December 16, 2014

Archaeologists Worry As Drilling Approaches Chaco -- KUNM News

The oil and gas industry in New Mexico is a big deal. It supports the state budget with hundreds of millions of dollars each year. But there are impacts, too – on air quality, water, public health and even cultural sites. In the first installment of KUNM’s new series Drilling Deep, we explore northwestern New Mexico – and the Chacoan landscape.

Across northern New Mexico, there are important ancient sites: Chaco Canyon, Aztec ruins, and Salmon Ruins. And thousands of sites in between. They’re all a part of what archaeologists call the Chacoan Landscape. This was the cultural center of the Southwest where Puebloan people lived for hundreds of years until about AD 1250. They built roads, traded with communities as far south as Mexico and Central America, and they innovated a unique building style that’s still stunning today. -- 12/16/2014