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Online Program

Adventures Online: Chaco Canyon & the Mysteries of the Stars

Program No. 24200RJ
Discover the wonders of Chaco Canyon on this cutting-edge, online learning adventure live from New Mexico! Learn about Pueblo history and their advanced understanding of the night sky.

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At a Glance

The sun, moon and stars were very important to the ancient Pueblo people — so much so that the Chacoan constructed their communities in Chaco Canyon in accordance with astronomical alignments. Delve into the fascinating world of the ancient Pueblo during this live, online adventure with experts from New Mexico who share their insight into the world of archaeoastronomy. Thrill in a first-hand look at incredible Chaco Canyon and learn about the region’s ancient Pueblo ruins. Engage in a panel discussion with members form the Solstice Project, a non-profit dedicated to the study of archaeoastronomy in Chacoan culture. Throughout your studies, enjoy the camaraderie of your fellow Road Scholars and share your interest in ancient cultures during group discussions and Q&A sessions.

Best of all, you’ll…

  • Join experts from the Solstice Project for a panel discussion on the astronomical heritage of the Ancient Puebloans.
  • Enjoy exciting LIDAR (Light Detection and Ranging) photos, CGI graphics and videos of Chaco Canyon, a UNESCO World Heritage Site, to learn about its Great Houses and Great Kivas with local experts.
  • Join experts for a look into the traditions and rituals of Pueblo culture in the Four Corners region.

General Notes

You’ll enjoy 2-3 hours of daily instruction, discussion and/or field trips, which includes sufficient breaks throughout the program. This online program is through Zoom, an easy-to-use web video service that includes closed captioning. All you need is an Internet connection and your computer. We’ll provide a how-to guide to make sure you’ll have a hassle-free experience. In keeping with our Traditional On-Site programs, ALL ADVENTURES ONLINE MULTI-DAY PROGRAMS (INCLUDING THIS PROGRAM) ARE PRESENTED LIVE; THESE PROGRAMS ARE NOT RECORDED. Please review the daily itinerary for start and end times to ensure you won’t miss a minute of this live experience. All times are listed in the EASTERN time zone. If you live in a different time zone, please adjust your schedule accordingly.
Visit the Road Scholar Bookshop
You can find many of the books we recommend at the Road Scholar store on bookshop.org, a website that supports local bookstores.
House of Rain: Tracking a Vanished Civilization Across the American Southwest
by Craig Childs
Naturalist Craig Childs uses the latest research and his personal exploration of the American Southwest to consider what happened to the Anasazi, an illustrious tribe that flourished until mysteriously vanishing in the 13th century.
Moon Handbook Four Corners
by Julian Smith
A slim, comprehensive guide to the sights and history of Navajo and Hopi Country, Moab and Lake Powell.
Colorado Plateau, Wild and Beautiful
by John Annerino
A coffee table tribute to the geological wonderland of "Red Rock Country." Award-winning photographer and writer John Annerino takes us through the echoing canyons, towering hoodoos and cliff dwellings of the region’s beautiful parks and reserves.
Desert Solitaire
by Edward Abbey
One of the great works on the value of the desert, eloquent and laugh-out-loud funny. Although Abbey writes specifically about his experiences as a ranger at Arches National Park outside Moab, Utah, his message is universal.
In Search of the Old Ones, Exploring the Anasazi World of the Southwest
by David D. Roberts
An exuberant, engaging account of archaeological adventures in the desert Southwest. Roberts investigates the factors that may have led to the demise of the Anasazi civilization and looks into longstanding controversies.
Anasazi America
by David Stuart
A thought-provoking, engaging account of the rise and fall of Anasazi society in the desert southwest.
Masked Gods, Navaho and Pueblo Ceremonialism
by Frank Waters
An excellent overview of Pueblo life and their many ceremonies.
The Professor's House
by Willa Cather
Cather's accomplished 1925 novel includes a story-within-a-story of explorer Tom Outland, a character modeled after Richard Wetherill, the discoverer of Cliff Palace at Mesa Verde.
Pueblo People: Ancient Traditions, Modern Lives
by Marcia Keegan
Photographer Keegan, who has studied the Pueblo Indians of New Mexico for 30 years, compiled 417 color photographs alongside personal stories and cultural insights in this stunning tribute.
A History of the Ancient Southwest
by Stephen H. Lekson
Archaeologist Stephen Lekson delivers a thorough picture of Southwest History through the stories of development and institutions around the Ancient Southwest and Chaco Canyon.
Pueblo Nations: Eight Centuries of Pueblo Indian History
by Joe Sando
An expansive history of the Indian Pueblos of New Mexico from a Native American perspective. The book explores the origins of the tribe to its current struggles to maintain sovereignty, land and water rights.
The Southwest Inside Out, An Illustrated Guide to the Land and its History
by Thomas Wiewandt, Maureen Wilks
An outstanding guide to understanding the geomorphology of the Southwest, featuring the author's color photographs of canyons, dunes and other landforms.
Four Corners Regional Map
by G.M. Johnson Maps
This double-sided road map shows national parks, archaeological sites and attractions from the Grand Canyon to Chaco, Mesa Verde, Monument Valley, Bryce and Zion.
Chaco Canyon: Archaeologists Explore the Lives of an Ancient Society
by Brian Fagan
An account of the Chaco people as well as the spectacular scenery & archaeological sites at Chaco Canyon, illustrated with many photographs.
People of Chaco, A Canyon and Its Culture
by Kendrick Frazier
A nicely written account of Chaco and its people. First published in 1986. Frazier interweaves ethnographic data, oral history and archaeological evidence in his classic portrait of the place.
A Thief of Time
by Tony Hillerman
A mystery of stolen artifacts from an ancient Anasazi burial site set against a detailed depiction of Southwestern culture.
Ancient Ruins of the Southwest, An Archaeological Guide
by David Grant Noble
The third edition of Noble's indispensable guide to the archaeology of the American Southwest.
Ancient Peoples of the American Southwest
by Stephen Plog, Amy Elizabeth Grey (Illustrator)
This illustrated introduction provides an in-depth look at the ancient cultures that first inhabited the pueblos and cliff dwellings of the American Southwest. Organized chronologically, it features hundreds of maps, mostly black-and-white photographs and site diagrams.
American Indian Myths and Legends
by Richard Erdoes, Alfonso Ortiz
An illustrated collection of 180 traditonal stories from all over North America.
Runner in the Sun
by D'Arcy McNickle
Nickles combined his anthropology background with all the suspense of a mystery to craft this novel about pre-Hispanic Indian life in the American Southwest.
Book of the Hopi
by Oswald White Bear Fredericks, Frank Waters
Thirty Hopi elders share their legends, ceremonies, history and language.

Important registration tip:
If you want to attend the live lecture, please do not wait until the last minute to enroll.
If you enroll after a lecture is complete, we’ll send you a recording of the event.