Culture and Ecology of Chaco Canyon and the San Juan Basin

Author(s): Frances Joan Mathien

Year: 2005


Today Chaco Canyon is a tourist and research destination, but this was not always so. We now know that Archaic hunters and gatherers camped there over several millennia; ancestors of historic Pueblo people dependent on maize agriculture created the masonry structures for which Chaco Canyon National Monument was established. The canyon is now home to only a few National Park Service (NPS) employees, who live amidst Navajo sheep- and cattle-ranchers whose ancestors came to this area after the Pueblo peoples moved to other locations. Deciphering this history has been under way for more than 150 years (Brand 1937a; Frazier 2005; Lister and Lister 1981; Gwinn Vivian 1990; Gordon Vivian and Mathews 1965). The NPS Chaco Project (1969 to 1985) added much to our understanding of this history; it was a major research program that has inspired many scholars who continue the quest for explanation of events that occurred in this stark setting. This volume will document the Chaco Project's contributions from both historical and regional archaeological perspectives.

Cite this Record

Culture and Ecology of Chaco Canyon and the San Juan Basin. Frances Joan Mathien. Publications in Archeology ,18H. Santa Fe, New Mexico: National Park Service. 2005 ( tDAR id: 372071) ; doi:10.6067/XCV8N58JPS

This Resource is Part of the Following Collections

Spatial Coverage

min long: -108.125; min lat: 35.822 ; max long: -107.295; max lat: 36.202 ;

Individual & Institutional Roles

Contact(s): U.S. Department of the Interior

Sponsor(s): National Park Service

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