Officials with the El Paso Museum of Archaeology invite the public to view the new exhibit, From the Edge of Center: The Chacoan Outliers that opens on Saturday, January 25 at the museum.
“We are pleased to present this exhibit on the Chacoan outliers to the El Paso community,” said El Paso Museum of Archaeology Director, Jeff Romney. “It is not often that we get to see archaeological materials from the Four Corners region at the Museum. Many of the Ancestral Puebloan (formerly referred to as the Anasazi) cultures developed out of the Chacoan system. Many historic Puebloan peoples still see Chaco and its outliers as sacred ancestral sites.”
The exhibit features items from the museum’s permanent collection as well as items on loan from Salmon Ruins including ceramic vessels, beads, pendants, perishable materials such as sandals, and other items.
The Chacoan Culture flourished between AD 860-1150 and was originally centered at Chaco Canyon in Northwestern New Mexico. The Chacoans built immense great houses and great kivas capable of hosting large groups of peoples for ceremonies and other public activities.
While Chacoan Culture was centered within the canyon, its influence extended much further out. Throughout the San Juan Basin to the north to the Zuni Mountains in the south, there can be found outlying great houses that share many of the same features as those in Chaco Canyon, although generally on a smaller scale.
Outlying great houses and great kivas have been found at Aztec Ruin and Salmon Ruin, both dating to the mid-12th and early 13th centuries, which show clear evidence of not only the spread of the Chacoan system, but also the continuation of Chacoan traditions beyond the decline of the Chacoan Heartland after AD 1150.
El Paso Museum of Archaeology officials add that they are proud to present this exhibition in cooperation with Salmon Ruins the San Juan County Museum Association.
The exhibit is free to the public and will run through June. For more information on the exhibit or to learn more about the El Paso Museum of Archaeology, call (915) 212-0421, or visit the muesum’s website or Facebook page.