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CHACO: CANYON OF MYSTERY

Fajada Butte
It has been called America's Stonehenge. That obscure canyon in northwestern New Mexico, known as Chaco, was the site of great human activity from 950-1150 AD. Why there? Why build so many pueblos, or villages (some reaching five stories in height) in such a marginal, desert environment?


One explanation is that Chaco was used as a religious, rather than residential center. This theory is supported by the existence of wide, arrow-straight roads leading to Chaco Canyon from outlying areas. It is easy to imagine people, dressed for celebration, making a pilgrimage, walking several abreast, to an important yearly festival.
Casa Rinconada


The Anasazi, enemies of our ancestors, so named by the Navajo who presently reside in the area, knew how to chart the seasons by observing the sky. But why did the Anasazi abandon the spiritual center they had labored so hard to build; without metal tools, without, beasts of burden, and without wheels? Perhaps clues can be found buried under the desert sand or carved on the sandstone cliffs of Chaco Canyon, New Mexico.


Pueblo Bonito


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