The Hisatsinom Chapter presents Tracing the Origins of Chacoan Beams with Chris Guiterman

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Thursday September 16

4:00 PM  –  5:00 PM

Thursday, September 16th, 2021 4:00 p.m. MDT
Online Webinar


This event is brought to you by The Hisatsinom Chapter of the Colorado Archaeological Society and the Crow Canyon Archaeological Center.


Chacoan great houses were constructed with hundreds of thousands of wood timbers. Without extensive forests near Chaco Canyon, the question of where the timbers originated has perplexed archaeologists for over a century. Were trees cut locally, leading to deforestation and associated environmental problems, or were timbers hauled in on peoples’ backs from forested mountain ranges over 50 miles away? Chris will present the findings from several studies that determined probable sourcing of Chacoan timbers via tree-ring methods, using the growth patterns preserved on ancient beams to identify their growth origins. Included in this analysis is one of the most iconic trees of southwestern archaeology, the Plaza Tree of Pueblo Bonito, famously depicted by the Park Service today as a majestic pine growing within the walls of the massive great house. Chris will then describe recent work in which they examined beams from Aztec Ruins National Monument to test if Chacoan construction there relied on locally-sourced wood from the San Juan Mountains to the north.


The webinar is suitable for lifelong learners from high school students to adults.  The lesson is free.



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Please consider making a donation when you register for the webinar. A Crow Canyon trustee has made a $50,000 challenge match for 2021. Every dollar you contribute in support of the Discover Archaeology webinar series and Crow Canyon's mission will be matched up to $50,000!


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