The Great Houses of Chaco Photographs by John Martin Campbell, University of New Mexico Press, $27.95, Hardcover; 800-249-7737.

greathousesChaco is a majestic ancient city in the forbidding landscape of northwest New Mexico. The ruins are famous for the five-story stone houses built between 900 and 1250 AD, featured in the book’s 55 exquisite black & white photographs.

The pictures capture the architectural majesty of this desert city and its environs. The elite who inhabited these massive buildings once ruled a 60,000-square-mile trading network. In spite of a century of investigation, though, many still debate the rise and fall of Chacoan culture. Captions by Kallestad and essays by archaeologist Windes and anthropologist Stuart provide background material without detracting from the visual mystery of an Anasazi empire. —Cynthia Green

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