This nOde last updated January 20th, 2004 and is permanently morphing...
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1.A Native American people inhabiting southern Colorado and Utah and northern New Mexico and Arizona from about A.D. 100 and whose descendants are the present-day Pueblo peoples. Anasazi culture includes an early Basket Maker phase and a later Pueblo phase marked by the construction of cliff dwellings and by expert craftsmanship in weaving and pottery.
2.A member of this people.
[Navajo 'anaasází, inhabitants of the now ruined Pueblos.]
604 track _Addiction_ by Growling Mad Scientists off of _The Growly Family_
The southwest's most intriguing natives, the Hopi, have always claimed that their sipapu (place of emergence from the underworld) is in the Grand Canyon. They say their ancestors went underground to live with "the ant people" when the great flood wiped out the last world. Later, they emerged through the sipapu to begin their lives and migrations in the present world. The many circular kivas found in Anasazi ruins are said to be symbolic of this emergence, i.e. underground ceremonial chambers with a roof entrance/exit, still called the sipapu.
The Anasazi were a prehistoric Native American civilization centered around the present-day Four Corners area of the Southwest United States. Archaeologists still debate when a distinct Anasazi culture emerged, but the current consensus, based on terminology defined by the Pecos Classification, suggests their emergence around 1200 B.C., the Basketmaker II Era.
Anasazi is a common term for Ancestral Puebloans, the ancestors of the modern Pueblo peoples. The term "Anasazi" is not preferred by their descendents, though there's no consensus amongst them on a native alternative. The word is Navajo for "Ancient Ones" or "Ancient Enemy."
The civilization is perhaps best-known for the jacal, adobe and sandstone dwellings that they built along cliff walls, particularly during the Pueblo II and Pueblo III eras. The best-preserved examples of those dwellings are in parks such as Chaco Culture National Historical Park, Mesa Verde National Park, and Canyon De Chelly National Monument. These villages, called pueblos by Mexican settlers, were often only accessible by rope or through rock climbing.
They also left behind a lot of petroglyphs and pictographs.
The Anasazi disappeared for as yet undetermined reasons. Many have speculated that a change in local climate and resulting agricultural failures may be the reason.