Chimney Rock Interpretive Association (CRIA) is proud to present a viewing of The Mystery of Chaco Canyon on Saturday, September 16th at the Chimney Rock National Monument Amphitheater. CRIA invites you to a unique perspective in a unique place to feel the special connection between Chaco Canyon and Chimney Rock. More than 1000 years ago the skies threaded these people together. Why? It is a question that after years of study remains a question, but also one that invites answers. An award winning film, The Mystery of Chaco Canyon by Anna Sofaer reveals the brilliant astronomy of the ancient Puebloans – how the buildings were located and oriented to the sun and moon to highlight these complex relationships. This long-awaited sequel to Anna Sofaer’s classic film THE SUN DAGGER, which changed our perception of America’s earliest Native Americans, is narrated by Robert Redford and produced by The Solstice Project.
Before the viewing of the film, Dr Erica Ellingson, Professor at the University of Colorado, Department of Astrophysical and Planetary Sciences, will give a special presentation. Her conversation about the connections between Chaco and Chimney Rock will be the springboard for our understanding of the ancients’ dependence upon the skies. So simple. So complex. An enigma even today. Dr. Ellingson is an astrophysicist who delights in using telescopes large and small, in space and at observatories around the world. Her work includes investigating galaxy clusters, the evolution of galaxies, black holes, and the mysterious cosmological forces of dark matter and dark energy. Her research also includes historical and archaeo-astronomy and she is an editor with the international Journal of Skyscape Archaeology. She also teaches and produces educational programs at the Fiske Planetarium at the University of Colorado and is an astronomical consultant with the US National Park Service.
The Chimney Rock National Monument gate will open at 6:00 pm. Dr. Ellingson will speak at 6:30pm. The Mystery of Chaco Canyon (56 minutes) will be shown after the lecture. Tickets are $15 (ages 13 and older) and $8 (ages 6-12.) Kids 5 years and younger are free. Tickets will also be available at the Chimney Rock National Monument Gift Shop the evening of the event. Light refreshments will be available. Since this event will take place in the amphitheater, you may want to bring a cushion or blanket for a more comfortable viewing experience. A flashlight is also suggested.