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Ancient Observatories: Chaco Canyon

Located in the northwest corner of New Mexico, Chaco Canyon is a shallow, ten-mile canyon accessible only by washboard dirt roads. It is an area of tremendous cultural importance, as it was once the center of an elaborate system of buildings, roadways, and other construction. Intense building activity continued at the site until about AD 1150, and then it was quickly abandoned. Today, it is a National Historic Park and a UNESCO World Heritage Site. On this site created by the Exploratorium in San Francisco, visitors can learn about this unique place via sections that provide insight into its layout, its history of human habitation, and also its various celestial alignments. First-time visitors can click on the Sense of Place tab to view a time-lapse video of the site. The Time area is remarkable, as visitors can read an essay titled "How Old Is It?" and then watch "Migration Stories," which talks about the experiences that humans have had there over the centuries. The site is rounded out by the Observation area, which allows users to learn about how the canyon's unique qualities have fascinated visitors, explorers, and others.
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Date of Scout Publication 2013-02-15
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