"'Large fireboxes at Chimney Rock likely were used to signal Chacoans at the summit of Huerfano Mesa, a plateau hosting ancient fireboxes some 30 miles to the southeast of Chimney Rock and in sight of Chaco Canyon,' said Lekson. 'There was almost certainly line-of-sight communication between Chimney Rock, Huerfano Mesa and Chaco Canyon,' said Lekson. While there is no Chaco Great House on Huerfano Mesa, 'elaborate fireboxes and shrines suggest that somebody was there to pick up the phone and relay messages.'" (www.colorado.edu)
In her book Wild Inferno, novelist Sandi Ault described the communication system in a story that she attributed to a storyteller from fictional Tanoah Pueblo, which she located near Taos Pueblo. "Time before time, the chiefs in the Center of the World could talk with fire and receive its knowledge and power. They used what fire told them to hold the moon unmoving in the sky."
In June 1981 we were lucky enough to tour the portion of the Ute Mountain Ute Reservation south of Mesa Verde. This region has pretty much as many ruins as Mesa Verde proper, with the added bonus that they have not been cleaned up. Pot sherds, bones, tools, and cordage still litter the ground in this area. One ruin that particularly intrigued me is known as Eagle's Nest. In this building there is a painted kiva with three mountain peaks painted on the inside wall (and if you look carefully you can make out some of the white dots that outlined the peaks).
Lekson, Steve, PhD.,
2016 Latest Chaco Canyon Theories and Research, lecture to: Annual Meeting of the Colorado Archaeological Society, October 7, 2016, Grand Junction, Colorado.
http://listsofjohn.com, image 3637306.