Anthropology •  Southwest •  Photography and Archaeology

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The Great Houses of Chaco

John Campbell

Chaco Canyon, in far northwest New Mexico, was a major center of Puebloan culture between AD 900 and 1250. It is believed two thousand to six thousand people lived, annually, in about one hundred settlements scattered in and around the Canyon.

The altitude (the canyon floor is sixty-two hundred feet above sea level) and the arid, desolate setting resulted in unique architecture and living styles. Puebloan masons used local sandstone and adobe mortar to build great houses consisting of fifty to seven hundred rooms.

In The Great Houses of Chaco, Jack Campbell's elegant black and white photos explore the intricate structures that have come to define Chaco. David Stuart and Thomas Windes provide essays that place the photographs into historic contexts, and Katherine Kallestad has written captions that explain the images themselves. Together, they detail Chacoan culture and the magnificent ruins that are the primary source of our knowledge about the ancestral people
of this region.

Thomas C. Windes--retired archaeologist, Chaco Culture National Historical Park and adjunct lecturer of anthropology, University of New Mexico
David E. Stuart--emeritus professor of anthropology, University of New Mexico, Albuquerque
Katherine Kallestad--anthropologist, archivist, and research assistant to John Campbell


John Martin Campbell is research professor of anthropology at the University of New Mexico. He is also the author of Magnificent Failure: A Portrait of the Western Homestead Era.


"Campbell is clearly a master at his kind of picture taking. . . . those looking for an accurate, yet artful take on Chaco will be rewarded by reading and admiring The Great Houses of Chaco."


Journal of Anthropological Research

"...a beautifully designed, popularly accessible overview of the archaeology of Chaco that will be cherished by both the novice reader and the seasoned Chaco aficionado."


New Mexico Historical Review

10.5 x 8.5 in. 168 pages 55 halftones, 2 maps