Southwestern Native America includes Arizona, New Mexico, southern Colorado, and the northern
Mexican states of Sonora and Chihuahua.  Circa 300 b.c.e, Mexican culture called the
appeared in area 1 (see map above) of southern Arizona based on agriculture with irrigated field
Basketmaker II —
The First Pueblo People?
The advent of agriculture signalled the beginning of the Basketmaker II era. At this time (circa 1000 B.C.
E.), corn, melons and squash were introduced into the southwest region. People living in this area were
very adept at creating their utilitarian needs by using sources provided by their surroundings. Basketry
and other woven items, though present earlier, were now highly crafted.
The arrival of agriculture also meant a more sedentary lifestyle which would lead to the foundation of
permanent settlements, the beginnings of Pueblo society. (
SOUTHWEST Pueblo tribes
pre-contact history
By 300 a.d. an hunter/gatherer and agricultural people called the Mogollon settled in SE Arizona and
SW New Mexico (area 2) until 1200 a.d., when they moved to Chihuahua, Mexico.
Anasazi people began as nomadic basket makers until circa 700 a.d., when they became sedentary,
living in towns of stone and adobe apartments with central plazas in the four corners region (area 3).
Agriculture, with irrigation techniques, was practiced until circa 1275 when severe droughts caused
migration to the Rio Grande. Here,  Pueblos (village, sp) were established and flourished until the arrival
in 1540 of
Francisco Vasquez de Coronado.
Chaco Canyon
"...was a major center of Puebloan culture between AD 850 and 1250. The Chacoan sites are part of the
homeland of Pueblo Indian peoples of New Mexico, the Hopi Indians of Arizona...." (

Photo Gallery
"The Ancestral Puebloans inhabited Mesa Verde for more than 700 years (550 A.D. to 1300 A.D.), but
for the first six centuries, they primarily lived on the mesa tops. It was not until the final 75 to 100 years
that they constructed and lived in the cliff dwellings for which Mesa Verde is known."  (

Photo Gallery
Canyon de Chelly (Shay)
For more than two millennium, the canyon has been occupied by ancient peoples who lived in pit
houses, cliff dwellings, and Navajo hogans. The earliest appearance was around 2500-200 BC. Anasazi
began arriving about 700 a.d. until 1300 a.d.
By 850, larger communities, mainly the large cliff houses, were built between 1100 -1300 a.d.
By 1300, most of the inhabitants had left the canyon sue to severe droughts.
Later, the Hopi would intermittently inhabited the canyon from 1300-1700.   About 1700 Navajo began
settling the area where they have remained since.

Photo Gallery
Sandal Remnants
Interior of Basketmaker pithouse
Diorama of early pithouse
Fajada Butte
Map of Chaco Canyon
Pueblo Bonito
Square Tower Ruin
Cliff Palace Ruin
Map of Mesa Verde
Early view of Canyon
River View of Canyon
Map of Canyon de Chelly
All photographs and other graphics are under copyright protection. Any reproduction of these images
could lead to prosecution under current copyright laws. This sight is not responsible for any illegal use
of this material and is only intended as a visual learning tool for academic research.