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April 1, 2021 @ 2:00 pm – 3:30 pm
Hosted online. Register below.
SAR member: $200 // Course fee + one year Arroyo Hondo membership: $250 // Recorded sessions only: $50
Meredith Schweitzer

The spring 2021 SAR In-Depth courses are all taught online so participants can join from anywhere. These courses offer one of the most unique ways for SAR members to engage with leading scholars in a small group format. Explore the full spring line up here.

This course has reached capacity for live participants. You can still choose the option to purchase the recorded sessions. The recordings and readings will be sent to registrants the week following the last session of the live course.


Course Description:

Great Kiva at Chaco

Great Kiva at Chaco Canyon, photo courtesy of Lindsay Archuleta

Archaeological interpretations of Chaco seem to veer back and forth between “mysterious” and “no big deal.” It was neither. Chaco is not difficult to understand in the context of 11th century Native North America: Not mysterious. And Chaco played a pivotal role in the history of the US Southwest and northwest Mexico: A big deal. This course surveys the development of archaeological views of Chaco through the 20th and 21st centuries and how got to mysterious/no big deal; and then looks at what Chaco was (most likely), in the context of Native America in the 10th-12th centuries; and then follows the region’s history, in which Chaco was a climactic event, from the 6th century through the 16th century; and finally suggests what Chaco, properly understood, might offer to History and Science, and its apparently problematic place in Native Heritage.

Course Leader: Stephen H. Lekson

Stephen H. Lekson is the former Curator of Archaeology at the Museum of Natural History, University of Colorado, Boulder. He received his PhD from the University of New Mexico in 1988, and held research, curatorial, or administrative positions with University of Tennessee, Eastern New Mexico University, National Park Service, Arizona State Museum, Museum of New Mexico, and Crow Canyon Archaeological Center. Lekson directed more than 20 archaeological projects throughout the Southwest; about half of his fifty-year career focused on Chaco. Lekson’s publications include a dozen books, chapters in many edited volumes, and articles in journals and magazines. His most recent books include A History of the Ancient Southwest (2009), Chaco Meridian (2015), and A Study of Southwestern Archaeology (2018). He has curated a dozen exhibits, most recently “A History of the Ancient Southwest” (2014) at the CU Museum of Natural History. He retired in 2018.

Steve Lekson at Pueblo Bonito

Steve Lekson at Pueblo Bonito, photo courtesy of Steve Lekson

This course will take place across four sessions:

Tuesday, March 30, 2021 // 2:00 pm (Mountain Time) // Discovering Chaco: A Century of Research In and Around the Canyon.

Thursday, April 1, 2021 // 2:00 pm (Mountain Time) // What Was Chaco, Really?

Tuesday, April 6, 2021 // 2:00pm (Mountain Time ) // Chaco’s Deep History and Long Shadow: Chaco Meridian, Revisited.

Wednesday, April 7, 2021 // 2:00 pm (Mountain Time) // Does Chaco Matter?

Course Fees:

SAR member: $200 // Course fee + one year Arroyo Hondo membership: $250 // Recorded course sessions only $50

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