Steve Lekson to give virtual presentation on the ‘Millennium on the Meridian’ May 13


By Nadia Werby

Special to The SUN

The Chimney Rock Interpretive Association (CRIA) hosts a free Lecture Series five times a year to offer the opportunity for the public and CRIA volunteers to gather and 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 Wednesday, May 13, as Steven H. Lekson discusses “Millennium on the Meridian.” Space is limited to first-come, first-served. To join this special Zoom presentation online at 7 p.m., you will need the Zoom link and meeting ID located on

The “Chaco Meridian” proposed in 1999 suggested that the 11th century regional center at Chaco Canyon relocated to Aztec Ruins in the early 12th century, and again shifted far to the south to Paquime in the late 13th century. More recent work suggests that this north-south alignment was important long before Chaco, as far back as the sixth century, and may have continued to shape regional history after Paquime, well into the 16th and 17th centuries. 

The new information comes from recent and past excavations, recent observations on the distribution of iconic architectural features, and ethnohistories from the earliest Spanish entradas. 

Lekson was curator of archaeology at the Museum of Natural History, University of Colorado, Boulder. He received his Ph.D. from the University of New Mexico in 1988, and held research, curatorial or administrative positions with University of Tennessee, Eastern New Mexico University, National Park Service, Arizona State Museum, Museum of New Mexico and Crow Canyon Archaeological Center. Lekson directed more than 20 archaeological projects throughout the southwest. He was editor of the journal Kiva (2006-2011) and continues as contributing editor for Archaeology magazine (2003-present). Lekson’s publications include a dozen books, chapters in many edited volumes, and articles in journals and magazines. His most recent books: “A History of the Ancient Southwest” (2009), “Chaco Meridian” (2015) and “A Study of Southwestern Archaeology” (2018). He curated six exhibits, most recently “A History of the Ancient Southwest” (2014) at the CU Museum of Natural History. He retired in 2018. 

CRIA offers a great training program to anyone interested in joining our amazing team of volunteers. You can learn more about how to get involved in CRIA and Chimney Rock National Monument at 

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 or call 731-7133.