The Mystery of Chaco Canyon

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[edit] General Information

History Documentary narrated by Robert Redford and published by Others in 1999 - English narration

[edit] Cover

Image: The-Mystery-of-Chaco-Canyon-Cover.jpg

[edit] Information

This is the long-awaited sequel to Anna Sofaer's classic film THE SUN DAGGER, which changed forever our perception of America's earliest Indian peoples.

THE MYSTERY OF CHACO CANYON examines the deep enigmas presented by the massive 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. Pueblo Indians, descendants of the Chacoan people, regard Chaco as a place where their ancestors lived in a sacred past. Pueblo leaders speak of the significance of Chaco to the Pueblo world today.

The film challenges the notion that Chaco Canyon was primarily a trade and redistribution center. Rather it argues that it was a center of astronomy and cosmology and that a primary purpose for the construction of the elaborate Chacoan buildings and certain roads was to express astronomical interests and to be integral parts of a celestial patterning.

While the Chacoans left no written text to help us to understand their culture, their thoughts are preserved in the language of their architecture, roads and light markings. Landscape, directions, sun and moon, and movement of shadow and light were the materials used by the Chacoan architects and builders to express their knowledge of an order in the universe.

Directed by Anna Sofaer
Produced by The Solstice Project
Narrated by Robert Redford
Written by Anna Sofaer and Matt Dibble
Music by Michael Stearns
55 minutes, English

Awards for The Mystery of Chaco Canyon:
Taos Talking Picture Festival
Silver Plaque, The Chicago International Television Competition
Bronze Plaque, Columbus International Film & Video Festival
Honorable Mention, The Archaeology Channel International Film & Video Festival
American Museum of Natural History, New York
National Museum of National History, Smithsonian Institution, Washington DC
Aboriginal Voices Festival, Toronto
Hot Spring Documentary Film Festival
Heard Museum Indigenous Film Festival

[edit] Screenshots

Image: The-Mystery-of-Chaco-Canyon-Screen0.jpg

[edit] Technical Specs

  • Video Codec: XviD
  • Video Bitrate: 756 Kbps
  • Video Resolution: 480x352
  • Video Aspect Ratio: 1.36 / 15:11
  • Video Framerate: 29.97
  • Quality Factor: 0.15 b/px
  • Audio: English
  • Audio Codec: MP3
  • Audio Bitrate: 128 kb/s @ 44.1KHz CBR
  • Audio Channels: 2
  • Runtime per Part: 55 minutes
  • Number of Parts: 1
  • Part Size: 350 MB (1/2 CDR)
  • Source: former Digital Distractions torrent

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