• Overlooking Chetro Ketl

    Chaco Culture

    National Historical Park New Mexico

Cultural History

The Pecos Classification System, used to more easily compare archaeological information with other areas of the Southwest, categorizes pre-Columbian sites into time periods based on absolute dates (from tree-rings, etc.) and on cross-dating using architectural remains, artifacts, and other cultural indicators. However, sites in Chaco are particularly complex, in part due to dense and lengthy occupation of the Canyon. In addition, a site as simple as a single component habitation or as complex as a 600 room multi-component structure can have meaning in any or all of the following categories: archaeological site, architectural monument, historic structure, ethnographic resource, sacred site/shrine and/or traditional cultural property, cultural landscape element, and more. Although some have relatively simple histories, their contexts in time and space have value and meaning to descendants, scholars, visitors, and a world-wide public.

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