Chaco Canyon in New Mexico

  Part I  Chaco Canyon

and the Prehistoric Monuments left by the Anasazi (Chacoan) people 

Starting in the 900s AD a building project was begun in a remote area of what is now the state of New Mexico. Over time several massive buildings took shape within the canyon walls and beyond into what we now call the Four Corners region.

The most awesome Great House in my opinion has to be Pueblo Bonito. The best way to see the humongous size of this Great House is from above and from a distance. The easiest way for the higher view is by taking the long way and coming up along the canyon walls and then to an observation point where you can see the many kivas and the vast open space — which was mostly likely a public space to impress visitors on religious pilgrimages. This is the current theory based on years of work by archaeologists and anthropologists. There are two new books on the Chaco architecture that shed new light on the design and mathematics for the Great House. Visit these Great Houses with Engineers and they can see the Engineering skills used to build structures which are still standing despite the ravages of time and of ignorant Europeans who were interested only in grave robbing.

Here are three photos taken this spring of Pueblo Bonito — this time I took dozens of photos of windows and door ways. The round Kivas are always so beautiful and such an important part of the Great Houses that I never miss getting just one more picture of both the small intimate ones and the Gigantic, stand alone Kivas.

This first photo is of a window — notice the thick weight bearing walls. Thousands of words have been written about the building techniques used — and each building era had a different style.


Photo number 2 taken from an observation point from the back of Pueblo Bonito and looking down to the top of the Pueblo. Take a look at the two people to get an idea of just how large this prehistoric Native American building is. The round structures to the left and far left are Kivas.


Photo 3 — my favorite of all the windows — the famous corner window.


A few books that I find helpful in understanding the Chacoan buildings and physical culture left behind.

Chaco Fractal Architecture, Matematics and Metaphor at the Dawn of Prehistoric Science by Charly Gullett, 2012, Warfield Press

Engineering Chaco: Anasazi Design Rules on the Chaco Meridian by Charly Gullett
People of Chaco: A Canyon and Its Culture (Revised and Updated), by Kendrick Frazier.


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