A group of researchers at the University of Colorado, Boulder want to make it possible for everyone to virtually walk through the ancient dwellings at Chimney Rock National Monument as the ancient pueblo people did.
Their work is part of Project Map, an effort to model ancient and historic monuments across the state. Chimney Rock is one of their first projects because of its archaeological ties to Chaco Canyon National Historic Park, and for decades researchers from CU Boulder have worked at the site, which was mainly inhabited between 925 and 1125.
“This is one of the most important national monuments of the Chacoan culture in the state of Colorado,” Gutierrez said.
The team plans to make the model accessible to the public as an all encompassing virtual reality experience so people will be able to walk the ancient paths themselves, Gutierrez said. Transferring the data to a video gaming platform will likely start in the fall.
The model also creates a permanent record of the site, so that future researchers and site managers will be able to tell exactly how it changes over time.