Two mountain ranges provided wood for Chaco

Associated Press
Chaco Culture National Historical Park is pictured in a file photo from May 8, 2012.

TUCSON, Ariz. — University of Arizona researchers have concluded that wood used to construct large buildings at what is now Chaco Culture National Historical Park in northwestern New Mexico came from two different mountain ranges.

According to the university’s Laboratory of Tree-Ring Research, most of the wood for the building projects in Chaco’s arid setting came from the Zuni Mountains before the year 1020. That mountain range is about 50 miles south of Chaco and located southeast of Gallup.

However, the researchers say the Chuska Mountains became the main wood source by 1060. The Chuskas are located about 50 miles to the west of Chaco.

Chaco is a World Heritage site. The area was considered a ceremonial and economic center for the ancestors of many Native American tribes in the region.