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Book & Research > Solstice Project Papers

Inter-site Alignments of Prehistoric Shrines in Chaco Canyon to the Major Lunar Standstill

by Anna Sofaer, Robert Weiner, and William Stone. 2017. In The Science of Time 2016: Time in Astronomy & Society, Past, Present and Future, edited by E. Arias, L. Combrinck, et al, pp. 79-102. Astrophysics and Space Science Proceedings 50. Springer, Cham.

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News & Events > Archive

BLM at it Again! Act Fast to Save Chaco Region!

BREAKING NEWS:

Despite the cancellation of a 4,434-acre lease of oil and gas parcels north of Chaco Canyon, Secretary Zinke and the BLM continue an assault on the cultural resources of ancient America throughout the Four Corners states. Tomorrow, on March 20, the BLM will proceed with a lease of 41,000 acres in southeastern Utah in an area rich with archaeological sites.
At least 10 Chaco Great Houses are within 2 miles of these parcels, including at least two Great House sites within the new lease boundaries. In addition, at least 4 prehistoric road segments are adjacent to or within the parcels.

 

There are also countless archaeological sites and rock art panels spanning thousands of years in and near the leases. In the words of Jim Allison, a professor at Brigham Young University, “There are so many sites [in the area], it would take an army of archaeologists decades to map them… they shouldn’t do oil and gas extraction there.” Make your voice heard and stand up against further attacks on these invaluable traces of America’s indigenous history!

Call or e-mail Secretary Zinke at

(202) 208-7351, exsec@ios.doi.gov

and Utah BLM State Director Ed Roberson at

(801) 539-4010, eroberson@blm.gov

 

 

News & Events > Current

Chaco’s Protection Wins a Few Gains!

Interior Secretary David Bernhardt issued a moratorium on oil and gas leasing within a 10-mile radius of New Mexico's Chaco Culture National Historical Park for at least a year after touring the park last week with Sen. Martin Heinrich (D-N.M.)! In the meantime, Heinrich and Udall’s legislation to permanently protect federal lands inside this same 10-mile buffer zone is working through the Senate, while a companion bill works through the House.

For Senator Heinrich’s press release, see here.

Last month, the 10th Circuit Court reversed or suspended hundreds of leases for oil and gas drilling in the nearby Chaco Canyon region, which is another gain for its protection. However the BLM had been approving thousands of leases without assessing their cumulative impact as required by law, so we need to continue our vigilance to protect Chaco and require the BLM’s leasing plan for public review.

Untold Stories of Chaco Canyon

 

The New Mexico Museum of Natural History & Science Presents

Untold Stories of Chaco Canyon

with Santa Fe Author Anna Sofaer of the Solstice Project
 

"Revealing Untold Told Stories of Chaco Canyon: Archaeocosmology"
with Anna Sofaer

at The New Mexico Museum of Natural History & Science
December 12th from 6:30 p.m. to 8:00 p.m. 

 


 

For Immediate Release: December 5, 2019 (Albuquerque, New Mexico) The New Mexico Museum of Natural History & Science will present “Revealing Untold Told Stories of Chaco Canyon: Archaeocosmology” on December 12th from 6:30 p.m. to 8:00 p.m. Author Anna Sofaer, and researchers Richard Friedman and Robert Weiner will discuss their latest findings on the Chaco Culture.

The research team uses new three-dimensional computer modeling to examine the complex developments of Pueblo Bonito (considered the most important ritual center in Chaco Canyon). Pueblo Bonito’s intriguing geometric formations united with its solar alignments show the vast mathematical, architectural and astronomical knowledge of the Chacoans.

Pueblo Bonito, the largest house in Chaco Culture National Historic Park had up to 800 rooms built up to four stories using solar alignments. It was built and rebuilt over a span of 300 years. The structure was built by Ancestral Puebloans between 828 and 1126 AD. Items such as copper bells, scarlet macaws, gambling pieces and cacao, reveal rich ceremonial activity in Pueblo Bonito.

The latest research opens a wider window on the American Southwest with comparisons to cosmology centers around the ancient world. The new research uses LiDAR technology to document the enigmatic Chaco “roads” which connect the Great Houses with Great Kivas.

The lecture at the Museum will discuss astronomy’s importance to the Chaco culture as well as unique objects found at the site. The themes and illustrations presented in this talk also form the core of the Solstice Project’s new film in progress: “Pueblo Bonito: Heart of the Chaco World.” The Solstice Project’s earlier films directed by Anna Sofaer, include “The Mystery of Chaco Canyon” and “The Sun Dagger” (broadcast by PBS and narrated by Robert Redford.) For more information visit solsticeproject.org.

Videos and signed books from expert Anna Sofaer will be available for purchase on the evening of the event. The Museum’s one-of-a-kind exhibit on the Sun Dagger (produced by the Solstice Project) will be open for viewing in the Space Science wing.

Tickets are $8 for the general public, $7 for Museum members, and $5 for students. Preregistration is encouraged. Visit www.nmnaturalhistory.org for tickets and more details.

(Anna Sofaer rediscovered the Sun Dagger in Chaco Canyon. Her non-profit Solstice Project focuses on research and education of the Chaco culture. Richard Friedman is an expert in GIS (Geographic Information Systems) and has integrated aerial technologies with ground surveying. Robert Weiner, PhD. is a student at the University of Colorado Boulder and has focused his research on Chacoan roads and Mesoamerican objects from Chaco Canyon.)

 

More Details: media.newmexicoculture.org/release/1058/museum-presents-unto

Image: Courtesy: Bob Adams

Media Contact: Andrea Jacquin, andrea.jacquin@state.nm.us">andrea.jacquin@state.nm.us  505-206-9144