Mogollon culture is an archaeological culture of Native American peoples from Southern New Mexico and Arizona, Northern Sonora and Chihuahua, Western Texas, a region known as Oasisamerica. The Mogollon culture is one of the major prehistoric Southwestern cultural divisions of the Southwestern United States and Northern Mexico; the culture flourished from the archaic period, c. 200 CE, to either 1450 or 1540 CE, when the Spanish arrived. The name Mogollon comes from the Mogollon Mountains, which were named after Don Juan Ignacio Flores Mogollón, Spanish Governor of New Spain from 1712 to 1715; the name was defined in 1936 by archaeologist Emil W. Haury; the distinct facets of Mogollon culture were recorded by Emil Haury, based on his excavations in 1931, 1933, 1934 at the Harris Village in Mimbres, New Mexico, the Mogollon Village on the upper San Francisco River in New Mexico Haury recognized differences between architecture and artifacts from these sites as compared with sites in the Hohokam archaeological culture area and the Ancestral Pueblo archaeological culture area.
Key differences included brown-paste, coil-and-scrape pottery excavated semi-subterranean pit-houses and different ceremonial architecture. Eight decades of subsequent research have confirmed Haury's initial findings. Today, the distinctiveness of the Mogollon pottery manufacture, architectural construction, ground-stone tool design and customs of residence location, mortuary treatment is recognized; the earliest Mogollon pithouses were deep and either oval-shaped. Over time, Mogollon people not as deep, their villages had kivas, or round, semi-subterranean ceremonial structures. Mogollon origins remain a matter of speculation. One model holds that the Mogollon emerged from a preceding Desert Archaic tradition that links Mogollon ancestry with the first prehistoric human occupations of the area. In this model, cultural distinctions emerged in the larger region when populations grew great enough to establish villages and larger communities. An alternative possibility holds that the Mogollon were descendants of early farmers who migrated from farming regions in central Mexico around 3500 BCE, who displaced descendants of the antecedent Desert Archaic peoples.
A third view is that at the time of the shift from hunting and gathering to agriculture the Cochise culture had been immigrants into the area about 5000 BCE, were not linked to the earlier inhabitants, but were receptive to cultural dissemination from the farmers of Central Mexico. The Mogollon were foragers who augmented their subsistence efforts by farming. Through the first millennium CE, dependence on farming increased. Water control features are common among Mimbres branch sites from the 10th through 12th centuries CE; the nature and density of Mogollon residential villages changed through time. The earliest Mogollon villages are small hamlets composed of several pithouses. Village sizes increased by the 11th century surface pueblos became common. Cliff-dwellings became common during 14th centuries. Research on Mogollon culture has led to the recognition of regional variants, of which the most recognized in popular media is the Mimbres culture. Others include the Jornada, Reserve, Point of Pines, San Simon, Upper Gila branches.
Although the Mimbres culture is the most well-known subset of the Mogollon archaeological culture-area, the entire Mogollon occupation spans a greater interval of time and a vastly larger area than is encompassed by the Mimbres culture. Mogollon culture is divided into five periods proposed by Joe Ben Wheat in 1955: Mogollon 1: Pine Lawn, Penasco, Circle Prairie, Hilltop phases Mogollon 2: San Lorenzo, Dos Cabezas, Circle Prairie, Cottonwood phases Mogollon 3: San Francisco, Galiuro and San Marcial phases Mogollon 4: Three Circle, Corduroy and Capitan phases Mogollon 5, including the Classic Mimbres phrase: Mangus, Encinas, Tularosa, Dona Anna, Three Rivers, El Paso, San Anders phases. An alternate way of viewing Mogollon culture is through three periods of housing types: Early Pithouse Late Pithouse Mogollon Pueblo. Archaeological sites attributed to the Mogollon culture are found in the Gila Wilderness, Mimbres River Valley, along the Upper Gila river and Hueco Tanks, an area of low mountains between the Franklin Mountains to the west and the Hueco Mountains to the east.
Gila Cliff Dwellings National Monument in southwestern New Mexico was established as a National Monument on 16 November 1907. It contains several archaeological sites attributed to the Mimbres branch. At the headwaters of the Gila, Mimbres populations adjoined another more northern branch of the Mogollon culture; the TJ Ruin, for example, is a Classic Mimbres phase pueblo, however the cliff dwellings are Tularosa phase. The Hueco Tanks State Historic Site is 32 mi northeast of El Paso, Texas. Mimbres may, depending on its context, refer to a tradition within a subregion of the Mogollon culture area or to an interva
Theodore Roosevelt Jr. was an American statesman, conservationist and writer who served as the 26th president of the United States from 1901 to 1909. He served as the 25th vice president of the United States from March to September 1901 and as the 33rd governor of New York from 1899 to 1900; as a leader of the Republican Party during this time, he became a driving force for the Progressive Era in the United States in the early 20th century. His face is depicted on Mount Rushmore, alongside those of George Washington, Thomas Jefferson, Abraham Lincoln. In polls of historians and political scientists, Roosevelt is ranked as one of the five best presidents. Roosevelt was born a sickly child with debilitating asthma, but he overcame his physical health problems by embracing a strenuous lifestyle, he integrated his exuberant personality, vast range of interests, world-famous achievements into a "cowboy" persona defined by robust masculinity. Home-schooled, he began a lifelong naturalist avocation before attending Harvard College.
