The Civilian Conservation Corps in Chaco Canyon, New Mexico

Author(s): Carla Van West; John Schelberg

Year: 2015


In 1937, a unique Civilian Conservation Corps (CCC) sponsored "Indian Mobil Unit" was established in Chaco Canyon. The camp was located east of Pueblo Bonito and the goal was to train Navajo men and a woman in stone masonry, ruins stabilization, drainage control, archaeological excavation, and associated administrative tasks. In 1939, under the direction of National Park Service (NPS) archaeologist Gordon Vivian, men from the Indian Mobile Unit excavated a small village site in advance of the construction of CCC camp NP-2-N, designed to house a regular 200 man unit. Camp NP-2-N was closed in 1941 and the Indian Mobile Unit was closed in 1942. The success of the Mobile Unit program resulted in the establishment of permanent Ruins Stabilization Units at parks in the Southwest. The 1939 excavation of the archaeological site, the CCC Site, exposed nine rooms and associated sheet trash. In 1949, two deeply buried kivas were excavated by the NPS. In the mid 1970s, the Chaco Project re-excavated portions of the two kivas and Room B in order to obtain archaeomagnetic dates.

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Cite this Record

The Civilian Conservation Corps in Chaco Canyon, New Mexico. John Schelberg, Carla Van West. Presented at The 80th Annual Meeting of the Society for American Archaeology, San Francisco, California. 2015 ( tDAR id: 395054)

Spatial Coverage

min long: -115.532; min lat: 30.676 ; max long: -102.349; max lat: 42.033 ;