We begin our journey into Chaco Canyon by posing questions about four discoveries at Chaco relating to astronomy. There are extensive writings about each of the four subjects and numerous speculations by archaeoastronomers and archaeologists.

Along the way I will illustrate some significant aspects of each subject with my photographs and include some of my speculations.


  • The Light Dagger - a noon marker for the solstices and equinoxes discovered in 1977 near the crest of Fajada Butte.
    Were the stone slabs that create the Light Daggerpositioned by local inhabitants to attenuate sunlight or did the stones fall this way?

  • The Celestial Pictograph - Rock art discovered in 1972, near the ruins of Penasco Blanco.
    Does this drawing depict the supernova of A.D. 1054 as postulated by several researchers?

  • Casa Rinconada - The great kiva at Chaco.

    Did the Chacoans design Casa Rinconada to demonstrate the summer solstice?

  • At Pueblo Bonito - a building with a corner doorway.

    Was this building in Pueblo Bonito used to demonstrate the arrival of the winter solstice?
  • References and a reading list are at the end of this essay.

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