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Archaeology at the Library

Digging Into Archaeology in New Mexico

Brainerd Library Program: Wednesday, August 2 at 6:30 PM

submitted 7/20/17

Chaco canyon


Michelle Turner

Michelle Turner is an archaeologist who lives in Haddam but works in the American Southwest. She studies the architecture, artifacts and landscapes of historic Chaco Canyon and the Ancestral Puebloan people throughout the Four Corners area, where Utah, Colorado, Arizona, and New Mexico meet. She will discuss her archaeological excavation at a Chacoan great house site in New Mexico. Between 900 AD and 1150 AD, at Chaco Canyon and throughout a vast region around it, the ancestors of today’s Pueblo people built enormous stone masonry structures with hundreds of rooms. Built by the hands of hundreds or thousands of people and filled with beautiful pottery, turquoise beads, ritual objects, cacao from Mesoamerica, and many other exotic artifacts, these “great houses” represent a moment when the farmers of the Four Corners came together to build a very different kind of society. Last summer, Michelle and her crew had the rare opportunity to excavate at a Chacoan great house site, dating to about 1100 AD, at a National Monument north of Chaco Canyon. Come learn about archaeology, the amazing sites of Chaco Canyon, and Michelle’s work at her previously unexcavated site.

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