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After The Anasazi


ANASAZE: CA 1200 BC - 1300 AD

Anasazi Culture originally lived in the Four Corners region bounded by Colorado, Utah, New Mexico and Arizona. 

This culture is famous for building structures of adobe and stone blocks, and building the first pueblos in all the land.

They disappeared from their pueblos in the 1300's without leaving good answers to why.

They lived in three main population centers, Chaco Canyon, Mesa Verde and Kayenta.

They are believed to be the ancestors of the Hopi, Zuni and Pueblo tribes.

Formerly living in underground shelters, in  700 A.D., the Anasazi basket makers began a transition to farming and built permanent structures. From basket/pottery skills they became pueblo builders.

1200 AD they lived in defensible structures.

1300 AD tribal violence increased and raiders came to take what the Anasazi had.

Coupled with a thirty year drought, living where they were could not be supported, so at an unknown time in 1300 AD, they left their pueblos homes. Questions:

1. Did they just integrate with other tribes? 

2. Did they move on to safer places?

3. Were they annhialated by their enemies? 

400-1200 AD

Mogollon and related group Jornado occupied lands in Mexico, Arizona and New Mexico.

Mogollon groups generally lived 100 miles east and west of the border between current New Mexico and Arizona, but they also ranged far into Mexico.

Another closely related group known as the Jornado Mogollon spread eastward to the Great Plains.

Early Mogollon lived in half buried housing with a domed wood frame roof covered by waterproof materials of brush and grass packed down with thick mud.....probably adobe. 

Size depending on number of occupants could be two to five feet deep, with a diameter of 10 to 15 feet.

Normal entry was by a crallway space down to a stepped doorway. 

Some still lived under rock covers or in caves, while other extended families built on high hills which overlooked their farming fields. 

At times they built fortified walls around their communities to protect themselves from nomadic hunters and gatherers.

Cochise culture 9000 BC-2100 BC. are believed to be the ancestors of the Mogollon.

The Mogollon Culture lived in the mountainous region of Arizona. Some were farmers while others resorted to hunting and gethering to survive.

Anthropologists believe that between 900 and 1100 AD, Anasazi absorbed much of the Mogollon culture. 

This fits into the picture because at some points the Mogollon Culture, as farmers, were living in pueblos.

It is unclear whether they built their pueblos or just moved into pueblos built earlier by the Anasazi's.

As the Anasazi before them, in 1450AD, the Mogollon Cultures also disappeared. Where did the go? South?


Hohokam Culture between 300 and 1200 AD lived in agricultural areas in the Salt and Gila river valleys.

They are best noted for building extensive irrigation systems, digging some canals over 10 miles long.

Evidence suggests that they traded with groups south in Mexico, leading to speculation that the Hohokam settlements were founded by Mexican migrants.

Some archaeologists agree, however, that Hohokam culture evolved from local antecedents like Anasazi. Finally the Hohokam Culture abandoned their lands. Soon Pima and Papago Indians moved onto the land.

3D Hohokam Pithouse  Computer rendering of an ancient Hohokam dwelling.
Hisatsinom (Anasazi) and the Hohokam Peoples Indexed links to the prehistory of these two Southwestern peoples.
Colossal Cave Mountain Park A minor Hohokam site near Tucson.
Fort Lowell Hohokam A brief discussion of the Hohokam presence around this old fort, north of Tucson.
Hohokam  Historical overview of the Hohokam, part of a community college art class syllabus.
Hohokam Indian Page  A computer model of an ancient Hohokam village, with text information available for each part of the village.
Hohokam Indians of the Tucson Basin An on-line version of a book on the Hohokam, from the University of Arizona Press.
Hohokum Indians in Arizona Education Classes with Slide Presentation.
Pueblo Grande Platform Mound Pueblo Grande platform mound size 300 X 100 X 15 cubic feet, the volumn of 450,000 cubic feet was arrived at.
The Hohokam Desert People  Profile of the ancient Hohokam people, with links to monument sites.

HOHOKAM, et al. 

The name Hohokam is borrowed from the Akimel O'odham, to define an archaeological culture that existed to the middle of the 15th century AD.

This culture was centered on the middle Gila River and lower Salt River drainages, in what is known as the Phoenix basin.

Collectively, the Core and Peripheries formed what is referred to as the Hohokam regional system, which occupied the northern or Upper Sonoran Desert in what is now Arizona.

In larger context, the Hohokam Culture area inhabited a position between the Patayan Culture, of Lower Colorado River and in southern California; the Trincheras Culture of Sonora, Mexico; Mogollon Culture located in eastern Arizona, southwest New Mexico, and northwest Chihuahua, Mexico; and the older Anasazi Culture in northern Arizona, northern New Mexico, southwest Colorado, and southern Utah.

The Hohokam always seemed to have used an assortment of simple canals combined with weirs in their various agricultural pursuits, and for 700 years they also built and maintained extensive irrigation networks along the lower Salt and middle Gila rivers.This construction was done with simple tools.



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