"Chetro Ketl great kiva" by U.S. National Park Service , public domain

Chaco Culture

National Historical Park - New Mexico

Chaco Culture National Historical Park is a United States National Historical Park hosting the densest and most exceptional concentration of pueblos in the American Southwest.


Visitor Map of Ah-shi-sle-pah Wilderness in New Mexico. Published by the Bureau of Land Management (BLM).Ah-shi-sle-pah - Visitor Map

Visitor Map of Ah-shi-sle-pah Wilderness in New Mexico. Published by the Bureau of Land Management (BLM).

Official visitor map of Chaco Culture National Historical Park (NHP) in New Mexico. Published by the National Park Service (NPS).Chaco Culture - Visitor Map

Official visitor map of Chaco Culture National Historical Park (NHP) in New Mexico. Published by the National Park Service (NPS).

Map of the U.S. National Park System. Published by the National Park Service (NPS).National Park System - National Park Units

Map of the U.S. National Park System. Published by the National Park Service (NPS).

Map of the U.S. National Park System with Unified Regions. Published by the National Park Service (NPS).National Park System - National Park Units and Regions

Map of the U.S. National Park System with Unified Regions. Published by the National Park Service (NPS).

Map of the U.S. National Heritage Areas. Published by the National Park Service (NPS).National Park System - National Heritage Areas

Map of the U.S. National Heritage Areas. Published by the National Park Service (NPS).

