By Carl Waldman
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Extra info for Atlas of the North American Indian, Third Revised Edition (Facts on File Library of American Literature)
D. 500 to 1400; they reached their cultural climax in about 1100, which probably was due to the soil enrichment caused by the previous century’s eruption of what is now called Sunset Crater. Montezuma Castle and Tuzigoot are Sinagua cliff-dwellings. d. 1300, Salado Indians, considered an offshoot of combined Anasazi and Sinagua peoples, migrated westward from the tablelands into the flat, desert Hohokam territory of the Gila River. For several generations, they lived peacefully among their hosts and passed along Anasazi adobe building techniques.
By about 1150, the Anasazi had evacuated Chaco Canyon and most of their other aboveground pueblos. In the latter part of the Pueblo phase until about 1300, they built most of their homes on cliff ledges, which offered better protection against invaders (or, as some scholars theorize based on growing archaeological evidence, protection against other Anasazi who practiced cannibalism—perhaps descendants of Toltec or other peoples out of Mesoamerica who brought that custom with them). Examples of sizable villages built in recesses of canyon walls—or “cliffdwellings”—are Cliff Place at Mesa Verde in Colorado, and Mummy Cave at Canyon de Chelly in Arizona.
C. By the time of its climax, the culture became the most extensive and influential in the Southwest. indd 25 12/1/08 9:29:14 AM The first stage in Anasazi development is called the Basket Maker period because of the people’s mastery in weaving food containers, sandals, and other goods from straw, vines, rushes, and yucca. Over the course of the Basket Maker period, Anasazi Indians developed and refined their ceramics and agricultural skills, while continuing to hunt and gather. They also began living in semipermanent rounded and domed structures erected over shallow depressions from horizontal mud-chinked logs.
Atlas of the North American Indian, Third Revised Edition (Facts on File Library of American Literature) by Carl Waldman