I saw your posting to the list inquiring about titles in the area of
archaeoastronomy. Bullfrog Films offers a new video "The Mystery of Chaco
Canyon," that is highly recommended for studies in archaeology and
astronomy. PBS broadcast is tonight!
Here is a summary:
This is the long-awaited sequel to Anna Sofaer's classic film THE SUN
DAGGER, which changed forever our perception of America's earliest Indian
THE MYSTERY OF CHACO CANYON examines the deep enigmas presented by the
massive prehistoric remains found in Chaco Canyon in northwestern New
Mexico. It is the summation of 20 years of research. The film reveals that
between 850 and 1150 AD, the Chacoan people designed and constructed massive
ceremonial buildings in a complex celestial pattern throughout a vast desert
region. Aerial and time lapse footage, computer modeling, and interviews
with scholars show how the Chacoan culture designed, oriented and located
its major buildings in relationship to the sun and moon. Pueblo Indians,
descendants of the Chacoan people, regard Chaco as a place where their
ancestors lived in a sacred past. Pueblo leaders speak of the significance
of Chaco to the Pueblo world today.
The film challenges the notion that Chaco Canyon was primarily a trade and
redistribution center. Rather it argues that it was a center of astronomy
and cosmology and that a primary purpose for the construction of the
elaborate Chacoan buildings and certain roads was to express astronomical
interests and to be integral parts of a celestial patterning.
While the Chacoans left no written text to help us to understand their
culture, their thoughts are preserved in the language of their architecture,
roads and light markings. Landscape, directions, sun and moon, and movement
of shadow and light were the materials used by the Chacoan architects and
builders to express their knowledge of an order in the universe.
56 minutes, Release date 1999, VHS $250
For more information, go to our new website:
Call me if you have further questions: (800) 543-3764.
"The Mystery of Chaco Canyon" will be broadcast on PBS tonight! Thanks for
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