https://www.nps.gov/chcu/index.htm https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Chaco_Culture_National_Historical_Park Chaco Culture National Historical Park is a United States National Historical Park hosting the densest and most exceptional concentration of pueblos in the American Southwest. Today the massive buildings of the Ancestral Puebloan people still testify to the organizational and engineering abilities not seen anywhere else in the American Southwest. For a deeper contact with the canyon that was central to thousands of people between 850 and 1250 A.D., come and explore Chaco through guided tours, hiking & biking trails, evening campfire talks, and night sky programs. Road conditions can be rough or impassable. Please call in advance for updates. Chaco Culture National Historical Park Visitor Center This is Chaco Culture's only visitor center. The hours of operation are 8:00am-5:00pm May through October and 8:00am-4:00pm November through April. The visitor center is closed on Thanksgiving, Christmas, and New Year's Day. Please click on the link for detailed directions to our visitor center. Red Mesa Black on White Bowls Black on White Bowls Many of the things discovered at Chaco came from other places. These bowls came from the Red Mesa area. Red Mesa Black on White was produced from about A.D. 875 to 1040. Due to the lack of adequate resources, very few pots were produced in Chaco Canyon. Pueblo Bonito with Cliff Face Pueblo Bonito with Cliff Face Pueblo Bonito is the most famous Chacoan great house. Constructed between 850 and 1150, Pueblo Bonito had almost 700 rooms, 32 kivas, and 3 great kivas. Gallup Black on White Pitchers Gallup Black on White Pitchers These pitchers are another form of pottery that was created elsewhere and then brought to Chaco canyon. This particular style was manufactured from A.D. 1030 to 1150. Night Sky Above Fajada Butte Night Sky Above Fajada Butte In 2013 Chaco Culture NHP was designated an International Dark Sky Park. The park has night sky and sunrise programs throughout the year. Una Vida Black and White Photo of Una Vida Great House Una Vida is one of Chaco's largely un-excavated great houses. It's location provides great views of the canyon floor while being a short walk from a striking rock art panel. What Do Pack Rats Reveal About Ancient Chaco Architecture? Pack rats' middens are climate time capsules. Learn what scientists learned from the middens about the Chaco people and their surroundings as they adapted to climate change. Wall of Pueblo Bonito including logs A New Perspective On my drive out west toward Grand Canyon this year, I had the chance to stop at a few Ancestral Puebloan sites – namely, Bandelier, Chaco Culture, and Aztec Ruins. Having worked and spent some time around these types of sites before, I felt like I was seeing and appreciating these special places on a much deeper level than even I realized was possible. partial stone ruin walls form what was an interior corner of a room with doorway in corner. NPS Geodiversity Atlas—Chaco Culture National Historical Park, New Mexico Each park-specific page in the NPS Geodiversity Atlas provides basic information on the significant geologic features and processes occurring in the park. Links to products from Baseline Geologic and Soil Resources Inventories provide access to maps and reports. stone building ruins 2019 Connecting with our Homelands Awardees Hopa Mountain, in partnership with the National Park Service, is pleased to announce the 2019 awardees of the Connecting with our Homelands travel grants. Twenty-one Indigenous organizations, schools, and nonprofits have been awarded travel funds for trips to national park units across 12 states/territories within the United States. An elder and young student talk while sitting on a rock. Chaco Culture NHP Intentional Site Reburial Program The monumental masonry structures and cultural landscape of Chaco Culture National Historical Park are both a lasting testimony to the complex civilization that flourished in the 9-12th centuries AD, and a witness to the cumulative impact of decades of exposure on the scientific and interpretive values of archaeological remains. Beginning in the late 1980s, the NPS embarked on a program of intentional site reburial in an effort to stem the tide of deterioration and loss. [photo] Ruins of masonry buildings in desert valley. Chaco Culture NHP and University of Virginia collaborate on the Chaco Digital Initiative Chaco Culture National Historical Park in New Mexico has been investigated by archeologists for over a century. Unfortunately, the resulting artifact collections, notes, photographs, and drawings are widely scattered and difficult to track and find. The Chaco Digital Initiative addresses this problem, making it possible to test and revise archeological interpretations of Chaco culture using the full range of resources. [photo] Ruins of masonry buildings in desert valley. Increasing temperature seasonality may overwhelm shifts in soil moisture to favor shrub over grass dominance in Colorado Plateau drylands Increasing variability of temperature favors a shift to shrublands over grasslands in arid southwestern landscapes. This effect is greater than the effect of increasing soil moisture, which favors a shift to grasslands over shrublands. Grassland with scattered junipers and hills in the background. 2011 SCPN-NAU Student Projects In spring 2011, the SCPN-NAU School of Communication collaboration began with a multimedia studies course focused on documenting park resources and resource projects. The class was taught by NAU professors Laura Camden and Peter Friederici. 