The Anasazi Sun Dagger

Native American Antiquity

Soaring nearly 120 meters above the desert floor in a remote section of ancient Anasazi territory known as Chaco Canyon stands an interesting natural structure called Fajada Butte. Along a narrow ledge near the top of the hill is a sacred Native American site named Sun Dagger that a thousand years ago revealed the changing seasons to the ancient astronomers.

After they abandoned the canyon for unknown reasons some 700 years ago the sun dagger remained hidden from the general public. In 1977 it was inadvertently „rediscovered“ when some rock art and petroglyphs on the hill were being studied.

In the southwest region of the United States (the state of New Mexico) in an area known as Chaco Canyon, lie the remains of an elaborate development of the Anasazi people who lived in this region from about 500 to 1300 AD. Some 120 meters above the canyon floor, three slabs of sandstone are leaning against a rock wall creating a shaded space. Two spiral petroglyphs are carved on the shaded part of the wall, one large and one small. Sunlight passes over them at various times throughout the year as it streams through crevices between the sandstone.


On the summer solstice, a single sliver of sunlight—which was called a sun dagger—appeared near the top of the larger spiral and over a period of 18 minutes „sliced“ its way down through the very center, cutting the spiral in half before leaving it in shadow once again. During the winter solstice, two daggers of light appeared for 49 minutes, creating a perfect frame for the large spiral.

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Finally, an equally remarkable and more complex light show occurred during the spring and autumn equinoxes. The large spiral is carved in such a way that, counting from the center outward to the right, there are nine grooves. Upon each equinox a dagger of light appeared and cut through the large spiral—not through its center but exactly between the fourth and fifth grooves from it. In other words, it cut exactly halfway between the center and the outer edge of the spiral, just as the equinoxes cut the time between the solstices exactly in half. Meanwhile, a second dagger sliced through the center of the small spiral.

Similar light displays marking the equinoxes or solstices can be seen at other locations in the southwestern United States and Mexico. In another Anasazi ruins in Hovenweep National Monument near the borders of Utah and Colorado, light „daggers“ also illuminate spiral petroglyphs during the summer solstice.

Source: Ancient Wisdom