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Chaco Culture National Historical Park


Chaco Culture National Historical Park is a United States National Historical Park hosting the densest and most exceptional concentration of pueblos in the American Southwest.

Pictured here is a corner of one of the grand buildings (Pueblo Bonita if memory serves) with a curious location for a window in the corner between two walls. Archaeoastronomists (yep, that's a thing) theorize (and evidence suggests they're right) that the sun aligns with windows like these and were used as tools to track the seasons.

Riley J O'Brien wrote in his piece "Chaco Culture: Archaeoastronomy and Ancient Architecture": "One of the most honorable and important roles in Chaco Culture is that of the Pekwin – The Sun Priest. The Sun Priest observes where the sun sets on the horizon everyday, and can confirm solar alignment with geographic markers the summer and winter solstices. If the Sun Priest does his job wrong, the entire population would suffer the consequences of his mistake." I was humbled to visit in 2014.

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Location: Chaco Culture National Historical Park