legend of native americans indians

legend of native americans indians

Chaco Canyon

Chaco is an example of a prehistoric or protohistoric culture that is remarkable for its monumental public and ceremonial buildings and its distinctive architecture. The cultural sites of Chaco Culture National Historical Park They are part of the history and traditions of the Hopi, the Pueblo peoples of New Mexico, and the Navajo, who continue to respect and honour them. Chaco Canyon is the area with the highest concentration of archaeological sites of the whole zone.

For over 2,000 years, Pueblo peoples occupied a vast region of the south-western United States. In Chaco Canyon, a major centre of the ancestral Pueblo culture between 850 and 1250, many different clans and peoples created a community for ceremonials, trade, administrative and political activity in the prehistoric Four Corners area. In addition to the Chaco Culture National Historical Park, the World Heritage property includes the Aztec Ruins National Monument and several smaller Chaco sites.

The Anasazi, sedentary farmers as they were, occupied the greater part of the south-west of what is now the United States. Within this culture the Chacos appear as an autonomous group. This society is characterized by a very elaborate ground occupation system which includes a constellation of towns surrounded by satellite villages and linked by a road network, so characteristic of Chaco culture.

The zenith was from around 1020 to 1110. The highly organized reconstruction of old living places, such as Pueblo Bonito and Penasco Blanco, demonstrates their skill in the use of building techniques in a difficult environment. The Chaco people combined pre-planned architectural designs, astronomical alignments, geometry, landscaping and engineering to create an ancient urban centre of spectacular public architecture. Chaco was connected to over 150 communities throughout the region by engineered roads and a shared vision of the world.

At the same time it illustrates the increasing complexity of the Chaco social structure: circular kivas having an essentially religious role appeared on a regular basis in the middle of an increasingly differentiated unitary dwelling. More and more roads were built and the signs of extensive trading became more manifest (imports of ceramics and lithic materials, including turquoise). This phase was followed by a period of rapid decadence about 1110. From 1140 to 1200, the Chaco population died out and the pueblos were abandoned.

After 1250, the people migrated from the area, moving south, east and west to join relatives living on the Hopi Mesas, along the Rio Grande, and around Zuñi Mountain. The region remained practically uninhabited until the 17th century, when it was taken over by Navajo Indians


Pendant plus de 2 000 ans, les peuples pueblo ont occupé une vaste région au sud-ouest des États-Unis. Chaco Canyon, grand foyer de la culture ancestrale pueblo entre 850 et 1250, était un centre cérémoniel, commerçant et politique de la région préhistorique des Four Corners. Chaco est remarquable par ses bâtiments publics et cérémoniels monumentaux et son architecture caractéristique qui en font un ancien centre cérémoniel unique en son genre. Outre le parc national historique de la culture chaco, le bien du patrimoine mondial comprend le Monument national des ruines aztèques et plusieurs plus petits sites chaco gérés par le Bureau pour l'aménagement du territoire.

© Sacred Sites / Martin Gray

Valeur exceptionnelle

Le Parc national historique de la culture chaco, les sites associés au Monument national des ruines aztèques et cinq sites de la culture chaco placés sous protection archéologique constituent des éléments exceptionnels d’un vaste ensemble culturel précolombien qui a dominé une grande partie du sud-ouest des Etats-Unis entre la moitié du IXe siècle et le début du XIIIe siècle. Chaco Canyon, grand foyer de la culture pueblo ancestrale entre 850 et 1250, était un centre cérémoniel, commerçant et politique. Chaco est remarquable par ses bâtiments publics et cérémoniels monumentaux et ses « grandes maisons » caractéristiques à étages qui témoignent d’une compréhension très poussée des phénomènes astronomiques. Elles sont reliées par un système compliqué de routes conçues et construites avec soin. Ces réalisations du peuple anasazi chaco sont exceptionnelles compte tenu des conditions environnementales difficiles et des ressources limitées de la région.

Critère (iii) Les sites de Chaco Canyon illustrent graphiquement les réalisations architecturales et d’ingénierie du peuple anasazi chaco, qui a surmonté la dureté de l’environnement du sud-ouest des Etats-Unis pour fonder une culture qui a dominé la région pendant plus de quatre siècles.

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