Chacoan Outliers and Navajo Weavers of Northwestern New Mexico

Guided by Tom Windes and John Kantner with an overnight in Gallup

Field Trip

Thursday, May 20–Saturday, May 22, 2010

Toadlena Trading PostToadlena Trading PostPhotograph courtesy Gil Mull.Toadlena Trading PostPhotograph courtesy Gil Mull.Pueblo del Arroyo, Chaco CanyonPueblo del Arroyo, Chaco CanyonPhotograph by Jason S. OrdazPueblo del Arroyo, Chaco CanyonPhotograph by Jason S. Ordaz The Chaco ExperienceThe Chaco ExperienceThe Chaco Experience In Search of ChacoIn Search of ChacoIn Search of Chaco The Archaeology of Chaco CanyonThe Archaeology of Chaco CanyonThe Archaeology of Chaco Canyon

Chacoan great houses are widely admired by tourists and archaeologists for their skillful construction, beautiful masonry styles, and monumental size. Up to 15 of these impressive structures are clustered in Chaco Canyon, the densest locale for great houses in the Chaco world. But these are only part of a much wider area in which these unusual structures were built—an area that covers up to 100,000 square miles across the Four Corners area. While most of the great houses outside of Chaco Canyon do not approach the core structures in size, they provide the broader framework in which to understand the extent and connections of the society that invested in them.

Archaeologists Tom Windes and John Kantner will take us on a journey through the backroads of northwestern New Mexico, visiting several outlying great houses located south and west of Chaco Canyon, including Casamero, Kin Ya’a, Peach Springs, and Skunk Springs. Archaeological evidence from each of these “outliers” creates a fascinating story illustrating the importance of ceremony, religion, and wealth in traded goods that reached far beyond Chaco Canyon. Tom Windes has worked on Chaco-related archaeological projects since 1972, specializing in great houses, archaeomagnetic dating, shrine communications, ant studies, and turquoise. John Kantner has also extensively researched the Chacoan phenomenon and its impact on the prehistory of the American Southwest.

Our journey will also take us to the Toadlena Trading Post, which is still run like an old-style trading post—with a steady stream of Navajo weavers coming in to sell their newest Toadlena and Two Grey Hills rugs. Situated at the foot of the Chuska Mountains, the trading post is housed in an old stone building, shaded by cottonwoods, with a grand view of the San Juan Basin. The trading post offers a high-quality museum depicting weaving history, along with demonstrations by local weavers. We will enjoy a delicious traditional meal prepared by women who live in this small community. Mark Winter, owner of Toadlena Trading Post, will be our host.

Activity Level: Moderate

Cost: Per person, varied, includes transportation, overnight accommodations at the historic El Rancho Motel in Gallup, all meals, and guide honorariums.

  • Double occupancy–$450
  • Single occupancy–$535

Trip Registration: Participation in SAR field trips is one of the benefits of membership. To make registration equitable, we will begin accepting trip reservations Monday, December 14, 2009, 8am to 5pm, for our Spring 2010 field trips. Beginning on that day, please call the SAR Membership Office at (505) 954-7203 to register or to receive additional information about any of these trips. Group size is limited. Reserve your space early.

For more information, visit the Field Trips section.

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