Apache Junction Arizona
To Chaco Canyon

Chaco's Legacy: A Sacred Land, Sacred Architecture

The Hopi and Pueblo, who speak orally of their history in Chacoan, regard it as the spiritual house of their ancestors. The Park Service is establishing strategies to safeguard ChACOan websites as part of its National Historic Landmarks Program.Chaco's Legacy: Sacred Land, Sacred Architecture 275983239647.jpg While efforts to protect the park may conflict with the religions of regional people, tribal representatives work with the National Park Service to share their knowledge and regard for the heritage of Chacao culture. The site is so important to the Navajo Indians in the Southwest that they continue to regard and honor it as a sacred site for their ancestors. Ancient Pueblos developed various grand houses, kivas and pueblos in the canyon set down atop mesas along a nine-mile stretch in a neighboring drainage area. The canyon and its environments have an abundant history of cultural, spiritual, political, economic and social advancement. It is not known how many of the ancient Chacoans resided in the canyon, but the effort to secure and study these animals has discovered more than 2,400, the vast bulk of which have not yet been excavated.Ancestral Pueblo Culture, Pithouses, Kivas, Pueblos 33653057583363.jpg

Ancestral Pueblo Culture, Pithouses, Kivas, Pueblos

The Pithouse, now completely underground, most likely played a mainly ceremonial role in the Pueblo, as did the Kiva, and the aboveground spaces ended up being year-round dwellings. During this duration, a home design known as "unity" or "pueblos," which had its origins in earlier periods, became a universal type of settlement. In Puebla II, the poles and clay buildings of Puleo were replaced by excellent stone masonry. In the Pueblos real estate system, the primary house was a rectangular living and storeroom located in the center of the building, with kitchen, restroom, dining room and kitchen area. Willey says that in towns in northwestern New Mexico, large slabs of mud and plaster lined the dug-out walls. Immediately southeast of an underground kiwa there is a waste and ash dump and a Midden. The Sipapu, a small hole in the middle of the lodge, most likely served as a place where individuals from the underground world emerged to the surface area of the earth. The later basketmakers also constructed an underground hut with kitchen, bathroom, dining-room and storeroom. In a 2007 article in the journal American Antiquity, a team of scientists reported that the population of the Mesa Verde region in Colorado more than doubled between about 700 and 850 AD. The town in northwestern New Mexico was developed on the website of an ancient settlement, the Pueblo de la Paz, about 300 miles north of Santa Fe. The town used a new type of surface structure understood to archaeologists as a block of area. In addition to pit houses, they were also equipped with fireplaces and storage locations. Crow Canyon archaeologists found that the blocks were made from clay, stone and plant products, though stone masonry gained in significance with time. For instance, a nearby pile plastered with clay and adobe was set up in the middle of a pit house, surrounded by a stone wall. In the late first millennium, the Anasazi started to build carefully crafted walls around their pit houses. Often they built piahouses, which functioned as a type of ceremonial room, kiwa or perhaps as a location of worship. A well-planned community with a strong sense of neighborhood would leave a collective mark on the walls of its pits.

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