Basket Makers The name given to the members of an early Native North American culture in the Southwest, predecessors of the Pueblo. Because of the cultural continuity from the Basket Makers to the Pueblos, they are jointly referred to by archaeologists as the Anasazi culture. They are so called because of their extensive practice of basketmaking; by covering the baskets with clay and baking them hard they created waterproof containers. One system of dating places their arrival in the area as early as 1500 b.c. They seem to have been at first nomadic hunters, using wooden clubs, hunting sticks, and the atlatl. They lived chiefly in houses with adobe floors and learned to grow corn and squash, probably from southern neighbors in Mexico. As they developed a more extensive agriculture, they dug pits and lined them with stone for grain storage and later built substantial dwellings lined with slabs of stone. At some time, perhaps c.500 b.c. , they were succeeded in the area by the ancestors of the Pueblo, who probably absorbed many of them. Some Basket Makers may have moved and may have been the ancestors of other Native American tribes. Archaeologists divide the time of their culture into the Basket Maker and Modified Basket Maker periods; in the latter period they turned increasingly to agriculture.
Cliff Dwellers Native Americans of the Anasazi culture who were builders of the ancient cliff dwellings found in the canyons and on the mesas of the U.S. Southwest, principally on the tributaries of the Rio Grande and the Colorado River in New Mexico, Arizona, Utah, and Colorado. It was once thought that these ruins were the work of an extinct aboriginal people, but it has been established that they were built (11th-14th cent.) by the ancestors of the present Pueblo. The dwellings were large communal habitations built on ledges in the canyon walls and on the flat tops of the mesas. Access to the cliffs was very difficult and thus highly defensible against nomadic predatory tribes such as the Navaho. The cliff dwellers were sedentary agriculturists who planted crops in the river valleys below their high-perched houses. They were experts at irrigating the fields. Their lives were organized on a communal pattern, and the many kivas show that their religious ceremonies were like those of the Pueblo today. Many of the dwellings are now in national parks. Some of the better-known ones are those of the Mesa Verde National Park, in Colorado, where there are more than 300 dwellings; Yucca House National Monument, also in Colorado; Hovenweep National Monument, in Utah; and Casa Grande, Montezuma Castle, and Wupatki national monuments, in Arizona. See William Current, Pueblo Architecture of the Southwest (1971).
A very short page which could have been made longer simply by making the
text large enough to read. You'll need a magnifying glass for this one,
folks! There are some in-text links and images to illustrate the text.
This is an item from a glossary. If you need only a brief overview of the
Anasazi, this is it. There are links to other websites with more detailed
Click on a picture to get a relevant report about it by a student.
Follow the timeline beginning with pre-historic times to 1000 B.C., and
ending with the historic period which begins in 1600 A.D. The author then
discusses the Anasazi in logical time progression.
Anasazi Baskets and Pots
How did they make these baskets? Well, there are sketches here and
descriptions. It's a short site, but long on facts.
The proof is in the ruins, says this site's author. It gives new meaning to
"company for supper" in the pre-historic Southwest.
There isn't much here on this little page - mainly a brief discussion of
pottery and a photo of the same.
The Anasazi Desert People
There's no end to the maps you'll find here, in addition to a good history,
Good photos of Anasazi ruins.
Anasazi Site Planning: Historic Precedents...
A scholarly essay, of great length, with charts and large images. Figure 2
is very dark and not clear. There are discussions about lack of
documentation and cultural misinterpretation of what has been found thus
Basketmaker Spatial Identity
A scholarly essay here which maintains that rock art was sometimes used to
show ownership of territories and speculates on the identity of these
An in-depth history of the Anasazi. Learn about their roads, trade, and
What types of things have archaeologists discovered at Chaco Canyon? A brief
discussion of this and how the road system was
Chetro Ketl 3-D Great Kiva
"This site presents a three-dimensional reconstruction of a Great Kiva, an
architectural feature found in many prehistoric Anasazi communities in the
Southwestern United States." Choose the version you want according to your
computer's browser. So many choices! A confusing site, but nifty overall.
The beginnings of the Anasazi are discussed here, with reference to the Hopi
who consider these ancient people to be their ancestors. Link ahead to "The
Golden Years" or back to the "Heritage of the Hopi" page.
The Goat Hill Site
The information here is good and is based on interpretation of
archaeological findings on the Goat Hill site. There are two excellent
drawings here, one of the site itself and the other of the D-shaped kiva.
Hovenweep National Monument
There are sections for history and interesting projects, and the photos are
Max Bertolla's Southern Utah - The Anasazi
Pictures with text descriptions form the basis of this site. Moderately
San Juan Anasazi Wilderness
"Archeological researchers are uncovering evidence of far older roads used
by the enigmatic Anasazi Indian culture, which occupied most of this area.
Today the San Juan-Anasazi wilderness is one of the most popular
destinations in Utah for backcountry visitors." This site is a plea for help
to maintain and preserve the historical sites in this region.
A lot of work has gone into this site which is still being completed. There
is a clickable timeline, an image of a Great House model, and a link to a
3-D interactive Kiva. The interactive map requires a special plug-in to view
it. You also have access to 200 papers about the Anasazi.
Spruce House Site Guide
If you've ever been on a guided tour, you'll appreciate this site. The
author leads you from place to place and room to room, pointing out things
of interest and explaining their significance to the Anasazi people who
lived here. Fast-loading illustrations.
Treading in the Past: Sandals of the Anasazi
"Anasazi sandal styles varied according to the construction technique used
and the preference of the weaver." Read some interesting information and see
good photos of Anasazi footwear.
View from an Anasazi Cave
You need to scroll down a bit to get to the REAL start of the cave
information. This "diary" contains oodles of interesting information,
observations, and photographs with descriptions and explanations.
Welcome to Mesa Verde Country!
Politically correct archaeologists?? Check out the archaeology section to
learn a bit about the Anasazi, or, as they are being called now - Ancestral
Wupatki National Monument
Where did the people go... and why? Nobody's REALLY sure yet, but they're
getting close from the archaeological