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Christopher Guiterman from the University of Arizona, lead author of the study, told CWA (Current World Archaeology magazine), ‘The results show the wood was transported to Chaco Canyon from a great distance – without the aid of beasts of burden, the wheel, metal tools, or a major watercourse, and the wood procurement was a dynamic and changing process.

The arrival of the Chuskan timbers signifies a dramatic change in Chacoan society.

Scholars have long debated whether the Chacoans, who lived in multistory buildings that were long the largest in North America, had an egalitarian—or equal—society or a hierarchical society with an entrenched elite.

To find out whether the bodies themselves could shed some light on the debate, a team led by archaeologist Douglas Kennett of Pennsylvania State University in State College analyzed their remains, found in room 33 of the Pueblo Bonito complex and now stored at the American Museum of Natural History in New York City, using DNA sequencing.

Deep in the remote deserts of northwestern New Mexico lie the extensive ruins of the greatest architectural achievement of the northern American Indians.

Intensive construction occurred throughout Chaco Canyon from AD 900 to 1100, resulting in the development of several sophisticated dwelling complexes.

E., and the youngest were dated to the end of Chacoan society, about 1130.

Then, the team used genetic analysis to look at mitochondrial DNA, which can pass only along the maternal line.

But there are some exceptions, including matrilineal societies like the Lycians of ancient Turkey, in which elite status and kinship passed from mothers to sons and daughters.

That isn’t to say that such societies were ruled by women, but it does show that women were given an important role in carrying on the family line.

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