Anasazi Civilization Flourishes in American Southwest (Great Events from History: The Ancient World, Prehistory-476)
Article abstract: This Basket Maker civilization of the American Southwest emerged, advanced architecture and agriculture, and then vanished.
Summary of Event
The Anasazi, believed to be descendants of ancient Desert Archaic people, are one of the best-known prehistoric cultures of the American Southwest. Different groups of Anasazi spoke at least six languages, which were not mutually understood. The term “Anasazi” derives from an English-language corruption of a Navajo term, Anaasa’zi, which describes the many stone ruins of the Four Corners region and may mean “ancient ones,” “enemies of the ancient ones,” or “ancient enemy.”
The earliest Anasazi are known as the Basket Makers because of their extraordinary skill in basketry. Initially, these early people occupied a few cave sites and rock shelters along the San Juan River and open sites in the Rio Grande Valley. Inhabitants of these early villages planted maize and squash, a skill learned from their ancestors, and hunted and foraged.
The villages, perhaps occupied seasonally, consisted of a few pit houses: low, circular houses dug into the ground, approximately 7 feet (2 meters) across. Stone slabs were used for some houses. Upper walls and roofs of many dwellings were made of wood and adobe or wattle and daub. The houses had fire pits and were entered by ladders placed in the smokehole of the roof. Tunnel-like side entries...
(The entire section is 1661 words.)
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