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Anasazi Ruins USA Archives - The Wonders Expedition™ - @Archeoastronomy

June 5, 2020

Allen Manning’s Revisit to Chaco Canyon

Our man Allen Manning is on the road again, back to Chaco Canyon, New Mexico.

Follow his adventures on Twitter at @RoadMonkeyOne.

Tweet a Pic of Our Buick Enclave in Memphis for the Society for American Archaeology Meeting

Tweet a pic of our 2012 Buick Enclave for a chance to win prizes!

Here’s an example of being in the right place at the right time with a smartphone that can tweet a photo of our 2012 Buick Enclave, courtesy of @GMTexas.  If you see us on the road between Dallas and Memphis, take a photo of the car and then tweet it with the hashtag #TWEChevy, you’ll have the chance to win some cool prizes for participating.

We are using the car as a loaner through the generosity of GM and the social media team who graciously support the work of bloggers and those active in social media.  So far, since December,  @GMTexas has provided us a Traverse, an Equinox and now and Enclave to visit Poverty Point, Louisiana for the December Solstice expedition, the visit by Allen Manning to Chaco Canyon in New Mexico to study the Anasazi Indians and other Native Americans in the area, and now, we’re headed to the Society for American Archaeology meeting in Memphis.

THE SAA MEETING

We are excited to be headed to Memphis courtesy of support from a couple of incredible sponsors who made the trip possible.  While in Memphis, we will be doing a series of interviews for our upcoming release of Dr. Mark Van Stone’s 2012: Science and Prophecy of the Ancient Maya interactive book for the iPad.  This book is going to be the only book like it on the market, complete with video interviews with Dr. Van Stone, one the world’s most renowned Mayanists.

While in Memphis, we also want to talk to as many archeologists as possible who are interested in converting their written works over to Interactive Books for the iPad.  If you want to talk while you’re also in town, please let us know by sending a Tweet to our Twitter account–@Archeoastronomy or by sending a contact inquiry through the site.

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Chaco Canyon Roads

Chaco Canyon Roads by Allen W. Manning

By Allen W. Manning

The road to discovery is often bumpy and long, none could better describe the path taken into Chaco Canyon for our first day of investigation and discovery.  But it is not the current well used road into the canyon I find interesting.

Not easily visible to the amature or untrained eye (that would be me) are the thousand-year-old roads, most straight and smooth for miles that carried ancient commerce and people through the canyon.
It was once said in Europe that all roads lead to Rome, well Chaco is the Rome of the North American continent.

In John Kantner’s paper “Chaco Road” he elaborates on research into the wide and rather straight system of roadways thus far found emanating from Chaco.

“Chaco roads are notoriously wide, with most ranging 8-10 m in width, but there is considerable variability. Nials (1983) notes that the larger, well-defined roads located near major sites average 9 m in width, while isolated ‘spur’ roads tend to measure half this.

“A single roadway can be much wider near an architectural site, but then narrow to a mere two meters and exhibit few distinguishable features in remote areas where the terrain is more restrictive.

“Determining the depth of Chaco roads has also proven to be difficult. Many suspected roads exhibit significant amounts of gullying, while border elements such as large berms exaggerate the actual depth below ground level. In fact, the majority of suspected roadways have no topographic expression at all, either because they were never excavated into the surface during road construction or because natural processes have destroyed them (Nials 1983:6-15).  Less frequent are roads that were excavated to hard-packed soil to form a roadbed; these range 10-50 cm in depth (Vivian 1995:17).  A few road segments were actually excavated into sandstone bedrock, apparently in order to delineate the road.”

Much of what has been found leads to more questions. How and why did a society with no known beast of burden other than bipedal humanoids without the advent of the wheel create and use such a detailed road system.

It is believed that many of the roads were constructed around 1000 AD near the end of then occupation of Chaco Canyon. But dating the roads is difficult and most rely on discarded pottery found along the paths, possible broken trade good vessels left by passing travelers.

 Much that is known comes from supposition and few hard evidential markers. Elaborate stone walls tightly constructed, overplayed with plaster and ornamented with paintings adorned not only the housing cities, but also may have covered the sides of the roadways. Several structures along each side of the miles of straight road are marked by mounds, masonry walls and markers.

Could the builders purpose for the roads be any different than our own modern needs? How did they transport more than 600,000 timbers from more than 100 miles away to construct these 12 cities and why here? This bumpy and unexplained path of discovery continues to lead researchers down dark alleys and into blind corners. But they, we still seek the answers of the Anasazi.

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Leaving Anasazi Country

 

By Allen Manning

Fires crackled and burned, stones cracked in the intense heat as plaster explodes from overheated walls. Timbers once the structure’s primary unifying agent betray it room by room. Ceilings collapse onto over-weighted upper floors as each dominoes till walls fall stripped of support by a growing fire stormfalling in pieces upon the embers.

Chaco Canyon Anasazi Ruin by Allen Manning

Others abandoned by their builders, used now by passing nomads tending flocks and seeking castoffs from a long fled society.

