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The Sun Dagger

The astonishing discovery of an ancient celestial calendar in Chaco Canyon, NM.

A printer-friendly version of this page 58 minutes
Directed by Albert Ihde
Produced by Anna Sofaer, The Solstice Project
Narrated by Robert Redford

"It changes forever history's perceptions of America's early Indian colonists." Science 84
This classic, timeless film documents the extraordinary celestial calendar created by ancient North American Indians, and rediscovered by artist Anna Soafer, high on a butte in New Mexico.

The "dagger" is presently the only known site in the world that marks the extreme positions of both the sun and moon.

The film explores the complex culture of the Anasazi Indians who constructed the calendar, and thrived both spiritually and materially in the harsh environment of Chaco Canyon a thousand years ago.

Grade Level: Grades 7-12, College, Adult
US Release Date: 1983     Copyright Date: 1982
DVD ISBN: 1-59458-089-8     VHS ISBN: 1-56029-320-9

"It changes forever history's perceptions of America's early Indian colonists. And as an astronomical and geometrical marvel, it ranks with the Pyramids and Stonehenge."
Science 84

"THE SUN DAGGER is a 'must-buy' for school districts and public libraries."
Media and Methods

"The multidisciplinary nature of this film makes it possible to use it in many classroom situations. The excellent teaching guide, written by Don Reid, vastly improves the film's instructional value."
Journal of College Science Teaching

"Both (versions) are excellent."
Editor's Choice, Science Books and Films

Select your institution type

The Solstice Project web site
Excellent Study Guide

Awards and Festivals
Blue Ribon, American Film Festival
CINE Golden Eagle
Margaret Mead Film Festival

American Studies
Indigenous Peoples
Native Americans
Physical Science
Social Studies
Western US

Related Titles

The Sun Dagger (Short Version)
The astonishing discovery of an ancient celestial calendar in Chaco Canyon, NM.

The Mystery of Chaco Canyon
Unveiling the ancient astronomy of southwestern Pueblo Indians.

The Mystery of the Lost Red Paint People
Advanced seafaring culture lived in New England 7000 years ago.

Norse America
Evidence that the Icelandic sagas were fact not fiction.

Voices of the Land
Our spiritual connection to the land, and how wilderness can heal the soul.

The Buffalo War
The battle over the yearly slaughter of America's last wild bison outside Yellowstone National Park.

In the Light of Reverence
A stunning portrait of land-use conflicts over Native American sacred sites on public and private land around the West from the producers of STANDING ON SACRED GROUND.

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