Recent research and progress


The Solstice Project will present its recent research and progress on its film production — Written on the Landscape — conveying the remarkable expanse of the Chaco Culture throughout the Four Corners on Sept. 14 at 7 p.m. in the Student Union Ballroom at Fort Lewis College in Durango, Colorado. The presentation will also be available to watch live via Zoom.

The presentation, “Update on Chaco Solstice Project,” will be given by Anna Sofaer, President of the Solstice Project, Chaco researcher, archaeoastronomer and film producer, and Richard Friedman, archaeologist, geologist, geospatial sciences specialist, and Research Associate with the Solstice Project.

The Solstice Project’s new imagery from LiDAR and photogrammetry reveals — in more detail than ever before — multiple replications of Chacoan Great House/Great Kiva complexes and ‘road’ relationships in this vast and rugged terrain. They will show how the pattern in Chaco Canyon of alignments of monumental buildings and roads to solar and lunar events is repeated at sites up to 140 miles from the canyon. Prevalent throughout the Chaco World are striking relationships created between the built environment and distinctive land forms, as well as an integration of the cosmos. This ancient cosmography resonates deeply with Puebloan and Diné traditions of holding maps of their spiritual concepts on the landscape.

This research suggests great power at the hub of the culture: at Pueblo Bonito in particular. Puebloan and Dine traditions convey that the Gambler dominated Chaco, forcing people to construct the roads and buildings. There was a presence of dark forces — and “conflicts between good and evil.” At the conclusion of the talk, a member of Acoma Pueblo will convey in a filmed interview the choice of his people to stop the ancestors’ control of the natural forces and return to a more reciprocal relationship with nature: a poignant message for us today.

Click here for the Zoom link to watch the presentation.