Anasazi Great Houses of the Chaco Canyon Region Essay

1766 Words Jun 6th, 2002 8 Pages
Native American architecture varies greatly from region to region throughout North America, and was influenced by factors such as climate, kind of community, and the natural environment. Whereas some buildings were designed and constructed for specified functions, others, such as Anasazi great houses, were massive multi-purpose structures. Because great houses from Chaco Canyon are so well preserved, it is possible to have a decent understanding of the structure of Anasazi architecture for analysis. A close examination of the innovative Anasazi great house architecture of the Chaco Canyon region reveals its utilitarian value. Chaco Canyon, located in northwest New Mexico, is full of plateaus and canyons. Though the area may appear …show more content…
A source of water seems to have been one of the most important points in Anasazi building concepts. Though much of Anasazi great house architecture was built near a spring or other water source, most inhabitants of the Chaco Canyon region innovatively constructed dams and reservoirs to maintain the level of water they would need, to the best of their ability.7 This kind of water tapping was of great importance to the Anasazi people, as the environment of northwest New Mexico is extremely arid, leaving much of the naturally available water sources with very limited amounts. Anasazi architecture of the Chaco Canyon region proves to be a very innovative form utilizing the surrounding environment to maintain a relatively permanent settlement for its inhabitants. These early architects incorporated very sound building techniques and mainly local materials to create the massive structures known as great houses. Though the structures were heavily labor intense during construction, the maintenance factor was very low, due to the durability of the materials. In Chaco Canyon structures, the use of sandstone was prevalent as a major building material because of its ease of use. "The soft sandstone is easily worked, and both soft blocks and hard tabular pieces are easily stacked,

More about Anasazi Great Houses of the Chaco Canyon Region Essay

Open Document