Evidence found for world's first 'catering service'

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Washington, July 29 (ANI): A new research has found evidence for what may be the world's first catering service, on a southwestern Colorado mountain ridge a thousand years ago.

New findings from the Chimney Rock archaeological site near Pagosa Springs, Colorado, suggests that elite priests living in a spectacular spiritual outpost built high on the southwestern Colorado mountain ridge a thousand years ago likely had their meals catered by commoners living in the valley below.

The royalty at Chimney Rock - an "outlier" of the brawny Chaco Canyon culture centered 90 miles away in northern New Mexico that ruled the Southwest with a heavy hand from about A.D. 850 to 1150 - were likely tended to through a complex social, economic and political network, according to CU-Boulder Professor Steve Lekson, who directed the excavation.

"While our analysis has only begun, there might have been two different groups at Chimney Rock - those that built it and the elites that inhabited it," said Lekson, curator of anthropology at the University of Colorado Museum of Natural History.

"It looks like the elites were calling the shots," he added.

"Located 1,000 feet above the nearest water source, the site - marked by a pair of twin rock spires - harbors a Chacoan-like "Great House" and great kiva that some archaeologists believe were built as part of a lunar observatory," said Lekson.

Although few Pueblo people were living in the area prior to A.D. 850, they began moving into the nearby valleys once Chimney Rock was established.

"I think the people drawn to the area came in to serve the elites at Chimney Rock. And I think the elites who were living here probably came from Chaco Canyon," said Todd.

The link between Chimney Rock and Chaco was strong, according to Todd.

Timbers used in the massive Chaco Canyon Great Houses and great kivas may have originated from the Chimney Rock region, since there are few pine trees around Chaco Canyon.

Todd also speculated that deer and elk harvested from the forests around Chimney Rock may have been delivered to Chaco Canyon, as evidenced by bones found in ancient Chaco trash pits.

Large fireboxes at Chimney Rock likely were used to signal Chacoans at the summit of Huerfano Mesa, a plateau hosting ancient fireboxes some 30 miles to the southeast of Chimney Rock and in sight of Chaco Canyon, according to Lekson.

"There was almost certainly line-of-sight communication between Chimney Rock, Huerfano Mesa and Chaco Canyon," said Lekson. (ANI)

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