Chaco’s Legacy explores the development of the Chaco phenomenon and later migration of Chacoan peoples north to the Middle San Juan region of northwest New Mexico. Based upon recent research by Chaco Scholar Paul Reed (Archaeology Southwest), the exhibition utilizes a virtual reality game engine called Unity 3D to share the results of Paul’s work. The original research and subsequent exhibition development were funded by Archaeology Southwest and the National Science Foundation.
Through a touch screen, museum visitors can explore the Chacoan world through time and across space, interactively touring eight great house communities, several small house villages, pueblo rooms, pit structures (including kivas and great kivas), and many different ancient objects, through four time periods. The exhibit is situated in a digital model of Chaco Canyon generated from the photography of renowned aerial photographer Adriel Heisey. Doug Gann (Archaeology Southwest) and Aaryn Brewer (Western National Parks and Monuments Association) created the virtual reconstructions of architecture and objects.
Chaco’s Legacy is currently in use at Aztec Ruins National Monument and Salmon Ruins Museum and Research Center.
Chaco’s Legacy was constructed in Unity 3D and Chronological Virtual Reality.