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The Wonders Expedition Archives - The Wonders Expedition™ - @Archeoastronomy

May 29, 2020

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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TWE Pinterest Site

We’ve been working on our photo collection of Wonders sites around the world and finally have launched a Pinterest page we are excited to share with you.

Already people are beginning to pin some of the curious points we’ve included, and literally, we are just get started.

English: Red Pinterest logo

Image via Wikipedia

But we can’t help but noticing the way that all these photos combined on one long scrolling screen just further points out the incredible similarities we’re trying to emphasize via The Wonders Expedition.  And to us, that makes what’s happening with Pinterest, pretty cool and amazing.

Do you have photos you’d like to add to our collection?  Send us the links and we’ll be happy to add them if they’re in the scope of TWE.

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The Mysteries of Poverty Point, LA, USA–And The Beginnings of The Wonders Expedition™

We’ve been doing a lot of work lately to assemble the core team to launch The Wonders Expedition™ and our other  legacy products that are in development, but back on December 22, 2011, our Founder, Don Claxton and his daughters were at the historic site, Poverty Point/Lower Jackson Mound, near Monroe, Louisiana in the southeastern United States making some pretty curious findings.

The Lower Jackson Mound

The Lower Jackson Mound, which is about eight feet high and more than 130 feet at its widest point, is said to have been built almost 5,400 years ago.  If that is true, and Carbon Dating has suggested that to be the case, that means it was built here in the United States prior to Stonehenge/Woodhenge/Sillbury Hill/The Henge of Avebury in England, AND the Pyramids of Giza in Northern Egypt.

Stop and think about that for a second.  We normally refer to Native American Indians in the historic lore of the United States as “savages.”

Poverty Point, LA

Poverty Point itself was built about one-half mile from Lower Jackson Mound about 1,650 BC, which is about 3,660 years ago, and after Stonehenge and Giza.  It is fascinating nonetheless.

From accounts of local historians, its mounds, like Lower Jackson Mound, were all constructed out of dirt.  “There are no rocks in the area,” we were told.  Certainly no limestone.

But here in the Southeastern United States, just about 20 minutes north of Interstate 20 in Northern Louisiana, mankind once had made this a thriving area of life, civilization and trading.  There are utility rocks that have been found at Poverty Point that were used for spearheads, cooking, idols, etc.  And science has found those rocks came from all over the eastern United States and even as far away as the Great Lakes Region.

The Wonders Expedition™

We won’t argue that there may seemingly be many other more curious and interesting places around the country–Mesa Verde and Chaco Canyon in New Mexico come to mind.  But it is important to not overlook places like Poverty Point as well.  It has tremendous historical value and possesses its own lore and mysteries.

What happened to the people who lived here?  Some suggest they migrated into Meso America and became what we know of as the Olmec.

Just like the Anastazi had a major site in Chaco Canyon and then abandoned their site, or like the people who built Stonehenge used it for many years and then stopped,  similar things seem to have happened here at Poverty Point.

We are in search for answers to many questions that make these places around the world so intriguing.  Thank you for reading.  We invite you to follow us on Twitter for additional updates and to LIKE us on Facebook.  Very soon we will be opening a subscription service so you can receive more frequent updates about the activities we have underway around the world.

 

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The Wonders Expedition on the Road

Just came across this photo of late December in Destin, FL at the beach at sunrise.

Thanks, Chevy for making that adventure possible.  We had a good business meeting the night before and then had another good one in Tallahassee later that day before driving all the way back to Dallas that afternoon and into the next morning.

(While you’re here, take a peek around, follow us on Twitter (@Archeoastronomy) and LIKE us on Facebook.)

We are in the process of creating an incredible series of Interactive Books through iBooks 2 that Apple announced last week. With our products one will be able to go through history archeoastronomic sites around the world and feel like you’re there.  And if you ARE there, you’ll have the world’s best tour guide on your iPad.  How about that?

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Congrats to Shelby Newman

Shelby Newman of South Texas just became the 100th follower of ours over on @archeoastronomy on Twitter. For that, we’re sending her a $10 gift card.

Want to win a $25 gift card?  Be our 200th follower on Twitter.

While you’re reading this, also don’t forget to LIKE us over on our Facebook Page.

 

 

Last Eclipse of 2011

We’re all set to observe the last lunar eclipse as it happens beginning at 6:33 a.m. EST tomorrow and lasts until 12:30 p.m. EST.  According to news reports, totality will last a whole 51 minutes of time.  The best visibility will be on the West Coast.  East Coast residents only will get a short span of it before the light of the day becomes too bright to view the rest.

JERUSALEM, ISRAEL - JUNE 15:  A total lunar ec...

Image by Getty Images via @daylife

It is events just like this that encompass the spirit of The Wonders Expedition™.

For it is events just like this that have been monitored throughout the world for thousands of years through the development of megalithic circles and stone placements, the orientations of entrances to dolmens and the layouts of pyramids and henges.

If you have the chance to observe the last eclipse of 2011, we encourage you to do so.   You’ll be taking part in one of the oldest forms of human activity and in as much wonder about it as a man, woman or child who observed it as much as 5,500 years ago as the moon’s position rotated through a circle of stones and rocks weighing thousands of pounds.

 

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