Chacoan, Anasazi, Hohokam, Patayan or Mogollon, regardless the name current Pueblo descendants may call those who built the ruins that so vividly displays  ancient builders’ technology, they came here first. And here they built a society with roads, astronomy and sophisticated rituals centuries before any other North American people had moved out of single story long houses of wood and mud structures.

Many Kivas and pueblos in the 13 known major Chacoan era Pueblo builders were destroyed by fires. It is not known if any were intently set ablaze by departing builders or by enemy raiders.
Cannibalized  remains at several sights suggest to some grizzly fate befell the builders. But so many questions and so few answers leave us asking, are these builders’ bones, enemies or witches.  Were they cannibalized, or just brutally butchered and burned with the tumbled down buildings.

Questions will be addressed, answers sought from current Pueblo residents and regional experts. But for now this first journey into the great builders of the American West is coming into a close. More research and and a second trip already in the planning stages are underway. I solicit your touts, memories and understandings of the people and their past. There are some 22 Pueblo tribes in the southwest. I seek each for memories and answers.

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Aztec Ruins in the Four Corners Region

Aztec Ruins

Sifting through more material, hearing jaded reports on theories with little support. Yet still the reporter in me continues to dig for answers to a 1500 year old mystery buried in outlying ruins.

#TWEChevy March 14 2012 Near Aztec National Park

Where have they gone and why?  Seeing the faces plowing along numbered paths peering into collapsing rooms I see the ancients.  Small statuesque woman with deep brown complexion smiling as I look into her eyes. Yes they are here still, still in each of us. Why here, why did they leave are we soon to follow their fate?

Aztec ruins reflects similar building to Chaco Canyon, with like eras of rebuilding stretched over miles along the San Juan River.

Thirteen major pueblos criss cross the Chaco Canyon region while other areas hold one apartment development supported by hundreds of smaller remote homesteads.

Many theories fill visitors with confusion. Can one answer fill in every void? Look to our own communities and see if one answer fills in every question.

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Jemez Springs and Discoveries in Anasazi Country

Today in a small corner of New Mexico I found an archeologist who repeated my own thoughts on things pulled from these sacred grounds.

Jemez State Monument by Allen Manning

Twenty-two known Pueblo nations stand watch over hundreds of diggers rifling through shared histories, ruins and more. Many unwilling to share the paths to the present. But for a few, who are willing to explain, years of misunderstandings come crashing down instead of the walls raised from the ground. Each explanation of a simple artifacts as they are found sheds light and perceptions changed abound.

Sharing thoughts of a seasoned Chaco Canyon digger I heard of the needs shared by the Puebloeans as each grain from their past is swept away. Respect for the dead, understanding for the living and hopes for the future. More of this conversation and more to soon be introduced.

My time here in this pass is short, as the wealth holds out, the voices I need for learning busy seeking next year’s funding.

Oh and not every unknown artifact was some sort of religious piece. How many items in your own home are religious in nature….

In the morning my first visit to Chaco Canyon….

 

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The latest photo from @RoadMonkeyOne

Allen Manning is on the road again in New Mexico, updating his photos from Anasazi Country.

Are you following him on Twitter? Anasazi Ruins in New Mexico by Allen Manning

 

Our Man Allen Manning in New Mexico

He’s near Bernalillo, NM according to TwitPic.  We talked with him a little while ago and he was in Albuquerque headed up into the mountains.

But here’s a cool shot from the road by Allen Manning as he makes his way into the heart of Anasazi and Manitou Country in the Southwestern United States.

Near Bernanillo, NM With Allen Manning

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Meet Allen Manning, aka, @RoadMonkeyOne

The Wonders Expedition™ begins with images from a past shared with the present. Looking for a road map in these images, this Road Monkey seeks answers to long standing riddles cut across the landscape.

Etched ages before Conquistadors crisscrossed the American Southwest when wetter weather graced now parched plains.  Each image is a story of passing.

Passing generations, carving lives from a hostile environment along the southern central plains of the Three Rivers Valley near the Sierra Blanca Basin in New Mexico.

It’s believed that for 10,000 years human feet cut paths through these black varnished rocky hills recording their world. These images, many recognizable as big horn sheep, thunder birds (vultures) and medicine wheels.  While some appear to be shamans or other-worldly figures cut in black varnished rocks most laid down some 30-million years ago. The black desert varnish, a combination of manganese oxide, iron oxide and clay deposited on the volcanic stones by a native bacteria growing on boulders and rock surfaces accepts and holds well the long ago graffiti of Anasazi and later Jornada Mogollon natives.

What are these pieces? Messages, a mixed metamorphosis of cultures long lost, their wants and thoughts or prayers offered to the four winds. The descendants of those early artists still roam these hills, albeit in Chevys and Tahoes, etching on the ageless landscape the hopes, dreams and prayers in various graffiti.

Journey with this Road Monkey seeking the points between knowledge (light) and superstition (darkness) in an Equinox of unparalleled understanding.  Follow the adventure on Twitter with @roadmonkeyone, @archeoastronomy and our unique hashtag, #TWEChevy

Travels in the #TWEChevy Equinox begin Friday March 9, 2012…  Join us…

 

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Three rivers Petroglyph BLM – New Mexico

Three rivers Petroglyph BLM - New Mexico

Photos by Allen W. Manning

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