Revealing Untold Stories of Chaco Canyon: Archaeocosmology
Anna Sofaer, Robert Weiner and Richard Friedman
Thursday, December 12, 2019 • 6:30pm – 8pm
Anna Sofaer, and colleagues Richard Friedman and Robert Weiner, will share latest research findings, revealing the extent of the Chaco culture across an area the size of Ohio. They examine the source of that powerful reach from the arid center of Chaco Canyon. They explore through new three dimensional computer modeling the complex developments of Pueblo Bonito, considered the most important center of the culture: it’s astounding 800 rooms built up to four stories, precise solar alignments, and vast quantity of ritual offerings. Objects such as macaws, cacao, copper bells, and gambling pieces point to an intense ceremonial life and dynamic relationship with cultures of the tropics. Animations reveal Pueblo Bonito’s great number of kivas, built and rebuilt through its 300 year history. Pueblo Bonito’s intriguing geometric formations, united with its solar alignments, suggest significant clues to the intellectual powers and interests of the Chaco architects, geometers and astronomers. These findings open a wider window on the American Southwest, with comparisons to cosmology centers around the ancient world. This new research also includes the use of LiDAR technology to document enigmatic Chaco “roads,” many of which connect the Great Houses with Great Kivas while others relate to striking features of the natural landscape and astronomical directions.
In 1977, Anna Sofaer rediscovered the “Sun Dagger” in Chaco Canyon. Through her non-profit Solstice Project, she has dedicated herself to collaborative research and education on the Chaco culture. Richard Friedman, San Juan College, is an expert in GIS and has integrated new aerial technologies with ground surveying. Robert Weiner, Ph.D. student at Univ. Colorado, Boulder, has focused his research on Chacoan “roads” and written extensively on Mesoamerican objects found in Chaco Canyon.
There will be an opportunity to purchase books or videos and have them signed. This Museum's one-of-a-kind interactive exhibit of the sun dagger, produced by the Solstice Project, will be open for viewing in our Space Science wing.
Cost: $8 nonmembers, $7 members, $5 students. Preregistration is encouraged or tickets can be purchased at the door the evening of the event (if seats are available). Go to www.NMnaturalhistory.org. Questions: firstname.lastname@example.org