ALBUQUERQUE N.M. (KRQE) – A Larry Barker Investigation reveals that many artifacts found at Chaco Canyon have been sent to museums throughout the world.
The first organized archaeological exploration at Chaco Canyon took place in 1896 under the leadership of Colorado rancher and amateur archaeologist Richard Wetherill. Financed by two brothers, Talbot and Fred Hyde, the 1896 excavation yielded thousands of unique artifacts. The Hyde Exploring Expedition is responsible for excavating 190 rooms at Chaco’s Pueblo Bonito. The artifacts unearthed by Richard Wetherill and his crew today reside at the American Museum of Natural History.
Wetherill later established a homestead and trading post in Chaco Canyon. Richard Wetherill was murdered in 1910. He is buried in a family cemetery just outside the Pueblo Bonito ruins.
News 13 Investigative Reporter Larry Barker recently sat down with Wetherill’s grandson, Jim Shaffner, to discuss his grandfather’s role in exploring Chaco Canyon and the current controversy over the Chaco artifacts.
The video below is an edited version from The Explorers Club Research Collections entitled, “Excavating Indian Pueblos at Chaco Canyon”, 1932. The 9-minute long video shows the excavation of Pueblo Bonito.
KRQE was granted permission to use the from The Explorers Club Research Collections.