Questions Origins of the Chaco Great Houses At one time it was thought that the great houses of Chaco Canyon represented the beginning of Anasazi glory.
Archaeologists have found musical instruments, jewelry, ceramics, and ceremonial items, indicating people in Great Houses were elite, wealthier families.
They hosted indoor burials, where gifts were interred with the dead, often including bowls of food and turquoise beads. Most apparent is their sheer bulk; complexes averaged more than rooms each, and some enclosed up to rooms. Plaza areas were almost always girt with edifices of sealed-off rooms or high walls.
Houses often stood four or five stories tall, with single-story rooms facing the plaza; room blocks were terraced to allow the tallest sections to compose the pueblo's rear edifice. Rooms were often organized into suites, with front rooms larger than rear, interior, and storage rooms or areas.
Ceremonial structures known as kivas were built in proportion to the number of rooms in a pueblo. One small kiva was built for roughly every 29 rooms.
T-shaped doorways and stone lintels marked all Chacoan kivas. Though simple and compound walls were often used, great houses were primarily constructed of core-and-veneer walls: Walls were then covered in a veneer of small sandstone pieces, which were pressed into a layer of binding mud.
They led toward small outlier sites and natural features within and beyond the canyon limits.
These were excavated into a smooth, leveled surface in the bedrock or created through the removal of vegetation and soil. The Ancestral Pueblo residents of Chaco Canyon cut large ramps and stairways into the cliff rock to connect the roadways on the ridgetops of the canyon to the sites on the valley bottoms.
The largest roads, constructed at the same time as many of the great house sites between and ADare: Simple structures like berms and walls are found sometimes aligned along the courses of the roads. Also, some tracts of the roads lead to natural features such as springs, lakes, mountain tops, and pinnacles.
These roads converge at Pueblo Alto and from there lead north beyond the canyon limits. No communities are along the road's course, apart from small, isolated structures.
The system was first discovered at the end of the 19th century.
It was not excavated and studied until the s. By the late 20th century, archeologists' assessments were helped by satellite images and photographs taken from plane flights over the area. Archaeologists suggested that the road's main purpose was to transport local and exotic goods to and from the canyon.
The economic purpose of the Chaco road system is shown by the presence of luxury items at Pueblo Bonito and elsewhere in the canyon. Items such as macawsturquoisemarine shells, which are not part of this environment, in addition to imported vessels distinguished by design, prove that the Chaco had long-distance commercial relations with other distant regions.
The widespread use of timber in Chacoan constructions was based on a large and easy transportation system, as this resource is not locally available. Through analysis of various strontium isotopes, archaeologists have realized that much of the timber that composes Chacoan construction came from a number of distant mountain ranges, a finding that also supported the economic significance of the Chaco Road.
According to modern Pueblo people, this road represents the connection to the sipapu, the place of emergence of the ancestors or a dimensional doorway. During their journey from the sipapu to the world of the living, the spirits stop along the road and eat the food left for them by the living. Many ceremonial structures were deliberately built along, a north-south axis alignment.
The main buildings at Pueblo Bonito, for example, are arranged according to this direction. They likely served as central places for ceremonial journeys across the landscape. Isolated structures located on the roadsides, as well as on top of the canyon cliffs and ridge crests, have been interpreted as shrines related to these activities.
These have been proposed to be part of pilgrimage paths followed during ritual ceremonies. Since Fire Temple was at least partially built to conform to the dimensions of its cliff alcove, it is neither round in form nor truly subterranean like other structures defined as kivas.
Throughout the southwest Ancestral Puebloan region, and at Mesa Verde, the best-known site for the large number of well-preserved cliff dwellings, housing, defensive, and storage complexes were built in shallow caves and under rock overhangs along canyon walls. The structures contained within these alcoves were mostly blocks of hard sandstone, held together and plastered with adobe mortar.
Specific constructions had many similarities, but were generally unique in form due to the individual topography of different alcoves along the canyon walls. In marked contrast to earlier constructions and villages on top of the mesas, the cliff dwellings at Mesa Verde reflected a region-wide trend during the 13th century toward the aggregation of growing regional populations into close, highly defensible quarters.
Common Pueblo architectural forms, including kivas, towers, and pit-houses are included in this area, but the space constrictions of these alcoves resulted in a far denser concentration of their populations.
Mug House, a typical cliff dwelling of the period, was home to around people who shared 94 small rooms and eight kivas, built right up against each other and sharing many of their walls.
Builders in these areas maximized space in any way they could and no areas were considered off-limits to construction.Settlements: The most famous examples of Anasazi architecture are the famous Chaco Canyon and Mesa Verde National Parks.
These areas contain settlements constructed on the mesa top, at the bottom of the canyon, or along the cliffs. Cliff dwellings are typical of Mesa Verde, whereas Great Houses are typical of Chacoan Anasazi. At one time it was thought that the great houses of Chaco Canyon represented the beginning of Anasazi glory.
Today, with many years of research and a greater understanding of Chacoan culture, archaeologists believe that great house architecture was the peak of Anasazi culture. Origins of the Chaco Great Houses. At one time it was thought that the great houses of Chaco Canyon represented the beginning of Anasazi glory.
Today, with many years of research and a greater understanding of Chacoan culture, archaeologists believe that . Settlements: The most famous examples of Anasazi architecture are the famous Chaco Canyon and Mesa Verde National torosgazete.com areas contain settlements constructed on the mesa top, at the bottom of the canyon, or along the cliffs.
Cliff dwellings are typical of Mesa Verde, whereas Great Houses are typical of Chacoan Anasazi. Pueblo Bonito is an important Ancestral Puebloan (Anasazi) site and one of the largest Great House sites in the Chaco Canyon region.
It was constructed over a period of years, between AD and and it was abandoned at the end of the 13th century. Immense complexes known as "great houses" embodied worship at Chaco. Archaeologists have found musical instruments, jewelry, ceramics, and ceremonial items, indicating people in Great Houses were elite, wealthier families.
They hosted indoor burials, where gifts were interred with the dead, often including bowls of food and turquoise beads.