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Transcript of Timeline
How did they farm?
Who Were They?
12,000 B.C. The Ice Age ends, the climate warms up. Mammoths, saber-toothed cats, giant camels, and bison live in todays Utah. Paleo-Indians spread out over the America continents.
9,000 B.C. People first live in the 4 corners region. People also live in 'danger cave'
5,000 B. C. Archaic Indians live in the Great Basin and plateau region
300 B.C.The Anasazi culture spreads into the canyons and mesas along the San Juan river
-Ancestors of the modern Pueblo people, today about 20 communities living in New Mexico and Arizona
-There never was an "Anasazi tribe", nor did anyone ever call themselves by that name. Anasazi is originally a Navajo word that archaeologists applied to people who farmed the Four Corners before 1300 AD. The earliest traces of the culture date before AD 1 (perhaps as early as 1500 BC)
-According to Pueblo oral traditions, different groups came from different directions and points of origin before meeting to form the clans and communities of today
The Ancestral Puebloan farmers were relatively successful in the Four Corners area for over a thousand years, but by AD 1300 they had left the entire region. Long-term climate changes that reduced crop yield may have been among the reasons that the Ancestral Puebloans finally moved away from their former homeland.
They may have reached the limit of the natural resources available to them. When crops consistently failed, the people moved to a better location. Archaeologists also see evidence of social changes over time, changes perhaps related to internal pressures or to outside competition from non-Pueblo groups.
Research revealed that people began settling in small villages around AD 500. The Acoma of New Mexico and the Hopi people of Arizona say that some of their clans came from the Four Corners region.
What did they speak?
No one knows what language the Ancestral Puebloans spoke. The culture was widespread in space and time, so it is likely that different languages were spoken.
Modern Pueblos speak several languages within the broad Uto-Aztecan language group, which also includes the Nahuatl or Aztec, Ute, and Tarahumara languages.
Between AD 1200 and 1300 in the Four Corners region, many large and small pueblos were built into shallow caves. Known today as "cliff dwellings," these village sites offer several environmental advantages: They shelter the buildings from rain and snow, they usually have a good solar orientation (shade in the summer, sun in the winter), a spring is often found at the back of these caves, very defensible locations and defensive architecture; the difficulty of access must have been a disadvantage to some inhabitants. Recent evidence indicates that malnutrition and famine were not uncommon during this period, and that violent events sometimes took place, so cliff dwelling architecture may represent a response to social stress.
Government and Social Workings
Modern Pueblo groups share certain social patterns. Traditionally they are all matrilineal, meaning that clan affiliation is reckoned through the female line, and children "belong" to the mother's clan. They are matrilocal, meaning that husbands traditionally move into the bride's family household. Their society is matriarchal, meaning that homes and farm land are owned by and inherited from the mother, and a wife has the right to divorce and evict her husband.
It is common to find popular references to "Anasazi cities." According to the narrowest definition, a city is a large settlement of non-farmers who make their living through trade and/or the manufacture of specialized products. The vast majority of Anasazi settlements are better defined as farming villages.
Recent research indicates that, as the landscape grew more crowded over time, dispersed settlements aggregated into larger communities with smaller hamlets surrounding the core villages. There is also evidence of status differences among the later Ancestral Puebloans,
What did they wear?
The people wove textiles from cotton They also wove using various vegetal fibers, animal hair, and human hair. They also made thick robes using split feathers or fur strips wrapped around a yucca fiber core. Matted fiber from juniper bark was used for diapers and menstrual pads, and for insulating sandal-clad feet during cold weather.
Jewelry was common. Necklaces, earrings, bracelets, arm bands, hair combs, and pins were made from wood, bone, shell (including abalone), coral, jet (coal), and stone beads made of turquoise, slate, and other minerals. Some ornaments may have had ritual significance as badges of office. Jewelry probably helped define social status, especially in larger communities.
This region's earliest inhabitants were originally hunters and gatherers. In time, agricultural came north from Mexico
They rarely practiced river irrigation, except near the Rio Grande in New Mexico, but they often captured rain runoff for agricultural use.
The Ancestral Puebloans gradually farmed more and hunted less over time, but they continued to hunt and gather wild plants long after they had settled in year-round villages. The weather in this region has always been erratic, and crop failures were probably fairly common even in the best of times.
How did they survive outside of farming
Hunting and gathering, the primary food resources of the earliest people, were never totally abandoned. When crops were reduced by drought or cold weather-- or as the population grew larger-- communities were forced to rely more on game and wild plants to make up the difference. Meat remained the major source of protein.
Garden plots actually made hunting easier by attracting rabbits, birds and mice. The people also hunted deer and elk in the mountains, and antelope and bighorn sheep at lower elevations.
What did they eat?
Although the Anasazi were farmers of corn, beans, and squash, they also hunted and gathered wild plants for food. Studies indicate that sometimes people depended more on wild foods than on farmed crops.
Corn was dried and stored on the cob. Strips of dried squash hung in the storage rooms.
Women spent hours each day grinding corn into flour with manos and metates. Beans were soaked then cooked in large jars. Vessels full of stew or mush may have been placed directly over fires, or hot rocks were dropped into the contents
Pottery and agriculture usually appear in ancient cultures at about the same time. Pottery is more practical for settled people who do not move frequently. Nomads commonly use baskets for storage and transport, but pottery better protects stored food from insects and rodents.
Much of the earliest Puebloan pottery is not decorated, but simple decorations (lines, dots, zigzags)
designs become denser and more precise
over time up until about 1250-1300 AD,
which is the end of the Anasazi