Programs & Services

Museum Presents Untold Stories of Chaco Canyon

December 12th, 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.)

Image: Courtesy: NM Museum of Natural History & Science

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

About the New Mexico Museum of Natural History & Science: http://www.nmnaturalhistory.org.

The New Mexico Museum of Natural History & Science is a division of the Department of Cultural Affairs, under the leadership of the Board of Trustees of the New Mexico Museum of Natural History & Science. Programs and exhibits are generously supported by the New Mexico Museum of Natural History Foundation, through the generous support of donors.

Established in 1986, the mission of the New Mexico Museum of Natural History & Science is to preserve and interpret the distinctive natural and scientific heritage of our state through extraordinary collections, research, exhibits, and programs designed to ignite a passion for lifelong learning. The NMMNHS offers exhibitions, programs and workshops in Geoscience, including Paleontology and Mineralogy, Bioscience and Space Science. It is the Southwest’s largest repository for fossils and includes a Planetarium and a large format 3D DynaTheater.

1801 Mountain Road NW, northeast of Historic Old Town Plaza, Albuquerque, NM 87104, (505) 841-2800.  Open seven days a week 9 a.m. – 5 p.m. , closed Thanksgiving, Christmas and New Year’s Day. Events, news releases and images about activities at the New Mexico Museum of Natural History & Science and other divisions of the Department of Cultural Affairs can be accessed at media.newmexicoculture.org.

 

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Museum Presents Untold Stories of Chaco Canyon

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