Anasazi People

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Anasazi People

Post Number:#1  Postby Lady Sicily » Fri Apr 24, 2015 10:29 pm

I have recently taken an interest in the Anasazi people and their culture. Has anyone seen anything of their ruins or cave art or artifacts in person? Is anyone studying them currently? Anyone have any fascinating Anasazi legends they would care to pass on? Or pictures? I would love to see and read anything anyone has to offer! :kl:
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Re: Anasazi People

Post Number:#2  Postby KsTHer » Sat Apr 25, 2015 9:36 pm ... asazi.html

Lecture 1 : Anasazi - The Sun Dagger

(A documentary about the ancient Anasazi Indians of New Mexico concerning the findings of amateur archaeologist and professional photographer and sculture Anna Sophaer.)

·Sophaer observed a series of stone slabs leaning into the side of a Rock overlooking the Chaco Canyon in New Mexico a week before summer solstice. She noted a dagger of light that appeared an inch from the center of the spiral for a matter of minutes .

·Sophaer returned on the summer solstice to observe the dagger passing directly through the center of the spiral. The dagger appeared at the top of the spiral, moved through its center and passed out through the bottom rings of the spiral, spending 18 minutes on the face of the rock.

·Sophaer Discovered a second smaller spiral to the left of the first. On her return to the site at the equinox she was to discover that a second dagger between the three stone slabs pierced the center of the left hand spiral.

·At the winter solstice both daggers lit up the stone at the precise edges either side of the larger spiral.

·Sophaer was interested to discover wether the stone slabs and spirals would relate to the cycles of the lunar calendar as well. The moon sets and rises at its maximum and minimum points on the horizon every 19 years. In the Anasazi culture the moon was seen as the spirit of the sun, that passed through the darkness of night, or underworld as the light of day retreated.

·Using the sun, rising at an equivalent point on the horizon to the minimum? extreme rise of the moon it was revealed that the stone slabs cast a shadow which shears the spiral of 19 rings down it’s center.

· Despite the lunar cycle taking 19 years to reach from maximum to maximum extent, it is only nine or ten years between minimum and maximum. When pinpointing the shadow of the moon at its maximum?? extent using laser technology, ### found that the shadow fell ten rings away from the center of the 19 ring spiral, directly on its edge.

·Sophaer’s observances convinced her peers in the new scientific school of archaeoastronomy that the site at Chaco Canyon was indeed an instrument for recording both the lunar and solar calendars.

·Sophaer proved to the scientific body that the slabs were moved and shaped intentionally. This made the placement of the rocks and the alignment of both lunar and solar cycles a tremendous mathematical feat.

·At its height the Anasazi realm is thought to have covered 26,000 square miles, consisting of pueblos and ceremonial sites connected by a vast network of wide roads. Trade routes stretched well down into Mexico and to the Pacific Ocean. Artwork was highly complex and their built structures still exist today as multistoried structures of sophisticated and precise architectural elements.

·Sophaer explains the discovery of the lunar/solar calendar as a reflection of the Anasazi culture whose rich and complex artwork and craft was the manifestation of observations of the natural world. The environment was woven intrinsically into artwork, which reflected the landscape of the desert and its open relationship to the sky and the celestial bodies.

·The sense of communion with the sky is reflected in Native American lore today, which reflects the power of the sun to give energy to plants and animals on the earth which then fertilize the ground.

·The movement of the dagger of light from above the spiral though the center and the earthly dominion to disappear below the spiral in the earth may be reflective of this passing of energy between the skies and the land.

Another article on the Anasazi Sun Dagger: ... agger.html

Four Corners Magazine
August-September 1996

Copyright 1996 by Richard K. Harris

The Sun Dagger site, near the top of Fajada Butte, revealed the changing of the seasons to Anasazi astronomers a thousand years ago. Its secret was lost around 1250 AD, when the ancient people abandoned Chaco Canyon. Then in 1979, an artist was studying petroglyph art at Chaco when she noticed that a slender beam of sunlight passing between two rock monoliths bisected the center of a spiral-shaped symbol on the exact day of the summer solstice.

Returning time after time to continue her observations, she found that at the winter solstice the same "sun dagger" sliced through a smaller petroglyph nearby, and that two parallel daggers bracketed the larger spiral at the spring and fall equinoxes.

The discovery touched off a flurry of controversy. Scholarly experts scoffed. The sun, they pointed out, was not known to be represented by a spiral in any Anasazi petroglyph art. If the strange markings had actually served as a tool of prehistoric astronomy, they argued, would not the ancients have chosen a more appropriate symbol?

