Fractal Architecture at Prehistoric Chaco Canyon

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charlyThe use of algebra and geometry as tools for designing prehistoric, load-bearing architecture are the topic of Prescott author Charly Gullett's presentation, Chaco Fractal Architecture. This one hour talk will be held at the September meeting of the Desert Foothills Chapter (DFC) of the Arizona Archaeological Society (AAS), Wednesday, Sept. 12, at 7:30 p.m. at the Good Shepherd of the Hills Episcopal Church, 6502 E. Cave Creek Road in Cave Creek. The presentation, based on Gullet's recently released book, Chaco Fractal Architecture: Mathematics and Metaphor at the Dawn of Prehistoric Science, is free and the public is invited.

Charly will demonstrate that the design and engineering of the beautiful multi-story dwellings built 1000 years ago in Chaco, New Mexico used mathematic principles that were not even scientifically mainstream until Benoit Mendelbrot first coined the term "fractal" in the 1970's. The use of fractals, or self-similar patterns, in the masonry of Chaco shows that prehistoric peoples understood these complex geometric principles. Using Chaco as an example of fractal engineering, Charly will show how these ancient peoples used their knowledge to build pueblos all throughout the Southwest. Charly states, "After more than ten centuries, the DaVinci code of Chacoan engineering has finally been broken."

A commercial artist, engineer and publisher as well as an author of over 30 books, Charly has combined his career in computer robotics and computer design with his avocation of archaeology. He is the current president of the Yavapai Chapter of the AAS in Prescott, AZ, where he has established a publishing company called Warfield Press. A highly sought after public speaker, Charly has spent his entire career lecturing on many topics including archaeology, politics, American history and computer technology. He has two other books on the topic of fractal architecture available from Warfield Press: Anasazi Design Rules on the Chaco Meridian and The Anasazi Field Manual. Copies of all three books will be available for purchase and signing at the meeting.

The AAS is an independent, non-profit and statewide organization with over 600 professional and avocational members. Its goals are to foster public awareness, interest, research and conservation of Arizona's rich archaeological heritage. The DFC has been active in the Cave Creek area for over 35 years and members enjoy professional lectures, hikes, classes and research projects. Please contact DFC President Glenda Simmons at or visit