Patricia L. Crown was only 3 years old when she first visited New Mexico’s Chaco Canyon, but she has some indelible memories of the occasion.
“We were camping – my mom, dad and two (older) sisters,” Crown said. “We went after my birthday, so it was in late October or early November, and my parents were not prepared for how cold it would be. I remember that my mom made us hot chocolate to help warm us up.”
So there you have it. Right from the start, Crown’s experience with Chaco Canyon, an array of ancient ruins in northwestern New Mexico, has been flavored with chocolate.
Crown, 67, a distinguished professor of anthropology at the University of New Mexico, will give a free lecture titled “Chocolate in Chaco and Beyond” at 6 p.m. Friday, Sept. 27, on the UNM campus. The presentation, which will be followed by a fundraising reception at UNM’s Maxwell Museum of Anthropology, delves into Crown’s discovery more than 10 years ago of residues of Mexican cacao in 1,000-year-old pottery at Pueblo Bonito, the largest of the great houses at Chaco Canyon.