Becoming Chacoan: The Archaeology of the Aztec North Great House

The Aztec North great house has long been the least understood of three great houses at Aztec Ruins National Monument. Dr. Turner’s dissertation research on this site included limited subsurface testing at this previously unexcavated Chaco-era great house. The fieldwork revealed architectural surprises, including unexpected construction methods and remodeling over time, while artifact analysis has revealed unusual patterns. Dr. Turner will discuss what we have learned about the site’s chronology, about the architecture, and about people’s daily lives. She will also discuss her ongoing research into the great house’s place in the larger cultural landscape of Aztec Ruins and its relationship to Chaco Canyon and other regions.


Dr. Michelle Turner is an archaeologist who studies Chaco Canyon and its outliers. She is the inaugural postdoctoral scholar at Crow Canyon Archaeological Center, where she works on the Northern Chacoan Outliers Project. She received her PhD in 2019 from the Department of Anthropology at SUNY Binghamton University.