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Chaco Research Archives

The Chaco Research Archive is a collaborative effort to create an online archive and analytical database that integrates much of the widely dispersed archaeological data collected from Chaco Canyon from the late 1890s through the first half of the 20th century. The ruins of the Chaco Culture National Historical Park hold great meaning and importance to many Native American groups of the Southwest as ancestral sites. Having stood the test of time, the ruins of Chaco Canyon entered the broader public consciousness in the late nineteenth century as a vivid symbol of the cultural resources of the United States. In June of 2002, a group of southwestern archaeologists met to examine the potential for creating an on-line Chaco research archive to significantly enhance our ability to answer key research questions by improving access to the full record of surveys and excavations. It was envisioned as a “virtual” collection of the scattered Chaco information, to be integrated in a manner such that scholars could more easily assemble the types of data most relevant to a variety of important research issues. Through generous funding from the Andrew Mellon Foundation, the mission of is to ensure that the early archaeological research records are preserved for and accessible to future generations. To date, the Chaco Research Archive team has processed over 15,000 images, created an architectural stabilization database of another 10,000 images, entered over 40,000 specimens, and processed nearly 500 rooms from three different sites.

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