Anthropology, Department of


Date of this Version

Summer 2006


Archaeology Southwest vol 20, no. 3 (Summer 2006), pp 17-18.


MANY ASPECTS OF Chacoan prehistory remain unclear due to the inaccessibility of unpublished excavation records and photographs for the earliest excavations and explorations. As a result, key unanswered questions about the nature of Chaco itself and individual Chaco villages and towns—small- rather than large-scale issues—have become more, rather than less, significant over time. Despite the magnitude of the excavations at Pueblo Bonito and Pueblo del Arroyo and the amount and range of materials recovered, our knowledge of why these sites were built and how they were used remains remarkably uncertain or, at best, highly contested. To explore some of these questions, in June 2002, the School of American Research, in Santa Fe, invited 12 Southwestern archaeologists and information science specialists to explore the creation of a digital research archive of information from the Chaco Canyon region.