Chaco Canyon, a site that was once central to the lives of pre-colonial peoples called Anasazi, may not have been able to produce enough food to sustain thousands of residents, according to new research. The results could shed doubt on estimates of how many people were able to live in the region year-round. Located in Chaco Culture National Historic Park in New Mexico, Chaco Canyon hosts numerous small dwellings and a handful of multi-story buildings known as great houses. Based on these structures, researchers think that it was once a bustling metropolis that was home to as many as 2,300 people during its height from 1050 to 1130 AD. But Chaco also sits in an unforgiving environment, complete with cold winters, blazing-hot summers and little rainfall falling in either season. “You have this place in the middle of the San Juan Basin, which is not very habitable,” said Larry Benson, an adjoint curator at the CU Museum of Natural History.
Source: Chaco Canyon and food scarcity