Further study revealed that the larger spiral's shape tracked an 18-1/2-year lunar cycle--an astronomical feat unheard of among North American Indians, though well known to the Toltecs of Mexico and the Maya before them. The sun dagger thus tended to confirm the prevailing academic hypothesis that Chaco Canyon was located at the end of a Toltec trade route, evidenced by such treasures as mother-of-pearl far from the sea and macaw feathers equally far from the jungle. The more the seemingly simple rock carvings were studied, the more mysterious they became.

Fajada Butte stands like a pyramid 480 feet above Chaco Canyon's broad, level floor. It used to be a quick, hard climb-steep and shadeless, crawling with rattlesnakes. But all that changed when a PBS television show about the sun dagger phenomenon, narrated by Robert Redford, captured viewers' imagination. In 1982, with tourists flocking to Chaco Canyon in record numbers, the National Park Service declared the butte and the area surrounding it off-limits to all but scientific researchers.

Yet there was no shortage of scientists trudging up the butte's steep trail with their heavy photographic equipment, then scrambling up the staircase of loose boulders to the site itself. In fact, more people began climbing Fajada Butte for officially sanctioned research purposes than had previously climbed it just because it was there.

Formerly faint, the trail wore deeper. Summer storms made a gutter of it. Disaster struck in 1989, when erosion of the clay and gravel around the base of the stone monoliths caused them to slip. As the slabs inched down the steep slope of the butte, the sun dagger vanished. Having unobtrusively marked the passage of seasons for many centuries; it lasted only ten years after its discovery before it was lost forever.

The loss of the sun dagger prompted the World Monuments Fund to add Chaco Canyon--now known as Chaco Culture National Historical Park--to its Most Endangered Monuments list in 1996. In a remote part of northwestern New Mexico's arid San Juan Basin, the canyon contains the ruins of the largest pre-Columbian "city" in what is now the United States.

The site's nine "great houses," the largest of which stood five stories high and had 650 dwelling rooms and 37 ceremonial kivas, along with some 3,500 smaller structures in and around the canyon, may have housed up to 10,000 people at a time. Chaco was the hub of a network of roads-at least 20 of them, each nearly 30 feet wide-that radiated in all directions for distances of up to 100 miles, suggesting that the site may have been a part-time home to pilgrims from other Anasazi settlements who came here for religious ceremonies, trade, or both.

Often, those who most treasure Chaco Canyon's silent mysteries unwittingly contribute to its slow destruction. As early as the mid-1970s, when an average of twelve people per week visited the site, environmentalists adopted the slogan "Don't pave the road to Chaco Canyon," and emblazoning it on T-shirts and bumper stickers. Though treacherous when it rains, the 30 miles of dusty washboard road into the monument remain unpaved to this day, but the Save Chaco Canyon campaign drew attention to the ruins and boosted the number of visitors annually from hundreds to thousands. In 1990, when spiritually aware pilgrims identified Chaco Canyon as one of the key sacred sites of the Harmonic Convergence, widespread publicity helped increase the number of visitors to nearly 20,000 a year, a rise that continues today. Looting has become a problem at outlying sites, and within the park visitors find themselves subject to ever more stringent backcountry hiking restrictions.

Besides human visitors, the World Monuments Fund reports, Chaco's ruins are threatened by natural phenomena: rains that seep into masonry joints; snow accumulations that melt and trickle down into walls, then freeze and expand, widening cracks; windstorms; livestock; even weeds. Protected for centuries by the windblown sand that covered most of the surviving stone walls, the ruins became vulnerable to erosion when archaeologists excavated them. Today, National Park Service officials report, the deterioration of the ruins far exceeds the government's financial ability to maintain them.

The World Monuments Fund recently received grants from American Express and the Samuel H. Kress Foundation sufficient to protect some, but not all, of the sites on their Endangered Monuments list. But on May 23, 1996, the World Monuments Fund announced its decision: Chaco Canyon was not selected in the first round of grants.

Undaunted, grassroots groups are organizing workshops and conferences to promote plans for Chaco Canyon's salvation. Public concern, all agree, is the key. It does not seem too much to hope that citizen activists can find the ways and means to preserve the vestiges of this once-great civilization while there is still time.


For More Information:

Chaco Canyon Online Newsletter, CEHP Incorporated, 1627 K Street NW, Suite 300, Washington, DC 20006; phone 202-293-1774; fax 202-293-1782; e-mail Loretta;

Chaco Culture National Historical Park, Star Route 4, Box 6500, Bloomfield, NM 87413; phone 505-786-7014; e-mail

Department of Geosciences, attn: David Sewell, University of Arizona, e-mail;

National Park Conservation Association, Dave Simon, Southwestern Director, 823 Gold Ave. SW, Albuquerque, NM 87102; phone: 505-247-1221; fax 505-247-1222; e-mail
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Re: Anasazi People

Post Number:#3  Postby KsTHer » Sat Apr 25, 2015 10:07 pm

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