3D Digital Reconstruction of the Sun Dagger at Chaco Canyon

Of all the treasures held within Chaco Canyon, the Sun Dagger may be the most enigmatic. A spiral petroglyph tucked behind three huge sandstone slabs proved to be one of the most sophisticated pre-historic calendars known. It was discovered by artist Anna Sofaer in 1977, and was well documented and commemorated in the “Mystery of Chaco Canyon” video, narrated by Robert Redford. Unfortunately, in 1989, the sandstone slabs slipped slightly, and we lost the Sun Dagger forever.

We are proud to announce the Sun Dagger has been re-constructed in 3D for Mac and PC computers, a part of the “Anasazi of Chaco Canyon” computer program. Here is a sneak peak video…. Enjoy!

 

Language Options in Chaco Canyon Game

Good news for our Latin American and European friends, The Chaco Canyon Computer Game can be played in English, French, Spanish, and German. Simply choose your language when starting up the program, and all menus and screens will show in that language.

Here is the description of Penasco Blanco in Spanish:

Una de las primeras casas grandes de los Chacoan, solo una de solamente dos casas grandes ubicada en el sur del Cañón Chaco. (La otra es Tsin Kletsin). Unica por su planta oval, diferente de cualquiera de las otras grandes casas. Peñasco Blanco tiene cuatro kivas grandes, con dos en la plaza principal. El mayor periodo de construcción fue de mediados a fines del siglo 1000 D.C. Este sitio nunca ha sido excavado, pero Richard Wetherill cree que enormes cantidades de turquesa fueron extraídas del sitio por buscadores Navajos. La última fila de habitaciones aumentó a dos pisos. El sitio fue nombrado por el teniente Simpson cuando él supervisó el Cañón del Chaco en 1849. El nombre traducido al español significa “casa alrededor del doblez del arroyo”.

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Chaco Archaeology Dig (Virtual!)

Anasazi of Chaco Canyon virtual Archaeology dig preview. Below is an image from early, testing version of the game. There are over 40 authentically replicated Anasazi objects, some of which are near exact replicas of important artifacts uncovered in Chaco Canyon. You need to excavate, but carefully, as not to damage these priceless treasures.

Chaco Canyon Anasazi Virtual Archaeology
Screenshot from actual gameplay. Using the brush to carefully uncover an authentic, intact, 3D Anasazi pot from a Great House room in Chaco Canyon.

 

Macaw skull from Pueblo Bonito

chaco canyon pueblo bonito macaw skull

The wide variety of artifacts found in Chaco Canyon from the Anasazi era is impressive. Especially when you consider the major sites were likely looted several times over hundreds of years before archaeologists were able to conduct a proper survey.

One of the most intriguing and most important finds were the presence of skulls and skeletons of Scarlet Macaws, traded from hundreds of miles south. Like turquoise and chocolate, they were likely prized trade goods, and their perceived wealth may have contributed to a stratified societal hierarchy.

In the Chaco Canyon video game / computer simulation, one of the treasures you may find during your virtual archaeological dig is a 3D replica of a Scarlet Macaw skull, found in Pueblo Bonito by researchers from the American Museum of Natural History in 1897.

 

Archaeology Gameplay

Image drawing your trowel against the packed sand in one of the interior rooms of Pueblo Bonito. A glimmer of some long lost object…. a piece of pottery, turquoise jewelry, or ancient Anasazi tool? You’ll have to continue digging to find out, and dig carefully to avoid damaging a priceless artifact. This virtual archaeology dig in Chaco is just one of the fascinating parts of the program.

Progress update

The programmers and developers continue to make excellent progress, and our expected launch date is 26 March, 2017. In a recent test, I was able watch an in-game sunset over Fajada Butte, and observe the shadows disappear at high noon against the center wall of Pueblo Bonito. Its looking really good. Be sure to sign up for our newsletter for more updates.