Pub. date: 2006 | Online Pub. Date: September 15, 2007 | DOI: 10.4135/9781412952453 | Print ISBN: 9780761930297 | Online ISBN: 9781412952453| Publisher:SAGE Publications, Inc.About this encyclopedia
Caryn M. Berg
In the American Southwest, the four corners area of southern Utah, southwestern Colorado, northwestern New Mexico, and northern Arizona was home primarily to a culture typically referred to as the Anasazi . Now called Ancestral Puebloan ( Anasazi is a Navajo word meaning “ancient enemy”), thoughts of this culture bring to mind the cliff dwellings scattered throughout the northern American Southwest. While these architectural features are impressive, they are only one aspect of the rich and varied history of this culture. Humans have inhabited the northern Southwest since Paleo-Indian times (ca. 11,000–7,000 BC). At approximately 7,000 BC, a shift to a warmer, drier climate resulted in a change in lifeways to what archaeologists refer to as a “broad-spectrum pattern of resource use.” Essentially, populations no longer relied on large game animals such as mammoth as a primary means of subsistence; rather, the focus shifted to use of smaller game and ...