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Media Release

Published: 06/16/2009
Roxanne Witt Celeskey, Public Information Officer, 505-841-2826

New Mexico Museum of Natural History & Science Presents a Lecture on Chaco Astronomy

Albuquerque, NM–The New Mexico Museum of Natural History and Science welcomes Anna Sofaer and Paul Pino for a lecture entitled, Chaco Astronomy, Wednesday, June 17, at 7 p.m.

High on a butte in New Mexico's Chaco Canyon at summer solstice in 1977, Anna Sofaer encountered an astonishing phenomenon—a single shaft of light bisecting a spiral petroglyph, crafted long ago by the ancestors of today's Pueblo people. Her recognition of its significance led to thirty years of research and recovery regarding astronomical expressions in the complex architecture and art of an ancient people. These efforts changed forever our perception of the meaning and purpose of Chaco. Ms. Sofaer will present information from her new book documenting thirty years of research regarding the “Sun Dagger” site, lunar and solar alignments of the major Chaco buildings, and implications of the true function of the Great North Road. Chaco Astronomy is featured in the Museum's new exhibit Space Frontiers.

Ms. Sofaer will be joined by Paul Pino, Tribal Council Member and former War Chief of Laguna Pueblo. He will speak of his insights about Puebloan heritage and its relationship to Chaco. Anna Sofaer is Director of the non-profit Solstice Project, that conducts research, preservation and education efforts on the astronomical expressions of the Chaco culture of the Southwest. She has worked with astronomers, geographers, anthropologists and modern Pueblo people. She produced, directed and co-wrote “The Mystery of Chaco Canyon” shown on PBS and National Geographic channels.

$7 adults, $6 members/seniors, $4 students. Purchase tickets in advance online to guarantee your seats, or at the door before the talk; doors open at 6:15 PM

About the New Mexico Museum of Natural History & Science
The New Mexico Museum of Natural History & Science, a division of the New Mexico Department of Cultural Affairs, is a regional center of excellence in scientific research, exhibits, and science education.
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