The Anasazi People
It all started as corn and squash arrived through group to group diffusion from Mesoamerica, but it wasn't till around 200 AD that ceramics and the distinctive pit house pueblo structure emerged,along with more of a dependence on agriculture. The Hohokam, Mogollon and Anasazi and throughout the colorado plateaus all had very similar brown and grey ceramics styles. Some theorize that settlements sprang up to an increased risk of environmental subsistence limitations. At around 300 AD a form of corn that had an extended shoot, so it could be buried deeper in the soil, arrived. This was a major innovation that helped farmers spread into the basin and into once marginal land. Farming by itself was still too risky since adequate trade networks weren’t yet solidified until around 500 AD. During the time period between 400 and 700 AD the San Juan basin enjoyed more than usual but sporadic rainfall that united people from the north and south. The Anasazi formed the Chaco Canyon as a spiritual and trading center connecting the contrasting ecological zones of the San Juan Basin, and upper highland areas. The patterns shifting from in hotter years the upland does well in the growing season, and the basin does well in cooler years. The trade started here was developed to facilitate risk between oscillating regions. The Tepary bean is domesticated being the most drought tolerant legume it can survive in regions with less than 16 inches a year. They also facilitated the growth of prickly pear cactus fruit, mesquite bean, sunflower and wild grasses for their seeds.
Then from 750 to 850 this pattern of oscillation between regions becomes more solidified even within the basins northwest and southeastern regions. This accelerated until around 900 AD when population had somewhat outgrown the ecological limitations and most of the richest soil was depleted along with permanent water sources being overtaxed. More farmsteads were moved to...
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