Tuesday, June 30, 2009

the chaco meridian

This book is not for the faint of heart, or for neophytes. If you are a practicing Southwestern archaeologist with hypertension problems, stop. Read something safe.

The warning that accompanies the The Chaco Meridian: Centers of Political Power in the Ancient Southwest by Steve Lekson, an archaeologist from the University of Colorado, in which Dr. Lekson argues that "for centuries the Anasazi leaders, reckoning by the stars, aligned their principal settlements along this north-south axis — the 108th meridian of longitude," according to today's New York Times.

The New York Times also cites David Phillips, curator of archaeology at the Maxwell Museum of Anthropology at the University of New Mexico, on the controversial Chaco Meridian theory:

Steve is possibly the best writer in Southwest archaeology. Our academic writing has this inherent gift of taking something interesting and making it dull and boring. And Steve doesn’t have that problem. He thinks outside the box, and the rest of us comb through his ideas.

Having said all that, I personally think that the Chaco meridian is a crock.

Archaeology published Amending the Meridian by Lekson in the January/February 2009 issue »

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