Posted on July 12, 2012 by Bob Berwyn
Chimney Rock, Colorado.
New study shows designation could significant economic benefits for the region
By Summit Voice
SUMMIT COUNTY — Despite early bipartisan support, a bill to designate southwest Colorado’s Chimney Rock as a national monument appears to be stuck in pre-election political gridlock.
Chimney Rock, between Pagosa Springs and Durango, likely was an important settlement and spiritual site in the Chacoan culture.
With local community support for the designation, as well a new report showing the economic benefits of the designation, Democratic Colorado senators Michael Bennet and Mark Udall, along with Republican Representative Scott Tipton, are asking President Obama to make the designation under the Antiquities Act. (more…)
Filed under: Archaeology, Colorado, Travel | Tagged: Antiquities Act, archaeology, Barack Obama, Chacoan culture, Chimney Rock, Mark Udall, Michael Bennet, National Trust for Historic Preservation, San Juan National Forest, Southwest Colorado, Travel | Leave a Comment »
Posted on March 16, 2011 by Bob Berwyn
Chimney Rock, a significant Chaco cultural site in southwestern Colorado, needs some TLC.
Colorado lawmaker reintroduces measure to designate the site as a national monument
By Bob Berwyn
SUMMIT COUNTY — It was the ultimate outlier of Chacoan culture, a place where every 18 years, priests gathered to watch the moon rise between two pillars of rock. About 1,000 years ago, ancestral Native Americans built more than 200 homes and ceremonial structures on the high mesa west of present-day Pagosa Springs, more than 1,000 feet above arable land and water sources. Then, suddenly, in 1125 A.D. they abandoned the Chimney Rock settlement, perhaps subject to a mega-drought, or invasions by other tribes.
The placement of the ceremonial buildings at the site suggests that the builders had at least a basic understanding of astronomy on par with the historic Maya and Toltec cultures of Central America. Similarly, a complex “sun dagger” configuration at Chaco Canyon also shows that the Chacoan people were tracking an 18.6 year lunar cycle that sees the point of moonrise shift northward and southward along the horizon. (more…)
Filed under: national parks, public lands, US Forest Service | Tagged: Chacoan culture, Chimney Rock, Colorado, National Trust for Historic Preservation, Pagosa Springs, Pagosa Springs Colorado, Sen. Michael Benett, Summit County News, United States | 1 Comment »