"The Mystery of Chaco Canyon" - Anna Sofaer

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Thursday, April 14, 2016 5:30pm - 7:00pm
Salomon Center, Room 001

Anna Sofaer

“The Mystery of Chaco Canyon,” a one hour film narrated by Robert Redford and broadcast by PBS, will be presented by Producer/Director Anna Sofaer (Solstice Project). It reveals the complex astronomical works of the ancient Chaco culture of New Mexico. Sofaer will be present for Q and A and will update the research of her non-profit Solstice Project on the remarkable expanse of the Chaco culture throughout a vast spare desert, paradoxically one of the most challenging environments of the world. Sponsored by the Friends of the Haffenreffer Museum of Anthropology.

Anna Sofaer discovered the Sun Dagger site in Chaco Canyon, New Mexico, a celestial calendar that marks the solar and lunar cycles in light patterns on spiral rock carvings. Following this finding she established the non-profit research group, the Solstice Project, and in collaboration with archaeologists, astronomers, geodesists and anthropologists, conducted extensive research on other astronomical works of the Chaco culture. Their studies showed that twelve of the major Chaco Great Houses are oriented to the sun and moon. The Solstice Project has also led efforts to protect Chaco’s fragile ruins and “roads” from recent rampant energy development. Now Sofaer and colleagues are exploring the astounding range of the powerful Chaco culture--- expressed in 150 Great Houses and engineered “roads” --- across the challenging desert of the Colorado Plateau of 80,000 square miles.