His book, The Naval War of 1812, established his reputation as both a learned historian and as a popular writer. Upon entering politics, he became the leader of the reform faction of Republicans in New York's state legislature. Following the near-simultaneous deaths of his wife and mother, he escaped to a cattle ranch in the Dakotas. Roosevelt served as Assistant Secretary of the Navy under President William McKinley, but resigned from that post to lead the Rough Riders during the Spanish–American War. Returning a war hero, he was elected Governor of New York in 1898. After the death of Vice President Garret Hobart, the New York state party leadership convinced McKinley to accept Roosevelt as his running mate in the 1900 election. Roosevelt campaigned vigorously, the McKinley-Roosevelt ticket won a landslide victory based on a platform of peace and conservation. After taking office as Vice President in March 1901, he assumed the presidency at age 42 following McKinley's assassination that September, remains the youngest person to become President of the United States.
As a leader of the Progressive movement, he championed his "Square Deal" domestic policies, promising the average citizen fairness, breaking of trusts, regulation of railroads, pure food and drugs. Making conservation a top priority, he established many new national parks and monuments intended to preserve the nation's natural resources. In foreign policy, he focused on Central America, he expanded the Navy and sent the Great White Fleet on a world tour to project the United States' naval power around the globe. His successful efforts to broker the end of the Russo-Japanese War won him the 1906 Nobel Peace Prize, he avoided controversial money issues. Elected in 1904 to a full term, Roosevelt continued to promote progressive policies, many of which were passed in Congress. Roosevelt groomed his close friend, William Howard Taft, Taft won the 1908 presidential election to succeed him. Frustrated with Taft's conservatism, Roosevelt belatedly tried to win the 1912 Republican nomination, he failed, walked out and founded a third party, the Progressive, so-called "Bull Moose" Party, which called for wide-ranging progressive reforms.
He ran in the 1912 election and the split allowed the Democratic nominee Woodrow Wilson to win the election. Following his defeat, Roosevelt led a two-year expedition to the Amazon basin, where he nearly died of tropical disease. During World War I, he criticized President Wilson for keeping the country out of the war with Germany, his offer to lead volunteers to France was rejected. Though he had considered running for president again in 1920, Roosevelt's health continued to deteriorate, he died in 1919. Theodore Roosevelt Jr. was born on October 1858, at East 20th Street in New York City. He was the second of four children born to socialite Martha Stewart "Mittie" Bulloch and businessman and philanthropist Theodore Roosevelt Sr.. He had an older sister, Anna, a younger brother, a younger sister, Corinne. Elliott was the father of First Lady Anna Eleanor Roosevelt, the wife of Theodore's distant cousin, President Franklin Delano Roosevelt, his paternal grandfather was of Dutch descent. Theodore Sr. was the fifth son of businessman Cornelius Van Schaack "C.
V. S." Roosevelt and Margaret Barnhill. Theodore's fourth cousin, James Roosevelt I, a businessman, was the father of President Franklin Delano Roosevelt. Mittie was the younger daughter of Major James Stephens Bulloch and Martha P. "Patsy" Stewart. Through the Van Schaacks, Roosevelt was a descendant of the Schuyler family. Roosevelt's youth was shaped by his poor health and debilitating asthma, he experienced sudden nighttime asthma attacks that caused the experience of being smothered to death, which terrified both Theodore and his parents. Doctors had no cure, he was energetic and mischievously inquisitive. His lifelong interest in zoology began at age seven. Having learned the rudiments of taxidermy, he filled his makeshift museum with animals that he killed or caught. At age nine, he recorded his observation of insects in a paper entitled "The Natural History of Insects". Roosevelt'
Snaketown is an archaeological site 30 miles southeast of Phoenix, Arizona, inhabited by the Hohokam people. Definitive dates are not clear, but the site was thought to be inhabited between 300 BCE and 1200 CE. Hohokam is an O’odham word meaning “those who have gone.” Who the Hohokam people were and when the site was inhabited is subject to debate. It was dedicated as Hohokam Pima National Monument in 1972. Snaketown is governed by the Gila River Indian Community, which chose to preserve the site by reburying it after early excavations; the Monument is not open to the public. Snaketown in Arizona is dated by some scholars to around 300 BCE. Whether or not these were the Hohokam people. Martin and Plog maintain that these were the Ootam people, a subdivision of the Cochise Culture. According to these two, the Ootam were conquered and subsumed around 1000 CE by the Hohokam people from Mexico. Martin and Plog credit the Mexican Hohokam people with bringing extensive irrigation works, as well as other features attributed to what is thought of as Hohokam culture, from the south.
