The great house of Wijiji, apparently built in one short construction effort around A. D. 1110, provides an excellent primary calendrical station for winter solstice.

Dec. 7

As viewed from the northwestern corner of the house, the sun rises at the sharply defined northern edge of the notch on the southeastern horizon on December 4-5, providing thereby a 16-17 day opportunity for precise anticipation of winter solstice.
Dec. 22

The sun reaches the southern edge of the notch on winter solstice, providing confirmation. This site may have functioned as a calendrical station for the Chaco community prior to the construction of the great house.

Within the rincon northeast of Wijiji there is another apparent sun-watching station at which the winter solstice sun can be seen rising behind a prominent pillar. Near that location, oval grinding areas are conjoined with incised Navajo images.

Return to Map