Home > About the Chaco Stratigraphy Project

Welcome to the Chaco Stratigraphy Project, an interdisciplinary research program at the University of New Mexico involving field investigations in Chaco Canyon, New Mexico. Chaco was the center of an unprecedented cultural development between ca. AD 800 and 1200 known as the "Chaco Phenomenon." During this period, people living in and around the canyon experienced an explosive episode of economic growth that culminated in the construction of large masonry buildings called "great houses." Since the 1880s, researchers have struggled to understand fully the factors underlying this episode, which included extensive regional trade systems and evidence for complex ritual behavior. The purpose of the Chaco Stratigraphy Project is to contribute to a greater understanding of the human experience in Chaco through detailed studies of socieconomc change, with an emphasis on agricultural production and technology during the Bonito phase (ca. AD 850 – 1140).  This website provides an overview of ongoing research efforts.  It will be updated periodically.