National Trust for Historic Preservation supports the Solstice Project's LiDAR documentation of Chaco's Great North Road and two related video productions.
With a supporting grant from the National Trust for Historic Preservation (NTHP), in June 2010 the Solstice Project completed LiDAR documentation of the Chaco Great North Road. "American Archaeology" reported on the Solstice Projects's study in their Spring, 2011 issue. Read article (pdf)
In addition to the research, Anna Sofaer and Richard Friedman produced a twenty minute technical video showing the startlingly successful results of this LiDAR survey.
please note: this is a large video file, and may take several minutes before starting.
In June 2011, the Solstice Project was awarded a Johanna Favrot Fund grant from the NTHP to support its production of a short video on this research and the broader topic of the fascinating phenomenon of Chaco roads.
The grant will assist the Solstice Project in completing a short video documentary highlighting LiDAR’s ability to record the threatened ancient roads of the Chaco landscape. These roads, constructed by the Chaco culture of New Mexico between 700 and 1200 AD, remain an under-documented phenomenon of an extraordinary accomplishment of an ancient American culture: hundreds of miles of rigorously straight, engineered linear features throughout the Four Corners region of the United States. This film will excite public interest and call attention to the need to document, protect and preserve these roads, currently endangered by natural forces and rapidly increasing energy extraction.
Recent research reveals that the Chaco people developed their roads for no or little utilitarian purpose. For example, the thirty-five mile Great North Road appears to have been built to connect the ceremonial center of Chaco Canyon with the direction north and a badlands canyon in the north. For the descendant Pueblo people north is a most sacred direction, and roads and pathways have spiritual significance.