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Chaco Culture National Historical Park

Address
New Mexico, United States
Phone
(505) 786-7014
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Chaco Culture National Historical Park

Chaco Culture is a network of archaeological sites in northwestern New Mexico which preserves outstanding elements of a vast pre-Columbian cultural complex that dominated much of what is now the southwestern United States from the mid-9th to early 13th centuries. It includes Chaco Culture National Historical Park, the associated sites at Aztec Ruins National Monument, and five additional protected archaeological areas. The Chacoan society reached its height between about 1020 and 1110.These sites were a focus for ceremonies, trade, and political activity and they are remarkable for their monumental public and ceremonial buildings and distinctive multi-storey “great houses.” The sites were linked by an elaborate system of carefully engineered and constructed roads, many of which can still be traced. These achievements are particularly remarkable given the harsh environment of the region.

The highly organized large-scale structures, featuring multi-storey construction and sophisticated coursed masonry, illustrate the increasing complexity of Chaco social structure, which distinguished itself within the regional culture of the ancestral Pueblo and dominated the area for more than four centuries. The high incidence of storage areas indicate the probability that the Chacoans played a central economic role, and the great size and unusual features of the ceremonial kivas suggest that complex religious ceremony may have been significant in their lives.


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