Tree Rings Do Tell Tales

Dendrochronology at Chaco Canyon

By Susan E. Swanberg, assistant professor of journalism at the University of Arizona

Remnants of an Ancestral Culture

The remains of an ancient culture, including ruins of the Great Houses of Chaco Canyon, lie silently in a remote canyon on the Colorado Plateau in northwestern New Mexico. Now part of Chaco Culture National Historical Park, these massive and mysterious communal structures, made primarily of stone interlaced with mud mortar, speak of a long-ago Southwest culture. The great houses, once covered by timbered roofs and ceilings made from thousands of large pine beams, took nearly three centuries to build. (read more)


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