Lecture series: ‘Chimney Rock as a Landscape of Interaction on the Chacoan Frontier’

Dr. Michelle I. Turner

By Nadia Werby
Chimney Rock Interpretive Association

The Chimney Rock Interpretive Association (CRIA) hosts a free lecture series several times a year to offer the opportunity for the public and CRIA volunteers to enjoy a speaker whose topic typically relates to southwest archaeology, archaeoastronomy and/or Chacoan culture. 

Experts in the field travel sometimes from far distances to Pagosa Springs to present at this free series, but this month’s lecture series is now happening live and online for all to enjoy from the comforts of your home. 

Join us on Thursday, May 6, as Dr. Michelle I. Turner discusses “Chimney Rock as a Landscape of Interaction on the Chacoan Frontier.” Space is limited and is first-come, first-serve. To join this special Zoom presentation online at 7 p.m., you will need the Zoom link and meeting ID located on www.chimneyrockco.org/lecture.

Archaeological theory increasingly recognizes the surprisingly complex interactions that characterize frontier communities, as people with differing world views adapt and negotiate, weaving together new ways of being. Drawing on such theory as well as landscape archaeology, the presentation will explore how the archaeological evidence and the natural landscape of Chimney Rock can help us to understand its community history and its relationships to Chaco Canyon.

Turner studies the archaeology of Chaco Canyon and its outliers. She is currently a postdoctoral scholar with the Crow Canyon Archaeological Center Research Institute, where she works on ceramic analysis research related to the Northern Chacoan Outliers Project. She is also continuing her research on the Aztec North great house at Aztec Ruins National Monument, where she conducted limited archaeological testing in 2016 with a crew from Binghamton University. 

Prior to becoming an archaeologist, she practiced law for nearly a decade. She continues to draw on that background, researching the legal and ethical issues surrounding NAGPRA, cultural heritage, decolonization of museums, and the repatriation of material culture and art. Turner also serves on the SAA Committee on Repatriation.

Chimney Rock will open for the 2021 season on May 15. The site is accessible every day for self-guided tours through Oct. 15. Chimney Rock National Monument is a protected archaeological site with limited access through tours and special programs only. 

CRIA also sponsors monthly and annual events at Chimney Rock National Monument including the Night Sky: Our Solar System Program, Night Sky: Stars and Galaxies Program, the Full Moon Program, Sunrise Programs, Geology Tours, Birding at Chimney Rock Tours, Flora of Chimney Rock Tours, Mysteries of Chimney Rock Tours, and the always fun and free Life at Chimney Rock Festival. 

CRIA is a nonprofit 501(c)(3) organization that runs the daily operations and interpretive program at Chimney Rock National monument in partnership with the USDA Forest Service and the San Juan National Forest. For more information, see the CRIA website at www.chimneyrockco.org or call (970) 731-7133.