2011 Student Projects The Colorado Plateau The Colorado Plateau is centered on the four corners area of the Southwest, and includes much of Arizona, Utah, Colorado, and New Mexico. Hazy Fajada Butte, Chaco Culture National Monument Monitoring Upland Vegetation and Soils on the Southern Colorado Plateau Vegetation and soils are the foundation upon which all terrestrial ecosystems are built. Soils provide the medium for the storage and delivery of water and nutrients to plants, which in turn provide animal populations with both habitat and food. Sampling grassland vegetation at a long-term monitoring plot at Wupatki National Monument Modeling Past and Future Soil Moisture in Southern Colorado Plateau National Parks and Monuments In this project, USGS and NPS scientists used the range of variation in historical climate data to provide context for assessing the relative impact of projected future climate on soil water availability. This report provides the results of modeled SWP generated for 11 ecosystems in nine Southern Colorado Plateau Network parks. Extensive grassland at Wupatki National Monument Monitoring Night Skies and Natural Soundscapes on the Southern Colorado Plateau Many national parks in the Southern Colorado Plateau region contain large areas of wilderness, where dark night skies and natural soundscapes are important human values. Dark night skies, which depend upon the visibility of stars and other natural components, are diminishing resources in several park units because of anthropogenic activities. Natural soundscapes—that is, the natural sounds of wildlands—are degraded by sounds caused by humans or human technology. Clouds and sky turning red and orange over Navajo National Monument at sunset Fossils in Focus: Using Photogrammetry and 3D Models to Highlight Recent Paleontological Discoveries at Chaco Culture National Historical Park During the past decade paleontologists have uncovered a rich fossil record at Chaco Culture National Historical Park, New Mexico. In order to share the important and interesting fossils discovered at the park, a new website was developed to feature 3-D images of a few fossils documented at the park. person outdoors recording data on a hand held instrument Petrified Tree stump Interactive 3D Model Collected from Chaco Culture National Historical Park, New Mexico. petrified wood tree stump Making Prehistoric Music: Musical Instruments from Ancestral Puebloan Sites The world of the Ancestral Puebloans, or Anasazi, has been a major research area for archeologists of the Southwest, who have examined the nature and evolution of these prehistoric people from many angles. Emily Brown, a former NPS archeologist, is taking a fresh approach to the Ancestral Puebloans: she is studying the instruments that were used to make music. Gourd with designs etched into its surface. Late Cretaceous Ammonite Interactive 3D Model Collected from Chaco Culture National Historical Park, New Mexico. fossil on sandstone Plesiosaur Bone Fossil Interactive 3D Model Collected from Chaco Culture National Historical Park, New Mexico. fossil on sandstone Ripples and Bivalves Interactive 3D Model Collected from Chaco Culture National Historical Park, New Mexico. sandstone boulder Inoceramus shells Interactive 3D Model Collected from Chaco Culture National Historical Park, New Mexico. fossil shells on sandstone Mosasaur Jaw Interactive 3D Model Collected from Chaco Culture National Historical Park, New Mexico. fossil in sandstone Vegetation Characterization and Mapping on the Southern Colorado Plateau Vegetation mapping is a tool used by botanists, ecologists, and land managers to better understand the abundance, diversity, and distribution of different vegetation types across a landscape. Vegetation plots used for the classification and mapping of El Malpais NM Climate Change on the Southern Colorado Plateau The combination of high. elevation and a semi-arid climate makes the Colorado Plateau particularly vulnerable to climate change. Climate models predict that over the next 100 years, the Southwest will become warmer and even more arid, with more extreme droughts than the region has experienced in the recent past. One result of climate change may be more, larger floods, like this flash flood in Glen Canyon NRA Monitoring Spring Ecosystems on the Southern Colorado Plateau Springs are important water sources in arid landscapes, supporting unique plant associations and sustaining high levels of biotic diversity. Because springs rely on groundwater, they can serve as important indicators of change in local and regional aquifers. On the Colorado Plateau, spring ecosystems also provide vital habitat for both endemic and regionally rare species, including several types of orchids and declining populations of leopard frogs. A pool of water filled with vegetation and sheltered by large rocks Southern Colorado Plateau Mammal Inventories Mammal inventories help to close the gap in our knowledge and understanding of some taxonomic groups on the Colorado Plateau. Coyote (Canis latrans) Shark and Vertebrate Fossils Interactive 3D Model Collected from Chaco Culture National Historical Park, New Mexico. small stones and fossils on the ground Ancient Ripple Marks Interactive 3D Model Collected from Chaco Culture National Historical Park, New Mexico. sandstone surface with ripple marks Series: Geologic Time Periods in the Mesozoic Era The Mesozoic Era (251.9 to 66 million years ago) was the "Age of Reptiles." During the Mesozoic, Pangaea began separating into the modern continents, and the modern Rocky Mountains rose. Dinosaurs, crocodiles, and pterosaurs ruled the land and air. As climate changed and rapid plate tectonics resulted in shallow ocean basins, sea levels rose world-wide and seas expanded across the center of North America. fossil dinosaur skull in rock face Series: National Park Service Geodiversity Atlas The servicewide Geodiversity Atlas provides information on <a href="https://www.nps.gov/subjects/geology/geoheritage-conservation.htm">geoheritage</a> and <a href="https://www.nps.gov/subjects/geology/geodiversity.htm">geodiversity</a> resources and values all across the National Park System to support science-based management and education. The <a href="https://www.nps.gov/orgs/1088/index.htm">NPS Geologic Resources Division</a> and many parks work with National and International <a href="https://www.nps.gov/subjects/geology/park-geology.htm">geoconservation</a> communities to ensure that NPS abiotic resources are managed using the highest standards and best practices available. park scene mountains Series: Park Paleontology News - Vol. 12, No. 1, Spring 2020 All across the park