Thursday, July 18, 2019


CHACO CANYON EMPIRE - An ancient civilization once flourished in a remote area of northwestern New Mexico, from approximately 800 AD to 1300 AD. These people possessed advancements on par with the greatest “lost” civilizations: Romans, Druids, Aztecs, Egyptians, and the Mayans. But at the time, did all roads lead to Chaco Canyon? Yes, they did. And here’s why. Chacoans built multi-story “great houses” 40 feet tall, round partially-buried rooms known as kivas, water management features, and a vast system of roads, some headed to nowhere. But that’s not even the most impressive point. As verified by NASA’s multispectral scanning, these roads and buildings were based on sophisticated understanding of astronomy, such as cycles of the sun, moon and stars. The complex is impressive all on its own. What’s not readily apparent in the ruins is its position as a network of societies. Archaeology has unearthed evidence of: cylindrical pots and cacao beans from the Yucatan Peninsula, copper bells from northern Mexico, abalone from the Pacific Ocean, turquoise from Arizona and California, macaw feathers from Mexico, chert and obsidian from everywhere in New Mexico and pottery designs from every Puebloan society across the Four Corners. Based on DNA excavated from a crypt, researchers discovered family lines were passed down from women, probably elite status in leadership roles. So surprisingly, this wasn’t a kingdom passed down from father to son, it was a matriarchy inherited through female lineage. Columbus never discovered America, and Pilgrims arrived at Plymouth Rock much later than this. Coronado walked this way first, riding horseback on dirt footpaths broken in by Native Americans. Later, a covered wagon train crossed the Continental Divide via El Camino Real, and then first cars sped down Route 66 and now, electric cars glide in silence, down the I-40 freeway. Every young man looks down the long road and wonders, could I make it there? I’m sure the first Puebloans, conquistadores, colonists and homesteaders had the same feeling. 



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