August 1, 2007

The Mystery of Chaco Canyon

Google has the tiny version of the documentary The Mystery of Chaco Canyon, narrated by Robert Redford. This doc has well-integrated 3D animation and examines the archaeoastronomical enigmas amidst the extensive "prehistoric remains found in Chaco Canyon in northwestern New Mexico. It is the summation of 20 years of research. The film reveals that between 850 and 1150 AD, the Chacoan people designed and constructed massive ceremonial buildings in a complex celestial pattern throughout a vast desert region. Aerial and time lapse footage, computer modeling, and interviews with scholars show how the Chacoan culture designed, oriented and located its major buildings in relationship to the sun and moon."

In addition to the great graphical explanations of earth-based astronomy, the fun is the mystery of why Chacoan sites were abandoned, whether explained by undetermined dark forces, climatic instability and deforestation (David Attenborough in "State Of The Planet"), or cannibalism.

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