system, scientists, rangers, and interpreters are engaged in the important work of studying, protecting, and sharing our rich fossil heritage. <a href="https://www.nps.gov/subjects/fossils/newsletters.htm">Park Paleontology news</a> provides a close up look at the important work of caring for these irreplaceable resources. <ul><li>Contribute to Park Paleontology News by contacting the <a href="https://www.nps.gov/common/utilities/sendmail/sendemail.cfm?o=5D8CD5B898DDBB8387BA1DBBFD02A8AE4FBD489F4FF88B9049&r=/subjects/geoscientistsinparks/photo-galleries.htm">newsletter editor</a></li><li>Learn more about <a href="https://www.nps.gov/subjects/fossils/">Fossils & Paleontology</a> </li><li>Celebrate <a href="https://www.nps.gov/subjects/fossilday/">National Fossil Day</a> with events across the nation</li></ul> two people standing outdoors near a fossil tree base Series: Chaco Collections—Paleontology The fossils at Chaco represent ten to fifteen million years of life on Earth, during the Late Cretaceous when New Mexico sat on the ever-changing coastline of an inland sea. This ocean, known as the Western Interior Seaway, was home to sharks and giant reptilian predators like mosasaurs and plesiosaurs, as well as ammonites, relatives of today’s squids. NPS scientists used imaging techniques to create virtual 3D models of a few of the park’s paleontological treasures. artist rendering of giant mosasaur swimming and feeding on ammonites Series: Defining the Southwest The Southwest has a special place in the American imagination – one filled with canyon lands, cacti, roadrunners, perpetual desert heat, a glaring sun, and the unfolding of history in places like Tombstone and Santa Fe. In the American mind, the Southwest is a place without boundaries – a land with its own style and its own pace – a land that ultimately defies a single definition. Maize agriculture is one component of a general cultural definition of the Southwest. Series: SCPN-NAU School of Communication Collaboration The Southern Colorado Plateau Network (SCPN) of the National Park Service has been partnering with the Northern Arizona University (NAU) School of Communication since 2011 to develop student multimedia projects that highlight resources and activities in network parks. This collaboration gives NAU students hands-on experience in creating multimedia projects and provides network parks with products that can help to promote their unique resources and scientific or educational project work. SCPN-NAU student projects Cretaceous Period—145.0 to 66.0 MYA Many now-arid western parks, including Chaco Culture National Historical Park and Mesa Verde National Park, were inundated by the Cretaceous Interior Seaway that bisected North America. Massive dinosaur and other reptile fossils are found in Cretaceous rocks of Big Bend National Park. dinosaur footprint in stone Mesozoic Era The Mesozoic Era (251.9 to 66 million years ago) was the "Age of Reptiles." During the Mesozoic, Pangaea began separating into the modern continents, and the modern Rocky Mountains rose. Dinosaurs, crocodiles, and pterosaurs ruled the land and air. As climate changed and rapid plate tectonics resulted in shallow ocean basins, sea levels rose world-wide and seas expanded across the center of North America. fossil dinosaur skull in rock face The Intersecting Crossroads of Paleontology and Archeology: When are Fossils Considered Artifacts? Understanding human knowledge and attitudes (human dimensions) towards paleontological resources through the cooccurrence of fossils and artifacts and/or tribal consultation (archeological context) helps us better appreciate those human values, perspectives, and beliefs. This understanding is important to the management, protection, and interpretation of these non-renewable resources.  colorful arrowhead on black background Series: Intermountain Park Science 2021 Integrating Research and Resource Management in Intermountain National Parks Group of National Park Service staff and volunteers standing in front of a desert canyon. Chaco Canyon and the Antiquities Act Between AD 850 and 1250, Chaco Canyon was a hub of cultural activity for Native American peoples, a landscape of multi-storied masonry buildings, roads, water control and distribution systems, and petroglyphs, pictographs, and calendrical markings. Concern over the looting of artifacts and loss of irreplaceable information led to the designation of Chaco Canyon National Monument on March 11, 1907. View overlooking ruins at Chaco Canyon.
Chaco Culture National Hisitorical Park National Park Service U.S. Department of the Interior A Brief History of Chaco Culture National Historical Park AD 850 to 1250 Chaco Canyon served as a major urban center of ancestral Puebloan culture. Remarkable for its monumental public and ceremonial buildings, engineering projects, astronomy, artistic achievements, and distinctive architecture, it served as a hub of ceremony, trade, and administration for the prehistoric Four Corners area for 400 years—unlike anything before or since. 1250 to present Members of affiliated clans and religious societies from Hopi and the Pueblos of New Mexico continue to return to Chaco on pilgrimages to honor their ancestral homelands. 1500s By the 1500s (possibly decades earlier), what archeologists recognize as Navajo settlement patterns were already well established in the Dinétah area, northeast of Chaco in Blanco, Largo, and Gobernador canyons. 1680 The Pueblo Revolt of 1680 briefly unified the Pueblo peoples of New Mexico and their allied neighbors, and expelled Spanish settlers from the Southwest. 1692 Spanish re-conquest forced Pueblo patriots into exile. Many took refuge with Navajo people living in the Dinétah region, and the resulting cultural interactions included intermarriage; the exchange of ceremonial knowledge; and conflict and competition. 1700s By the 1700s, what archeologists recognize as Navajo settlement patterns were well established in Chaco Canyon. 