Mysteries of Chaco Canyon

By: Wally Pacholka


Region: Americas

Site: Chaco Canyon - USA

Date: March 2012

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Conjunction of the Moon and Venus in the constellation Taurus, with Pleiades cluster standing right above the moon. Closer to the horizon Jupiter is about to set over the Chaco Canyon in New Mexico. The celestial event is photographed from the Chaco Culture National Historical Park. The World Heritage site preserves one of the most important pre-Columbian historical areas in the US. Between AD 900 and 1150, Chaco Canyon was a major center of culture for the Ancient Pueblo Peoples. The circular structure here is the great kiva Casa Rinconada. Kivas are ceremonial places in Pueblo culture, and possibly the symbol of the cosmos. The doors of the Kiva are very well aligned with the geographic direction and there are other alignments in the structure that raised the idea which this Kiva was used for celestial observations and a reliable calendar. Click on the star-pattern icon above the image to see a different image of this scene. Wally Pacholka/

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