From: Shadows of Chaco Canyon

Casa Rinconada (  Box Canyon House)

The largest kiva in Chaco Canyon has 28 regularly spaced rectangular niches following the curved inside walls.  6 additional niches are located below these uniform niches: 2 on the east side and four on the west side of the kiva.  On the day of the summer solstice, a small window to the east of the north entrance channels sunlight directly onto the wall above one of the 6 niches.  As the sun moves higher in the sky, light travels down the wall, illuminating the niche.

The kiva is carefully aligned with the cardinal directions of north, south, east, and west.  The south doorway is aligned with the Sun at noon, and the north doorway is aligned to the North Star.  The holes that once served to anchor the four pillars suspending the roof form a square which is also oriented to the four cardinal directions.  The center point of this ensuing square is also the center of the circular kiva.

One of the Native American creation myths is of four trees that the people used to journey from the previous world to the current world.


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