1778 A map produced by Don Bernardo de Miera y Pacheco identified the Chaco Canyon area as “Chaca,” a Spanish colonial word commonly used during that era meaning “a large expanse of open and unexplored land, desert, plain, or prairie.” “Chaca” is believed to be the origin of both “Chacra” and “Chaco.” The Acoma place name for Chaco, W’aasfba shak’a, meaning “place of greasewood,” may have been shortened to “Chaca.” Another possibility is that “Chaca” may be a Spanish translation of the Navajo word Tsékoh, meaning “rock-cut” or “canyon” or Tzak aih, meaning “white string of rocks.” (The latter refers to the appearance the sandstone atop Chacra Mesa.) 1823 As José Antonio Viscarra led a military force west from Jémez Pueblo onto Navajo lands, he noted many fallen Chacoan buildings. 1849 The Washington Expedition, a military reconnaissance under the direction of Lt. James Simpson of the Army Corps of Topographical Engineers, surveyed Navajo lands, and wrote accounts of Chacoan cultural sites. Attached to the expedition, the Kern brothers produced excellent illustrations of the sites for a government report. 1877 W. H. Jackson with the U.S. Geological and Geographical Survey (headed by Ferdinand Hayden) produced expanded descriptions and maps of Chacoan sites. Jackson noted Pueblo Alto and Chacoan stairways carved into cliffs. No photos were produced, because he experimented with a new photographic film process at Chaco, which failed. 1888 Victor and Cosmos Mindeleff of the Bureau of American Ethnology spent several weeks at Chaco surveying and photographing the major Chacoan sites for a monumental study of Pueblo architecture. Their photographs documented vandalism and looting. These photos, the oldest known, provide the park with a starting point for determining the modern effects of visitation, looting, vandalism, and natural collapse on these sites. 1896–1900 After excavating Mesa Verde cliff dwellings (1888) and other ancestral Puebloan sites in the Four Corners area, Richard Wetherill moved to Chaco in 1896 to begin excavations at Pueblo Bonito. The Hyde Exploring Expedition, led by George H. Pepper from the American Museum of Natural History in New York City, established full-scale excavations at Pueblo Bonito, assisted by Richard Wetherill. Their main focus was the accumulation of artifacts for the museum collection; and numerous crates of artifacts from Pueblo Bonito they shipped to the museum, where they remain today. 1901 Richard Wetherill filed for a homestead deed on land that included Pueblo Bonito, Pueblo Del Arroyo, and Chetro Ketl. While investigating Wetherill’s land claim, General Land Office special agent S. J. Holsinger described the canyon’s physical setting and the sites, noted prehistoric road segments, stairways, prehistoric dams and irrigation systems. His report strongly recommended the creation of a national park to preserve Chacoan sites. The claim was modified to exclude these major structures, and it was not until 1910, after his death, that the Wetherill family received the deed. 1902 Edgar L. Hewett of the School of American Research, Museum of New Mexico, and University of New Mexico mapped many Chacoan sites. 1906 Hewett and many others helped to enact the Federal Antiquities Act of 1906. Our nation’s first law protecting antiquities, the Antiquities Act was a direct consequence of the controversy surrounding Wetherill’s work at Chaco. The law also granted new powers to the President, allowing him to establish Mesa Ver
National Historical Park National Park Service U.S. Department of the Interior Chaco Culture Backcountry Hiking Trails Hiking permits are required for these trails. They are free and available at all trailheads and at the Visitor Center. Trails are open from sunrise to sunset. Pets are permitted on leashes. Carry water, snacks, and sun protection. Pueblo Alto Trail Distance - Entire loop trail – 5.4 mi roundtrip (3-4 hours) Pueblo Alto - 3.2 mi roundtrip (2 hours) Pueblo Bonito Overlook – 2.0 mi roundtrip (1 hr) Trailhead - Pueblo del Arroyo parking area Elevation Gain - 250 feet This trail provides spectacular overlook views of Pueblo Bonito, Chetro Ketl, and Kin Kletso, enters Pueblo Alto and New Alto, passes by Chacoan stairways, ramps, and roads, and affords panoramic views of the San Juan Basin. This trail is an excellent introduction into the Chacoan world. Add time to explore the sites. Peñasco Blanco Trail Distance - Peñasco Blanco roundtrip 7.4 mi (5-7 hrs) Petroglyph Trail only roundtrip 3.5 mi (2 hours) Supernova Pictograph roundtrip 5.8 mi (4-6 hours) Trailhead - Pueblo del Arroyo parking area Elevation Gain - 200 feet The longest trail - relatively level - includes the Petroglyph Trail to view numerous Pueblo and Navajo petroglyphs and historic inscriptions. The trail continues to the “Supernova” pictograph site and Peñasco Blanco, an unexcavated great house with a unique oval design and a spectacular natural setting. Hot summer sun and soft sand can make this a long and difficult hike. Carry plenty of water, snacks, and sun protection. Add extra time to explore the sites. South Mesa Trail Distance - Entire loop trail - 4.1 mi roundtrip (3-4 hrs) Tsin Kletzin - 3.0 mi roundtrip (2-3 hrs) Trailhead - Casa Rinconada Trail, Stop 10 Elevation Gain - 450 feet This trail leaves from Stop 10 on the Casa Rinconada trail, climbs to a high point on South Mesa, and leads to the great house Tsin Kletzin. Spectacular views of the surrounding landscape are visible at the site. The loop trail descends into South Gap, follows the Chacoan South Roads, and re-enters the canyon near Casa Rinconada. Add extra time to explore the site and enjoy the vistas. Wijiji Trail Distance - Wijiji roundtrip from parking area - 3.0 mi (2 hrs) Wijiji roundtrip from campground - 3.2 mile (2 hrs) Trailheads – Wijiji parking area and campground Elevation Gain - Insignificant This trail leads to Wijiji, a later-period Chacoan great house built around AD 1100. Wijiji differs from sites like Pueblo Bonito and Chetro Ketl in that it appears to have been built at once rather than several building periods; with exceptional symmetry and the uniform masonry. Wijiji lacks typical Chacoan features such as enclosed plazas and great kivas. Add time to explore the site and visit a short (0.2 mile roundtrip) petroglyph spur trail. EXPERIENCE YOUR AMERICA 07/08
