the 19-year cycle of the moon.