Chimney Rock Interpretive Association Lecture Series

Chimney Rock Interpretive Association (CRIA) hosts a Lecture Series each year to offer the opportunity for the public and CRIA volunteers to gather and hear a speaker whose topic typically relates to southwest archaeology, archaeoastronomy and/or Chacoan culture .  The lectures are free of charge and take place at 7:00pm, following a social hour at 6:00pm at the Ecoluxe Building located at The Springs Resort and Spa at 165 Hot Springs Blvd in Pagosa Springs. Please bring your favorite finger foods to share and join our volunteers to learn more about this non-profit organization which operates the interpretive program at Chimney Rock National Monument in partnership with the USDA Forest Service and the San Juan National Forest.

2019 Lecture Dates

Please check back for updates.

  • January 10- Linda Baker, Director of the Southern Ute Museum in Ignacio;
    • “The Momentum of the Museum since the take over by the tribe in May, 2016”
  • March 14- Shanna Diederichs, Supervisory Archaeologist and Project Director of the Basketmaker Communities Project with Crow Canyon
    • “The Influx of Farmers into Southwest Colorado in the 7th Century”
  • May 9- Linda Baker, the Director of the Southern Ute Museum in Ignacio
    • “The Momentum of the Southern Ute Museum since the Takeover by the Tribe in May, 2016.”
  • August 8-Dr. Erica Ellingson, Professor of Astrophysical and Planetary Science at the University of Colorado, Boulder
    • “ A  thousand years ago the Ancestral Puebloans built a great civilization in a landscape where even now the sky is a powerful presence. In this presentation, we’ll explore the deep understanding of the sky that is expressed in their art and architecture. We’ll examine the dance of light and shadow that trace the year at Mesa Verde and Chaco Canyon and the subtle lunar cycles that were celebrated at Chimney Rock. Today we see the same stars, sun and moon. By understanding them, we reach across the centuries to these ancient astronomers through our shared heritage of the sky.”
  • September 12- Dr. J. McKim Malville; professor emeritus in the Department of Astro Physics and Planetary Sciences at the University of Colorado
    • “Kingship, Ritual, and Trade at Chimney Rock.”  A major debate among archaeologists today concerns the nature of Great Houses in Chaco Canyon and the power of those kings to control a network of outlying communities. It is suggested that the Great Houses were palaces, the homes of elites, while commoners lived in the small houses across the Canyon. An opposing view suggests that pilgrims freely came into Chaco Canyon for festivals and trade, perhaps primarily near the solstices. According to this view, the Great Houses were generally empty except for caretakers, but came into their glory during great festivals as housing for visitors and centers for rituals. These competing views will be discussed as applied to Chimney Rock, which has been identified as the “ultimate outlier”.