Chaco Culture National Historical Park
The Chaco Culture National Historical Park quarter is the second of 2012 and the 12th overall in the America the Beautiful Quarters® Program. This historical park in New Mexico features Chaco Canyon, which was a major center of Puebloan culture between A.D. 850 and 1250. The Chacoan sites are part of the homeland of Pueblo Indian peoples of New Mexico, the Hopi Indians of Arizona and the Navajo Indians of the southwest. Chaco Canyon was the cultural center of a system of communities linked by road and trading networks across a 40,000 square-mile region in the Four Corners area from A.D. 850 to 1150. Chaco is remarkable for its multi-storied public buildings called "great houses," enormous circular ceremonial subterranean structures called "great kivas," and distinctive architecture featuring a notable concentration of petroglyphs and pictographs. The Chacoan people combined pre-planned architectural designs, astronomical alignments, geometry, landscaping and engineering to create an ancient urban center of spectacular public architecture. It was first established as a national site on March 11, 1907 (35 Stat. 2119).
The reverse design illustrates a view to the west of two elevated kivas that are part of the Chetro Ketl Complex. The design also shows the north wall of Chetro Ketl and the north wall of the canyon. Inscriptions are CHACO CULTURE, NEW MEXICO, 2012 and E PLURIBUS UNUM. Design candidates were developed in consultation with representatives of Chaco Culture National Historical Park.
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