Chaco Culture National Historical Park National Park Service U.S. Department of the Interior The Birds of Chaco – A Checklist This list includes 131 species of birds whose occurrence in the park has been documented in two inventories over a 30-year period. Species followed by: • c (common) are often seen, and regular park inhabitants. • u (uncommon) are not often seen, but are regular park inhabitants. • a (abundant) are frequently seen. • o (occasional) are usually seen only a few times a season. • r (rare) are seen only once every few years • i (introduced) are non-native species. • x (extirpated) are no longer present in the park, but exist elsewhere. • * are recent single observations. • In addition, subspecies and color morphs are listed below the species. Please help us by reporting any sightings of rare or unlisted species. Please include photos or drawings if possible, and send to: Division of Natural Resources, Chaco Culture National Historical Park, PO Box 220, Nageezi, NM 87037. HERONS ___ Great Blue Heron r ___ Black-crowned Night-Heron r AMERICAN VULTURES ___ Turkey Vulture c DUCKS, GEESE, SWANS ___ Mallard x KITES, EAGLES, HAWKS ___ Osprey x ___ Northern Harrier u ___ Sharp-shinned Hawk o ___ Cooper’s Hawk c ___ Swainson’s Hawk r ___ Red-tailed Hawk c ___ Golden Eagle u CARACARAS, FALCONS ___ American Kestrel c ___ Peregrine Falcon r ___ Prairie Falcon u PHEASANTS, GROUSE, TURKEYS ___ Wild Turkey x QUAIL ___ Scaled Quail u RAILS, GALLINULES, COOTS ___ Sora a PLOVERS ___ Killdeer r SKUAS, GULLS, TERNS, SKIMMERS ___ Franklin’s Gull r PIGEONS, DOVES ___ Mourning Dove a CUCKOOS, ROADRUNNERS, ANIS ___ Greater Roadrunner r BARN OWLS ___ Barn Owl u TYPICAL OWLS ___ Western Screech-Owl r ___ Great Horned Owl c ___ Long-eared Owl u ___ Short-eared Owl x NIGHTHAWKS, NIGHTJARS ___ Common Nighthawk u ___ Common Poorwill u SWIFTS ___ Black Swift * ___ White-throated Swift a HUMMINGBIRDS ___ Black-chinned Hummingbird c ___ Broad-tailed Hummingbird c ___ Rufous Hummingbird r WOODPECKERS ___ Lewis’s Woodpecker r ___ Williamson’s Sapsucker r ___ Red-naped Sapsucker u ___ Downy Woodpecker u ___ ___ ___ ___ Hairy Woodpecker u Northern Flicker c Yellow-shafted Red-shafted TYRANT FLYCATCHERS; BECARDS ___ Olive-sided Flycatcher o ___ Western Wood-Pewee u ___ Willow Flycatcher o ___ Hammond’s Flycatcher o ___ Gray Flycatcher c ___ Dusky Flycatcher o ___ Cordilleran Flycatcher u ___ Say’s Phoebe c ___ Vermillion Flycatcher * ___ Ash-throated Flycatcher c ___ Cassin’s Kingbird c ___ Western Kingbird o SHRIKES ___ Loggerhead Shrike c ___ Northern Shrike x VIREOS ___ Plumbous Vireo o ___ Warbling Vireo u JAYS, MAGPIES, CROWS ___ Western Scrub-Jay c ___ Pinyon Jay c ___ Common Raven c LARKS ___ Horned Lark c SWALLOWS ___ Violet-green Swallow o ___ Cliff Swallow a ___ Barn Swallow o TITMICE ___ Mountain Chickadee u ___ Juniper Titmouse c BUSHTITS ___ Bushtit c NUTHATCHES ___ Red-breasted Nuthatch r ___ White-breasted Nuthatch o CREEPERS ___ Brown Creeper o WRENS ___ ___ ___ ___ Rock Wren a Canyon Wren u Bewick’s Wren c House Wren u KINGLETS ___ Ruby-crowned Kinglet u GNATCATCHERS ___ Blue-gray Gnatcatcher c THRUSHES ___ Western Bluebird o ___ Mountain Bluebird u ___ Townsend’s Solitaire u ___ Hermit Thrush u ___ American Robin o MOCKINGBIRDS, THRASHERS ___ Northern Mockingbird c ___ Sage Thrasher u WAXWINGS ___ Cedar Waxwing r SILKY-FLYCATCHERS ___ Phainopepla * WOOD-WARBLERS ___ Orange-crowned Warbler u ___ Nashville Warbler o ___ Virginia’s Warbler u ___ Northern Parula x ___ Yellow Warbler r ___ Yellow-rumped Warbler u ___ Myrtle ___ Audubon’s ___ Black-throated Gray Warbler o ___ Townsend’s Warble o ___ Grace’s Warble r ___ Black-and-white Warble r ___ American Redstart x ___ MacGillivray’s Warble u ___ Wilson’s Warbler c TANAGERS ___ Western Tanager o SPARROWS ___ Green-tailed Towhee u ___ Spotted Towhee o ___ Canyon Towhee c ___ Cassin’s Sparrow o ___ American Tree Sparrow r ___ Chipping Sparrow a ___ Clay-colored Sparrow r ___ Brewer’s Sparrow c ___ Vesper Sparrow u ___ Lark Sparrow c ___ Black-throated Sparrow a ___ Sage Sparrow c ___ Lark Bunting r ___ ___ ___ ___ ___ ___ ___ ___ ___ ___ ___ Song Sparrow o White-throated Sparrow o White-crowned Sparrow u White-lored Black-lored Dark-eyed Junco c Slate-colored White-winged Oregon Pink-sided Gray-headed CARDINALS, GROSEBEAKS ___ Black-headed Grosbeak o ___ Blue Grosbeak c ___ Lazuli Bunting r ___ Indigo Bunting r ___ Dickcisse r BLACKBIRDS, ORIOLES ___ Red-winged Blackbird r ___ Western Meadowlark c ___ Yellow-headed Blackbird o ___ Brewer’s Blackbird r ___ Common Grackle x ___ Brown-headed Cowbird i c ___ Bullock’s Oriole o ___ Scott’s Oriole u FINCHES ___ House Finch a ___ Pine Siskin r ___ Lesser Goldfinch o ___ Black-backed ___ Green-backed ___ American Goldfinch o OLD WORLD SPARROWS ___ House Sparrow i c WILDLIFE OBSERVATION: DATE: TIME: WEATHER: LOCALITY: OBSERVERS: Please include any photos or drawings. Thanks! EX P E R I E N C E Y O U R A M
Chaco Culture National Historical Park National Park Service U. S. Department of the Interior Mammal List ELK (CERVUS ELAPHUS) The elk herd moved back into Chaco in the 1999. Many opportunities arise to see the estimated 60 resident elk throughout the year. The best time to catch a glimpse of the second largest cervid in North America, howerver is in the fall. Thanks to efforts made by the state of New Mexico and private individuals who strove to restore the nearly extinct animal from 1910 to 1966, elk population estimates within the state soar upwards of 72,000. DESERT COTTONTAIL (SYVILAGUS AUDUBONLI) The cottontail is one of the most abundant mammals in the park. You might get a laugh seeing them sprawled out in the summertime around the parking lots and prehistoric sites. Cottontails conserve their energy and moisture by avoiding activity in the daylight hours. To provide excellent warmth during the winter months, the Chacoans wove cloaks and blankets out of rabbit fur. MULE DEER(OBDOCOLLEUS HEMIONUS) Mule PORCUPINE (ERITHIZON DORSATUM) This large rodent makes periodical appearances within the canyon. Porcupines are herbivores and love to eat tree bark (having the potential to strip trees completely bare). As