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Canyon De Chelly - A Fascinating Geologic Story
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© Christine Till
Canyon de Chelly is a gem of the Southwest filled with breathtaking wonders - soaring sandstone walls, natural wildlife and beauty, precious orchards of fruit and cornfields, and Navajo sheepherders tending to their flocks in the flow of the southwestern sun.
The landscape is like no other. Canyon de Chelly is not the deepest canyon in the Southwest, nor the widest, nor the longest. But its awesome beauty rivals that of any other. The geologic story of Canyon de Chelly is complex, yet fascinating. Millions of years of mountain building, stream cutting, wind, and erosion have created today’s canyons. Geologists believe that little has changed geologically since 10,000 years ago, when the last ice age ended and early man inhabited the earth.
To the Navajo people Canyon de Chelly is home. The rocks provide a source of tools, weapons, and protection for the Navajo, just as they did for the Anasazi. In addition, prominent rock formations, such as Spider Rock and others, hold a special significance to the Navajo - one more reason why Canyon de Chelly is seen as a continuing and viable sacred place by many cultures.
August 31st, 2013
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