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What Chocolate In Chaco Canyon Reveals About Trade And Rituals

D. Davis National Park Service
Star trails over Casa Rinconada at Chaco Culture National Historic Park

University Showcase 9/20, 8a: In 2009, Professor Patricia L. Crown uncovered the first evidence of chocolate consumption in North America in jars from Chaco Culture National Historic Park in Northwest NM. On this episode, we discuss what this discovery reveals about Chaco rituals and civilization, including the extent of trading networks across the Southwest and MesoAmerica.

Chaco Canyon was central to thousands of people between 850 and 1250 A.D. and many pueblo people trace their ancestors to Chaco civilization.

Professor Crown is the Leslie Spier Distinguished Professor at the University of New Mexico department of Archeology and also holds a Weatherhead Resident Scholar Fellowship at the School for Advanced Research in Santa Fe. She will host a lecture and fundraising event on Sept. 27 at the Maxwell Museum at UNM.

Also on this episode, Marthy Adamsmith talks with doctoral candidate Idris Robinson from the UNM Philosophy Department.

Megan has been a journalist for 25 years and worked at business weeklies in San Antonio, New Orleans and Albuquerque. She first came to KUNM as a phone volunteer on the pledge drive in 2005. That led to volunteering on Women’s Focus, Weekend Edition and the Global Music Show. She was then hired as Morning Edition host in 2015, then the All Things Considered host in 2018. Megan was hired as News Director in 2021.