Emil Haury, an established scholar on the subject, makes no mention of this hostile takeover. Furthermore, he views the Hohokam as a harmonious people in the way they shared water. Archaeologist Brian Fagan dates Hohokam culture to 500 CE, sums up the situation by stating that there are two separate schools of thought on the subject. Martin and Plog belong to the first group and Haury belongs to the second; the second group argues that these features the first group believes came from Mexico were developed locally. While there is much dispute on the origin of Snaketown, most scholars are able to agree that Hohokam culture peaked between 700 and 900 CE. Snaketown derives its name from another O’odham word meaning “place of snakes” and is considered to be one of the larger Hohokam settlements. A type of pottery, identified as distinctly Hohokam is found over ca. 30,000 square miles of the southwest. This indicates the prominence of the Hohokam people at their height; the site of Snaketown is positioned on The Gila River and the community is estimated to have been 250 acres in size at its maximum extent, with much more farmland and smaller settlements surrounding it.
It has been estimated that in the Hohokam era, canals were built in this area up to seven miles long, providing water for 70,000 acres of land. The size of the canals indicates that Snaketown formed a type of weak chiefdom, however some feel that the canals do not indicate this type of social complexity. Snaketown at its height contained between 3000 people; the household was most the fundamental building block of Hohokam society. The water was thought to have been owned by the entire community, but families maintained the rights to plots of land. People who aided in the building of the canals may have received first pick of the land; the more affluent would own larger plots of land and were therefore rationed larger portions of water to maintain them. Housing of Hohokam people varies according to status and sources, it is agreed that simple adobe structures and impermanent housing were used depending upon the time of the year. Small dams were placed systematically to control the intensity of the river flow.
Snaketown included a central plaza and two installations, that were identified as ballcourts at the time of excavation since its earliest times, but did not always include irrigation. In its earliest stage it most resembled other agrarian cultures of the time; as irrigation grew, the Hohokam people continued to prosper. They began to grow new crops such as agave and tobacco, although maize farmers, they most subsidized their diet with small amounts of hunting and gathering; as Snaketown grew in size between 975 and 1150 CE, an additional ball court was built. Some scholars believe the ball courts may have promoted trade or competition between communities or segments of communities. A number of status symbols and trading pieces were found at Snaketown, indicating the Hohokam’s affinity for trading; these pieces included shell and macaw feathers. Trash heaps played just as crucial of a role as trading pieces in the archaeology of Snaketown. Many of the trash heaps helped; the oval shaped fields at Snaketown were identified as ballcourts.
Each was about 60 meters long, 33 meters apart, 2.5 meters high. In 2009 it was suggested that the shape of an oval bowl with curved sides and the uneven embankments on the long sides are unsuited for any kind of ball game. On the other hand, they correspond with dance floors of the Papagos, used for their Vikita ceremonies until at least the 1930s. Snaketown houses were shallow pit houses. There were hearths, small clay lined basins near the doorways; these houses were home to small groups of extended families Winifred and Harold Gladwin began the intensive study of Hohokam culture with the help of Emil Haury. They founded a research organization entitled “The Gila Pueblo Archaeological Foundation” that focused on the Hohokam tradition at other sites, but led Haury to Snaketown, which he excavated in the early 1930s. Haury returned to Snaketown in 1964 as a result of new data discovered by the works of Charles DiPeso and Albert Schroeder on Hohokam culture at other sites; this caused Haury to refine his view on Hohokam origins while reaffirming some initial thoughts on Hohokam chronology.
This was some of the latest archaeology done in Snaketown, as it was declared a National Monument in 1972 and reburied by the Pima people for preservation purposes. The records fo
The Gila River is a 649-mile tributary of the Colorado River flowing through New Mexico and Arizona in the United States. The river drains an arid watershed of nearly 60,000 square miles that lies within the U. S. but extends into northern Sonora, Mexico. Indigenous peoples have lived along the river for at least 2,000 years, establishing complex agricultural societies before European exploration of the region began in the 16th century. However, European Americans did not permanently settle the Gila River watershed until the mid-19th century. During the 20th century, human development of the Gila River watershed necessitated the construction of large diversion and flood control structures on the river and its tributaries, the Gila now contributes only a small fraction of its historic flow to the Colorado; the historic natural discharge of the river is around 1,900 cubic feet per second, is now only 247 cubic feet per second. These engineering projects have transformed much of the river valley and its surrounds from arid desert to irrigated land, supply water to the more than five million people in the Phoenix and Tucson metropolitan areas, who live in the watershed.
