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"A graphic, lucid account of the Anasazi, Hohokam, and Mogollon highlights how these ancient cultures evolved so successfully in response to their changing habitat."—Science News
Most people are familiar with the famous pre-Columbian civilizations of the Aztecs and Maya of Mexico, but few realize just how advanced were contemporary cultures in the American Southwest. Here lie some of the most remarkable monuments of America's prehistoric past, such as Chaco Canyon and Mesa Verde.
Ten thousand years ago, humans first colonized this seemingly inhospitable landscape with its scorching hot deserts and upland areas that drop below freezing even during the early summer months. The initial hunter-gatherer bands gradually adapted to become sedentary village groups. The high point of Southwestern civilization was reached with the emergence of cultures known as Anasazi, Hohokam, and Mogollon in the first millennium AD.
Interweaving the latest archaeological evidence with early first-person accounts, Stephen Plog explains the rise and mysterious fall of Southwestern cultures. For this revised edition, he discusses new research and its implications for our understanding of the prehistoric Southwest. As he concludes, the Southwest is still home to vibrant Native American communities who carry on many of the old traditions.
1 Introduction: People and Landscape 13
2 Paleo-Indians: Early Hunters and Gatherers 9500 to 7000 BC 37
3 The Archaic: Questions of Continuity and Change 7000 BC to AD 200 46
4 The Rise of Village Life AD 200 to 700 56
5 From Village to Town: Hohkam, Mogollon, and Anasazi AD 700 to 1130 71
6 Cliff dwellings, Cooperation, and Conflict AD 1130 to 1350 118
7 Towns, Mounds, and Kachinas 154
8 From Prehistory to History 181
Map of the Southwest 200
Guide to the Southwest 202
Notes to the Text 207
Further Reading 211
Sources of Illustration 220