Episode 5: Chaco Canyon

Filmed on location in: USA and Ireland

The desert valley of Chaco Canyon was once a great sacred site and the heart of a sophisticated Pueblo Indian community. But when climate change struck Chaco around 1100 AD, some may have resorted to human sacrifice and cannibalism.

In the remote desert valley of Chaco Canyon, New Mexico stand the remains of an incredible ancient city and pilgrimage centre. Centuries before Columbus, this place was one of North America’s greatest sacred sites and the heart of a sophisticated Native American civilisation. Around 1100 AD, this mysterious community fell asunder, ravaged by climate change and drought. Archaeological evidence reveals that in their struggle for survival, some resorted to violence and murder. But there are signs of something even more shocking. Driven to desperation, some may have done more than just kill their enemies. This explores this fascinating story.

Cast & Extras: 

  • Irish Arms

Expert Contributors:

  • Dr. Ventura Perez – UMass Amherst, USA
  • Professor Brian Billman – University of North Carolina, USA
  • Dabney Ford – Archaeologist
  • Dr. Gwinn Vivian – Archaeologist
  • Porter Swentzell – Pueblo Artist and Historian 
  • Prof. Wirt Wills – University of New Mexico, USA
  • Prof. Steve Lekson – University of Colorado, USA
  • Dr. John Kantner – University of North Florida, USA
  • Fernando Cellicion – Cellicion Zuni Dancers


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