with all animals in the park, keep your distance when viewing porcupines. They don’t actually throw their quills, but contact with the sharp objects can be rather painful. deer can be a little on the shy side, but keep an eye out for them around the loop road and the washes. Typically seen in the fall, deer are most visible in the early morning and late afternoon. Population estimates hover around 50, but its exact size remains unknown. The Chacoans utilized deer bone for tools and ceremonial objects, the meat for food, and hides for warmth. COYOTE (CANIS LATRANS) These members of the dog family are quite prevalent in Chaco. You can see them running down the road or prowling on top of the mesas. If you’re lucky, you might catch the unusual pairing of the coyote and badger who often hunt together. It might sound strange, but this phenomenon has been reported many times in the park especially around the South Mesa. Many rock art panels feature coyote images. AMERICAN BADGER (TAXIDEA TAXUS) The badger is an excellent hunter and masters the skill by digging lots of burrows and capturing its prey with its strong, sharp claws. Sometimes they will invade another animal’s burrow, wait for it’s return, and attack the prey. You can see many burrows along the South Mesa Trail where you might see the earlier described interaction with coyote. Identify these mammals. Have you seen any of these creatures in the park? A. (See reverse side for answers) B. C. r/ d e on O r mm Co m Na e La ORDER: ARTIODACTYLA Elk Mule Deer ORDER:CARVIVORA Coyote Bobcat Striped Skunk Puma American badger Common grey fox Black bear Kit fox tin N e am Ab u Cervus elaphus Ocdoileus hermonius nd an C C Canis latrans Lynx rufus Mephitis mephitis Puma concolor Taxidea taxus C U U U U Urocyon cinereoargenateus U Ursus americanus R Vulpes macrotis U ORDER: CHIROPTERA Pallid bat Western lump-nosed bat Big brown bat Spotted bat Silver-haired bat Hoary bat California myotis Western small-footed bat Long-eared myotis Fringed myotis Long-legged myotis Yuma myotis Big free-tailed bat Western pipistrelle Brazilian free-tailed bat Antrozous pallidus Corynorhinus townsendii Epstisicus fuscus Euderma maculatum Lasionycteris noctivagans Lasiurus cinereus Myotis californicus Myotis ciliolabrum Myotis evotis Myotis thysanodes Myotis volans Myotis yumanensis Nyctinomops macrotis Pipistrellus hesperus Tadarida brasiliensis / er ce d on O r mm Co Na me tin e Ab u a nd ORDER: INSECTIVORA Desert shrew Notiosorex crawfordi R ORDER: LAGOMORPHA Black-tailed jack rabbit Desert cottontail Lepus californicus Syvilagus audubonli C C Order: Rondentia Antelope ground squirrel Gunnison’s prairie dog Ord’s kangaroo rat Banner-tailed kangaroo rat Porcupine Colorado chipmunk White-throated wood rat Bushy-tailed wood rat Stephen’s wood rat N. grasshopper mouse Plains pocket mouse Silky pocket mouse Brush mouse Canyon mouse Deer mouse Pinyon mouse Western harvest mouse Spotted ground squirrel Rock squirrel Botta’s pocket gopher C U R R U R C C U C U U R C U La m Na Ammospermophilius leucurus C Cynomys gunnisoni Dypodomys ordi Dipodomys spectabilis Erithizon dorsatum C C C C Neotamias quadrivittatus U Neotoma albigula C Neotoma cinerea U Neotoma stephensi U Onychomys leucogaster C Perognathus flavescens U Perognathus flavus C Peromyscus boylii U Peromyscus crinitus C Peromyscus maniculatus A Peromyscus truei C Reithrodontomys magalotis U Spermophilis spilosoma R Spermophilis variegatus R Thomomys bottae C Legend A = Abundant C = Common R = Rare U = Uncommon Canyon Winged Friends Pallid Bat Fringed Myotis Big Brown Bat Answers: Chaco hosts a myriad of furry flying mammals. The fringed and California myotis, Pallid b
Culture National Chaco Historical Park National Historical Park National Park Service NationalofPark Service U.S. Department the Interior U.S. Department of the Interior Chaco Culture Reptiles and Amphibians MEXICAN SPADEFOOT TOAD (SPEA MULTIPLICATA) Best seen on summer nights after rains, the Mexican spadefoot toad is one of two spadefoot toads located in the canyon. Look for rock art in the park representing this amphibian. EASTERN COLLARED LIZARD (CROTAPHYTUS COLLARIS) These brightly colored (turquoise, yellow, and black) lizards are a favorite of many park visitors. Highly visible and very common in the park, watch for these creatures near Pueblo Alto and nearly all of the sites. EASTERN FENCE OR SAGEBRUSH LIZARD (SCELOPORUS GRACIOSUS) Found in all of the habitats in Chaco, the fence lizard is the most abundant lizard in the canyon. You can see them climbing on rocks, at the Chacoan buildings and around the Visitor Center. TIGER SALAMANDER (ABYSTOMA TIGRINUM) The tiger salamander occurs throughout the park environs, but is not commonly seen. Their larvae have been seen in pools of water in the Chaco Wash. PLATEAU STRIPED WHIPTAIL (CNEMIDOPHORUS VALOR) Also very visible in the park, the whiptail can be seen on many trails in the frontcountry and backcountry. WESTERN RATTLESNAKE (CROTALUS VIRIDIS) Chaco does host a population of rattlesnakes! Don’t be too alarmed, the snakes tend to be rather shy. Watch for them in the summer months particularly along trails and sunning themselves on paved roads. Avoid hitting them! EXPERIENCE YOUR AMERICA Amphibian and Reptile List Chaco Culture National Historical Park is home to a wide variety of amphibians and reptiles. Some of these are quite numerous and seen frequently by park visitors, while others are rarer and only seen very occasionally. Please keep in mind while visiting that all wildlife within the park is protected in accordance with the mission of the National Park Service. Be aware of wildlife and take care not to disturb or harm it. This is particularly important when driving at night, when many animals such as snakes are more active and at risk of being run over. AMPHIBIANS • Tiger salamander (Abystoma tigrinum) - common • Plains spadefoot toad (Spea bombifrons) - uncommon • Mexican spadefoot toad (Spea multiplicata) - common REPTILES Lizards • Collared lizard (Crotaphytus collaris) - common • Side-blotched lizard (Uta Stanasburiana) - common • Lesser earless lizard (Holbrookia maculata) - common • Sagebrush lizard (Sceloporus graciosus) - common • Ornate tree lizard (Urosaurus ornatus) - uncommon • Plateau whiptail lizard (Cnemidophorus valor) - common • Greater short-horned lizard (Phrynosoma douglasii) - uncommon Snakes • Gopher/bull snake (Pituophis melanoleucus) - common • Western rattlesnake (Crotalus viridis) - common • Western territorial garter snake (Thamnophis elegans) - uncommon • Striped whipsnake (Masticophis taeniatus) - uncommon • Glossy snake (Arizona elegans) - rare • Night snake (Hypsiglena torquata) - common Source: Nowak, E.M., and Trevor B. Parsons. 2008. Inventory of Amphibians and Reptiles for Twelve National Parks in the Southern Colorado Plateau Network. Final Report to the National Park Service, Southern Colorado Plateau Network, Flagstaff, AZ.
