Archaeology Making the News – A Service of the Center for Desert Archaeology
– Protest at Chaco Canyon: Terms such as “National Park Service” and “national monument” were foreign to the Navajos who lived in Chaco Canyon 100 years ago. A century ago this year – on March 11, 1907 – the government declared the ancient ruins a national monument, and by the 1950s, it had erected a fence to keep the Navajos out. The designation was the start of a century of tension, said Lee Norberto, who was born in the canyon and later moved 10 miles outside the fence. “That’s our country, that’s our land,” he said. “Our ancestors and religion (are) there, and we wanted to live there for the rest of our time.”
– Navajo Views of Chaco Canyon: The wind blows eerily through the gaping windows of the old Navajo Chaco Church, stirring the fallen shingles that litter the floor inside. Once a mainstay of the tiny Navajo community, the crumbling church stands as a reminder of what was lost when many of the younger residents moved into the cities. In its peak, the community – which lies within view of Chaco Culture National Historical Park – included a preschool, a trading post and a landing strip for small aircraft, said Chaco resident Leonard Dempsey.
– New Exhibit in Window Rock Highlights Navajo Traders: When historians Klara Kelley and Harris Francis began their ethnographic field work on the Din