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PostPosted: Fri Apr 12, 2019 5:43 pm 
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I'd never heard the word Anasazi till recently. I'm still not sure who it refers to!

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PostPosted: Fri Apr 12, 2019 6:48 pm 
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AuLoS303 wrote:
I'm still not sure who it refers to!

I should think the thread would have made it clear to you. But if not, then a quick Google will give you tons of reference material on a civilization we know scarcely anything about, but which continues to fascinate for the surprising cliff-dwelling urban architecture they left behind, and for the fact that they obviously prospered for centuries in an extremely water-poor biome, yet nevertheless were able to sustain large populations.

It is generally assumed that the so-called "Anasazi" were ancestral to the present-day Puebloan cultures. If that means nothing to you, start with looking up "Puebloan". Fascinating stuff.

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PostPosted: Fri Apr 12, 2019 8:36 pm 
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You can also look up the Basket Maker Era(s).
The Flutopedia website also has info.
Chris


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PostPosted: Sat Apr 13, 2019 7:31 pm 
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AuLoS303 wrote:
I'd never heard the word Anasazi till recently. I'm still not sure who it refers to!

Basically, it refers to the people who lived in the Four Corners area, where Colorado Utah, New Mexico, and Arizona come together, up until about 1280 AD. Archaeologists in the 1930s, began to discover their villages, and especially their intriguing cliff dwellings, from which they "disappeared" just about that time. The Navajo called them Anasazi, which is a word meaning "Ancient Ones" or more likely, "Ancient Enemies." They had stories in their oral history about conflicts with these people. So the archaeologists used that term to describe them, whom they presumed had mysteriously vanished in some sudden fashion. Perhaps disease, perhaps war, perhaps they just ran away. Nobody knew, so the mystique grew.

Problem is, very little of that is true. They left the area rather suddenly at the end of the 13th Century. Mostly, they traveled East where their descendants include the modern day Pueblo people along the Rio Grande in New Mexico, and the Hopi tribe in Arizona. We still don't know a lot of detail about why they left, but these people have always known about their ancestors. Archaeologists either didn't ask them, or discounted their stories as mystical and unreliable. Cultural supremacy ruled the day, and the romantic theories are much more attractive to most people than the truth.

If you're really interested, I highly recommend a book by Stephen H. Lekson, recently retired as Curator of Archaeology at the Museum of Natural History, University of Colorado, Boulder, called A History of the Ancient Southwest. It brings together the best and most recent archaeological research about the history and culture of these people, in a most compelling way.

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PostPosted: Sun Apr 14, 2019 6:21 am 
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Very interesting Michael, so they are inhabitants of America prior to the arrival of what became known as 'Indians'. That would make them aboriginal to that area.
I'm currently reading The History of the Indians of the Unitee States by Angie Debo.

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PostPosted: Sun Apr 14, 2019 12:20 pm 
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AuLoS303 wrote:
...so they are inhabitants of America prior to the arrival of what became known as 'Indians'.

I'm having trouble with your wording, which suggests that you think that modern Puebloans came from elsewhere to fill a gap left by the so-called Anasazi. Rather, the one became the other; our use of the words "descendants" and "ancestors" should have made this abundantly clear. Your use of the word "Indians" is also problematic, as you appear to think that it doesn't apply to the Anasazi: all such indigenous populations would be Native American, which is to say, "Indian".

AuLoS303 wrote:
That would make them aboriginal to that area.

As are their descendants, the modern Puebloans. The archaic Puebloan culture ("Anasazi") and Puebloan cultures of today (Hopi, Zuni, Tewa, etc.) mark points along a continuum that, once established, stayed put geographically. To use language as a comparison, it wouldn't be unlike the progression from Old English to the English we speak now.

Here's a view of Taos Pueblo (not the city of Taos, NM, which is ... a city):

Image

This is the oldest continuously inhabited town in the US, around a thousand years and still going. Puebloans are notable for their distinctive communal and multi-storied adobe architecture, and in having successfully resisted non-Native pressures that eventually destroyed the permanent villages of other sedentary cultures such as the Mandan. Like its architecture, Puebloan traditional culture has remained largely intact as well.

Of course there are practical concessions: The conventional grade-level doors and stairs you see are newfangled adoptions. Originally, entry was through a trapdoor in the roof, and outside access to that level was by ladder, which could be pulled up as a security measure.

AuLoS303 wrote:
I'm currently reading The History of the Indians of the Unitee States by Angie Debo.

I haven't read this myself, but reviews of the book and the author herself suggest that it would be time well spent indeed; Debo is still acknowledged as a real authority. In her own time her career was beset with difficulties due to her gender, her unflinching gaze, and her unwillingness to sweep things under the rug, all of which ruffled a lot of establishment feathers; retrospect shows that in many ways, she defined the leading edge in her field. Your book is devoted to the very fraught record of non-Native institutions and practices regarding the Native populations; however, if instead you are looking for cultural color and similar ethnic information, you may get less of that material than you might have hoped for. I would say read it anyway. :)

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