BLM Logo
Release Date: 04/11/13
Contacts: Michael Williams, (970) 882-5600    


DOLORES, Colo. – Photographer John Ninneman has faced storms, cold, distance, and darkness during his quest to photograph the accomplishments of the Ancestral Puebloan astronomers. Hear his stories in a lecture at the Bureau of Land Management’s Anasazi Heritage Center on Sunday, Apr. 14, at 1 p.m.

Using a large-format camera and traditional film, Ninneman’s photos capture significant alignments of the sun and moon at archaeological sites across the Four Corners region. His work showcases prehistoric astronomical markers with vivid images showing the ways the rock art and architecture interact with the sky on specific days such as spring equinox or summer solstice. Ninnemann work features remote examples beyond the more famous alignments, such as at Hovenweep or Chaco Canyon.

Ninnemann, Dean Emeritus at Fort Lewis College in Durango, Colo., is also the creator of the museum’s current special exhibit, “Ancient Skywatchers of the Southwest,” which closes on April 27, 2013. The exhibit was produced by the Museum of the Center of Southwest Studies at Fort Lewis College in Durango. Ninnemann is also the author of the book Canyon Spirits: Beauty and Power in the Ancestral Puebloan World.

The lecture is part of the 2013 Four Corners Lecture Series, a series of community events organized by the Anasazi Heritage Center, Crow Canyon Archaeological Center, Fort Lewis College, Mesa Verde National Park and Colorado Archaeological Society. All events are free, and take place at a variety of venues in southwest Colorado.

The Anasazi Heritage Center near Dolores, Colo., is the headquarters for Canyons of the Ancients National Monument. The museum is open daily from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. with free admission on lecture days. For more information visit the center’s website at or call 970-882-5600.

 IMAGE:  Winter Solstice Sunrise over Fajada Butte, courtesy of John Ninnemann,  from Ancient Skywatchers of the Southwest

The BLM manages more than 245 million acres of public land, the most of any Federal agency. This land, known as the National System of Public Lands, is primarily located in 12 Western states, including Alaska. The BLM also administers 700 million acres of sub-surface mineral estate throughout the nation. The BLM's mission is to manage and conserve the public lands for the use and enjoyment of present and future generations under our mandate of multiple-use and sustained yield. In Fiscal Year 2014, the BLM generated $5.2 billion in receipts from public lands.

  29211 Hwy 184      Dolores, CO 81323  

Last updated: 04-11-2013