Chaco Culture National Historical Park National Park Service U.S. Department of the Interior Fossils from the Cretaceous Sea A l l d r a w i n g s b y J a n e K o l b e r. Revised 01/2006 T h i s p u b l i c a t i o n w a s p r i n t e d w i t h f u n d s d o n a t e d b y We s t e r n N a t i o n a l P a r k s A s s o c i a t i o n . e x p e r i e nc e yo u r a m e r ic a
Chaco Culture National Historical Park National Park Service U.S. Department of the Interior Pre-Columbian Chocolate Discovered at Chaco Dr. Patricia Crown examining a cylinder jar, photo courtesy of UNM Today. Though the National Park Service rarely sponsors archaeological excavations today, archaeologists and other researchers are still learning new things from the material remains of ancestral Puebloan culture all the time. Technologies like LiDAR photography (an optical remote sensing technology) and ground penetrating radar give us new eyes on the resources at Chaco. Very recently evidence of cacao (chocolate!) was discovered in cylinder jars, a pottery style found almost exclusively in Pueblo Bonito, using a tiny sample of ground pottery sherd. The process is called organic residue analysis. In the late 1800s Richard Wetherill and his assistant George Pepper, the first archaeologists to work in Chaco, excavated 111 cylinder jars from one particular room at Pueblo Bonito. These men knew they had found something special, though they could not have imagined what we would learn from the jars more than 100 years later. Over the course of subsequent excavations, archaeologists have gained a deeper understanding of just how unique these vessels are. Fewer than 200 have been found in the entire American Southwest, including those in Room 28 at Pueblo Bonito. Scholars have long known that a drink made from cacao was consumed in Roasted cacao bean, photo courtesy of Sifu Renka. ancient Mesoamerica. Some Maya cylinder jars even incorporate paintings of the precious liquid being poured for rulers and gods, though average people sometimes consumed it as well. The Maya ground the beans; mixed them with spices, chilies, and water; and frothed the drink for consumption either hot or cold. Most of the jars found in the famous cache at Pueblo Bonito are more than twice as tall as they are wide and painted with black designs on a white background. Because of their distinct shape and exclusive locations, archaeologists have typically agreed that they were used ritually. Ideas about their use include that they were storage for turquoise or prayer sticks, or that animal skins were stretched over them to create drums. Almost all of these jars are housed today in the American Museum of Natural History in New York City, making prolonged study logistically difficult. Cylinder jars from Pueblo Bonito, photo courtesy of the American Museum of Natural History. From 2004-2007 a University of New Mexico (UNM) research project re-excavated the trenches first dug in Pueblo Bonito’s middens under Neil Judd in the 1920s. Of the hundreds of thousands of pot sherds that were recovered, archaeologist Patricia Crown selected five for her research. She is a ceramics specialist at UNM’s Department of Anthropology. She designed the project, and W. Jeffrey Hurst from The Hershey Center for Health and Nutrition performed the research. They chose five pot sherds for organic residue analysis, three of which were likely from cylinder jars. The pieces date to between 1000 and 1125 AD based on their decorative styles. Only the three sherds most likely from cylinder jars exhibited trace theobromine, a conclusive indicator of cacao or chocolate. The implications of this find are extraordinary. The cacao plant grows only in certain tropical climates, and the nearest possibility for Chaco is Central Mexico. We already know the Chacoan people traded with Mesoamerican cultures for exotics like copper bells and Scarlet Macaws, but cacao suggests a more ritual connection than other Mesoamerican goods. In some Maya ceremonies a cacao beverage was frothed by pouring the liquid from one vessel to another. Likewise, the cacao found at Chaco was probably in liquid form because the residue had absorbed into the clay itself. Further, the limited distribution of the cylinder jars could be evidence that only an elite or small segment of the population consumed the beverage. Jar from Central Maya area with cacao glyph, photo courtesy of Mary Harrsch. Today nearly every visitor to Chaco leaves the park remembering Pueblo Bonito because of its size and level of preservation and excavation. Perhaps the building had special importance in the Chacoan world as well. So far, all indication of precious chocolate has been associated with that site. Excavations at Pueblo Bonito in 2007, NPS photo In a few years we may have yet another picture of trade and ritual activity in the ancient Southwest. Crown and Hurst recently received a National Science Foundation (NSF) grant to test 300 more pieces of pottery for theobromine. Not only are they expanding the sample size of cylinder jars to include those in the American Museum, but they are broadening their geographic scope. The researchers are testing distinctive pottery representing the Mogollon and Hohokam cultures as well. Research today looks very different than it did under Wetherill and the early pioneers of archa

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