DNA Offers Clues to Mysterious Crypt in Ancient Pueblo
It's a question that eluded answers for more than a century: Who were the 14 people buried in the tiny tomb known as Room 33?
Using DNA from skeletons excavated in New Mexico more than a century ago, researchers have shown that more than a dozen people buried in a small, hidden chamber were likely members of a powerful Native American dynasty related through their mothers.
New Mexico’s Chaco Canyon was once the center of the most influential culture in the American Southwest. Between approximately 800 A.D. and 1100 A.D., the ancient Chacoans built settlements called pueblos with huge, five-story buildings and grand ceremonial plazas. Elaborate road networks connected the pueblos, and at its peak the culture covered most of modern New Mexico, along with parts of Utah, Colorado, and Arizona.
At the center of Chacoan society was Pueblo Bonito, Spanish for “beautiful town.” Covering more