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From the party's discovery of two mummified bodies still wrapped in Yucca fiber which they exhumed, Stevenson named the alcove and the ruin in it Mummy Cave.
Ever since then, Canyon de Chelly has been subjected to a disparate procession of exploitations and explorations, from individual and institutional pot-hunting raids, to legitimate, extensive archeological survey and excavation projects.
Evidence of this event is seen on pictographs within the canyon.
Later, American military explorations and war campaigns against the Navajo sometimes included men with scientific training assigned to gather information. Simpson of the Corps of Topographical Engineers, recorded several of the archeological sites in the canyon, including one he called Casa Blanca (White House) because of a white-plastered room in its upper portion.
In 1873, while mapping large portions of the West, the U. Corps of Engineers Wheeler Survey also collected data on climate, vegetation, mineral resources, Indian groups, and antiquities., including a photograph and account of White House.
In 1882, a Bureau of American Ethnology expedition led by Colonel James Stevenson recorded 46 sites in the area.