Heritage: American Indian
Culture National Historical Park
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