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Early Urban Americans - The Anasazi


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Now there were other Native Americans who had 'urban' areas. But I think the Anasazi stand out to most people because unlike the others they built with stone and not dirt and wood. So their structures stand out more for us to see now. Perhaps I should also say the current Pueblo Indians in New Mexico (and the Hopi in Arizona) prefer the term Ancestral Puebloans. The word Anasazi comes from the Navajos who were living in the area when explorers started finding the ruins around the four corners area. I tend to use the word Anasazi just because that's what most people are familiar with. We don't know what they called themselves because they were already gone before Europeans reach that part of the world. It's believed a prolonged drought drove the Anasazi away from the four corners area around the 1300's. Mesa Verde in Colorado is probably the most well known Anasazi ruins known to most people. A bit of a shame because Chaco Canyon was where they really hit their height. But Chaco Canyon is out in the middle of nowhere, it's hours just to find the nearest town. It's also down a long somewhat rough dirt road. Anyway most of the pics are of the two largest structures Pueblo Bonito and Chetro Ketl. Although I believe a couple of pics from Pueblo Alto and Kin Kletso made it in as well. There are a number of structures in the Chaco Canyon area. Some have been excavated some haven't but you can see where they are because they lie under mounds of wind blown dirt. There are even Anasazi roads and staircases in the area. But anyway enough info for now. Now for some pics. More pics to come later.










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It's a shame the ruins are in the state they are today. From desriptions and drawings it appears there used to be a lot more standings in the early 20th century. But looters and even early archeology damaged or let the ruins fall into a worse state of disrepair. I believe the two biggest Pueblo Bonito and Chetro Ketl had stood around 5-6 stories at their height. Chaco Canyon had been inhabited for quite a while but a big building increase seems to have occured around the 1100's to 1300's. Perhaps I should also mention almost all the structures in Chaco Canyon have either Spanish of Navajo names in case anyone was wondering. Anyway time for some more pics.











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