Chaco Scholars Lend Support to Save Holmes Group Site

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Visting the Past with the Future: Dr. Jim Judge visits Chaco Canyon with his grandson. Credit Jim Judge and Bliss Bruen.
Visting the Past with the Future: Dr. Jim Judge visits Chaco Canyon with his grandson. Credit Jim Judge and Bliss Bruen.

Chaco Canyon. 1000 years ago, all roads led there. Sadly, today modern roads have multiplied into a maze of archaeological destruction. Damage comes from oil and gas drilling; and looters gain easy access to sites just like The Holmes Group – an ancient Chaco village in Northern New Mexico. You can still donate to this project here: https://donate.archaeologicalconservancy.org/ , designate Holmes Group Site. Highly esteemed Chaco scholars have shared their words in support of this significant site and our vital project to preserve it here:

“Speaking as a preservationist, when you become a grandparent, you find the mottos and catchphrases of Saving the Past for the Future truly important. Taking my grandson, who has grown up in Japan, to Chaco Canyon meant a great deal to me and to him as well on realizing the incredible sociocultural complexity of the Chacoan culture. The outlying sites found in the San Juan Basin are integral components of that Chacoan culture, and the Holmes Group site is an outstanding example of an outlier.  Not only are Chacoan roads manifest there, but equally important, a unique earthen circle surrounding the site.  The Holmes site must be saved for future research and certainly the Conservancy is the most appropriate organization to preserve it.” Dr. Jim Judge, Chaco Scholar and Professor Emeritus Fort Lewis College,  and The Archaeological Conservancy Board Member.

“The Holmes Group is an extremely significant Chacoan site for future archaeological research because of both it’s size and it’s location in an area that became an extremely important part of the Chaco World in the 11th and 12th centuries. Previous research in the heavily looted Mimbres region and the Homol’ovis has shown that there is still much to be learned at such sites. The current opportunity to preserve the Holmes Group may be our last chance to save this critical site and anyone who loves archaeology should if possible help the Archaeological Conservancy achieve that goal”  Dr. Stephen Plog, Chaco Scholar and Professor at University of Virginia.

Aeial view of Pueblo Bonito, Chaco Canyon, Not licensed for use in commercial settings
Sites like Pueblo Bonito in northern New Mexico reached their maximum size in the early A.D. 1100s, just before a major drought began to decrease birth rates throughout the Southwest. Photo: Scott Haefner, scotthaefner.com

“There was a time (circa A.D. 1050-1150) when the Chacoan World was expanding into the northern San Juan Basin – a process marked by a new architecture conveying deep social, political and religious meaning.  For the past century destruction of those buildings has accelerated to a point where our knowledge of that World has been vastly diminished.  This is our opportunity to preserve a fragment, but a critical fragment, of that which was “Chacoan” for our time and well into the future.” Dr. R. Gwinn Vivian, Chaco Scholar and Former Curator of Archaeology & Associate Director, Arizona State Museum.

“Do we fully understand the greater Totah region and its connections with Chaco Canyon and Mesa Verde?  No, but as archaeologist Paul Reed states, this site has the potential to make a major contribution to our understanding of this region, but only if we protect it.  Contribute now.” Dr. F. Joan Mathien, Chaco Scholar and Chaco Culture NHP Museum Collection and Research Associate at the Office of Archaeological Studies, NM.

“I wished I could have spent longer there,”.. “It[Holmes Group] is a spectacular complex…We’re really taking a broader look at outliers currently to really understand the Chaco phenomenon”  Larry Baker, Chaco Scholar and Director of Salmon Ruins Museum.

“I was fortunate to lead test excavations at Holmes in 2007, with help from
many folks. The site is phenomenal. It has seen some serious impacts, as have most of our big sites in New Mexico. But, many rooms, kivas, and other features remain

intact at Holmes. If you’re so moved, please contribute to this campaign and help protect this amazing site!” Paul Reed, Chaco Scholar and Preservation Archaeologist, Archaeology Southwest.

Please Join Us! Donate & Share this Project to Save the Holmes Group Site

Press Articles on This Project:

Learn More about the Endangered Holmes Group Site!

Holmes Group LiDAR Image By Richard Friedman
All Roads Lead to Chaco: Holmes Group LiDAR Image By Richard Friedman

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