The Great North Road is one of the most significant national heritages that exist to date, and that was built using convict labor (Marshal and Sofaer, 1). The road is still intact to date and unlike other structures built at the time; it has stood the test of time and still exists to this day. However, the Great North Road had significant purposes to the lives of the Anasazi.
The Great North Road’s origin is in Pueblo Bonito and Chetro Ketl, which are the largest structures in Chaco Canyon. Pueblo Bonito and Chetro Ketl converge at Pueblo Alto, which a huge structure at the north of the canyon (Marshal and Sofaer, 1). This junction is the starting point of the Great North Road. From this point, the road runs to the east for 3 kilometers to Escavada Walsh. It then deviates half a percent from the true north for 16 kilometers to Pierre’s Complex and finally deviates two degrees north to end up at Kutz Canyon. From this point, the road just descends the canyon up to the canyon floor.
Some of the associated features are the structures that were built by the Anasazi (Marshal and Sofaer, 1). The first feature is the Chaco Canyon where the road commences. From the point, the road is dotted by structures. The first man-made features along The Great North Road are the structures located at Pueblo Alto. This is the structure that marks the beginning of the road. There isn’t another man made features along the road. The road transverses grassland and the next man made feature is at Kutz Canyon where there are Aztec and Salmon ruins that lie a few kilometers away from the terminus of the road.
The road was created through a series of mechanisms that removed massive amounts of earth and vegetation (Marshal and Sofaer, 1). Huge cuts were made at each place that the road met huge elevations of land so that the road could go on uninterrupted. Where the road reached settlements such as at the canyons, staircases and ladders were made as extensions of the road. Other places that had man-made settlements such as the Pueblo Alto, the road were curved using masonry skills. The platforms to support the ladders and the staircases at the canyons were supported using huge posts and crossbeams. The construction of the road signified the seriousness of the intent of the construction. This is due to the dimensions of the road that were larger than other roads of the time and the intricate nature of the masonry where the road crossed settlements.
There is massive evidence that links the road to both the creation story and the Anasazi Cosmology (Marshal and Sofaer, 1). The creation of the Great road is signified by the nature that the road is still on to date. The dimensions of the road are still accurate as they were at the time of construction. Settlements at Pueblo Alto still have the masonry of the road as it passed the settlement. On the other hand there is also archeological evidence that shows that the road could have been build based on Anasazi cosmology. According to the Anasazi, they build their villages corresponding to celestial bodies such as the stars and especially the constellation Orion. Archeological evidence shows that the prehistoric settlements that are believed to belong to the Anasazi are directly aligned to these constellations (Marshal and Sofaer, 1). This is evidence that the road could have been modeled according to celestial bearings.
Marshal, Michael , and Anna Sofaer. "The Solstice Project - The Great North Road: a Cosmographic Expression of the Chaco Culture of New Mexico." The Solstice Project - The Great North Road: a Cosmographic Expression of the Chaco Culture of New Mexico. N.p., n.d. Web. 28 Oct. 2014. <http://www.solsticeproject.org/greanort.htm>.
Marshall, M. P. and Sofaer, A. (1). Report on the Solstice Project Archaeological Investigations in the Chacoan Province, New Mexico