Prehistoric Chronology

Follow the chronology of prehistoric dates that were significant for the ancient residents of Chimney Rock National Monument:

<250 A.D.: Hunter/Gatherer Occupation

900-1125 A.D.: Ancestral Puebloan Occupation

950-975 A.D.: Ridge House construction Phase I

1000-1125 A.D.: Evidence of upper Cuesta use

July 1054 A.D.: The supernova, which produced the Crab Nebula, was visible in the daytime sky for three weeks and in the nighttime sky for about two years.

December 1057 A.D.: At the winter solstice, the full moon rose between the chimneys, and archaeoastronomists speculate this was discovered by the residents of Chimney Rock.

1064 A.D.: Sunset Crater Volcano eruption. The crater is north northwest of Flagstaff, AZ.

1066 A.D.: Hailey’s Comet appeared on the eve of the Battle of Hastings. The comet covered one-fourth of the nighttime sky.

1073-1077 A.D.: Period of a Major Lunar Standstill. It is estimated that the moon appeared between the chimneys on more than forty occasions.

1076 A.D.: Possible Great House construction

1077 A.D.: Pit House construction began

1077 A.D.: Sunspots large enough to be seen with the naked eye were reported in China, beginning two hundred years of unusual sunspot activity.

1078 A.D.: Ridge House construction Phase II

1084 A.D.: Great Kiva construction began not much later than 1084.

1093 A.D.: Great House construction Phase II

1094 A.D.: Major Lunar Standstill

July 11, 1097 A.D.: Total solar eclipse passed directly over Chimney Rock

1111 A.D.: Major Lunar Standstill

1125 A.D.: People left Chimney Rock

1150 A.D.: Chaco decline begins

1100-1200 A.D.: Drought and cooler temperatures

1280 A.D.: People left Mesa Verde

1300 A.D.: Four Corners area empty of Ancestral Puebloans

Following is an Ancestral Puebloan Culture Time Line from the 1928 Pecos Conference:

Cultural Tradition Time Phase
Basketmaker II 0 – 400 A.D. Pine
Basketmaker III 400 – 700 A.D. Sambrito
Early Pueblo I 700 – 850 A.D. Rosa
Late Pueblo I 850 – 950 A.D. Piedra
Early Pueblo II 950 – 1050 A.D. Arboles
Late Pueblo II 1050 – 1150 A.D. Chimney Rock
Pueblo III 1150 – 1350 A.D.
Pueblo IV 1350 – 1600 A.D.