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Ethnic Heritage: American Indian

This is an image of Chaco Culture National Historical Park

Chaco Culture National Historical Park

Chaco Canyon: 100 Years of Archaeology, opened at the Museum of Northern Arizona on October 2, 1998 and will run until May 1999. This exhibit is an expanded version of the Chaco Culture National Historical Park exhibit that opened at the Center for Southwest Research located on the University of New Mexico campus in the spring of 1998. Chaco Canyon: 100 Years of Archaeology salutes a century of archaeological excavations and research in Chaco Canyon and the subsequent publications. Featured are artifacts, maps, research papers from the Chaco Culture National Historical Park Museum Collection, and photographs of the Canyon, including the work of photographer Kirk Gittings. The Museum of Northern Arizona's collection of prehistoric pottery from Chaco Canyon are highlighted.

The canyon, with hundreds of smaller sites, contains 13 major archeological sites unsurpassed in the United States, representing the highest point of Pueblo pre-Columbian civilization. Chaco is remarkable for its multi-story dwellings, which required considerable planning, organization, management and gathering of resources for their construction. The dwellings show evidence of a knowledge of astronomy. The dwellings were carefully oriented with the extensive road system. The roads were engineered, not merely worn footpaths, and their alignment shows planning.

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