The Gila River has its source in western New Mexico, in Sierra County on the western slopes of Continental Divide in the Black Range. It flows southwest through the Gila National Forest and the Gila Cliff Dwellings National Monument westward into Arizona, past the town of Safford. After flowing along the southern slope of the Gila Mountains in Graham County through a series of canyons, the Gila is impounded by Coolidge Dam in San Carlos Lake south of Peridot, it emerges from the mountains into the valley southeast of Phoenix, where it crosses the Gila River Indian Reservation as an intermittent stream due to large irrigation diversions. Well west of Phoenix, the river bends southward along the Gila Bend Mountains it swings westward again near the town of Gila Bend, it flows southwestward between the Gila Mountains to the south and the Languna and Muggins ranges to the north in Yuma County, it empties into the Colorado at Yuma, Arizona. The Gila is joined by many tributaries, beginning with the East and West Forks of the river, which combine to form the main stem near Gila Hot Springs in New Mexico.
Above Safford, it is joined by the intermittent San Simon River. Further downstream. At Winkelman, Arizona it picks up the San Pedro River and is joined by the Santa Cruz River south of Casa Grande; the Salt River, its main tributary, joins in the Phoenix metro area, further west the Gila receives its last two major tributaries, the Agua Fria and Hassayampa Rivers, from the north. Although the Gila River flows within the United States, the headwaters of two tributaries – the San Pedro and Santa Cruz Rivers – extend into Mexico. About 1,630 sq mi, or 2.8% of the Gila's 58,200-square-mile watershed, is in Mexico. A further 3,300 sq mi or 5.7% lies within New Mexico, while the remaining majority, 53,270 sq mi or 91.5%, is in Arizona. A band of Pima, the Keli Akimel O'odham, have lived on the banks of the Gila River since before the arrival of Spanish explorers. Popular theory says that the word Gila was derived from a Spanish contraction of Hah-quah-sa-eel, a Yuma word meaning "running water, salty".
Their traditional way of life was and is centered at the river, considered holy. Traditionally, sand from the banks of the river is used as an exfoliant. Indigenous peoples such as the Hohokam were responsible for creating large, complex civilizations along the Middle Gila River and Salt River between 600 and 1450 A. D; these native civilizations depended on irrigated agriculture, for which they constructed over 200 miles of canals. The upper Gila was inhabited by the Mogollon culture over most of the same time period, in settlements like those at Gila Cliff Dwellings National Monument in the period; the first European to see the Gila River was Spanish explorer and missionary Juan de la Asunción. Asunción reached the Gila in 1538 after traveling northwards along one of its tributaries, either the San Pedro or Santa Cruz. In 1540, Hernando de Alarcón sailed up the Gila Rivers. During the Mexican–American War, General Stephen Watts Kearny marched 100 cavalrymen from the 1st U. S. Dragoons along the Gila River in November 1846.
This detachment was guided by Kit Carson. The Mormon Battalion followed Kearny's troops, building a wagon trail following the river from December 1846 to January 1847. After the Treaty of Guadalupe-Hidalgo in 1848, the Gila River served as a part of the border between the United States and Mexico until the 1853 Gadsden Purchase soon extended American territory well south of the Gila; the confluence of the Gila with the Colorado River was used as a reference point for the southern border of California. Beginning in 1871 Mormon settlers populated the Gila River valley around present-day Phoenix, using the Gila and San Pedro Rivers for irrigation and establishing at least six major settlements. In 1944, twenty-five German POWs pulled off the largest and most spectacular escape from an American compound during the war, digging a 178-foot tunnel out of the Navy’s Papago Park Prisoner of War Camp in Arizona
The Antiquities Act of 1906, is an act passed by the United States Congress and signed into law by Theodore Roosevelt on June 8, 1906. This law gives the President of the United States the authority to, by presidential proclamation, create national monuments from federal lands to protect significant natural, cultural, or scientific features; the Act has been used more than a hundred times since its passage. The Antiquities Act was signed into law by President Theodore Roosevelt during his second term in office; the act resulted from concerns about protecting prehistoric Native American ruins and artifacts--collectively termed "antiquities"--on federal lands in the West, such as at Chaco Canyon, New Mexico. Removal of artifacts from these lands by private collectors, "pot hunters," had become a serious problem by the end of the 19th century. In 1902, Iowa Congressman John F. Lacey, who chaired the House Committee on the Public Lands, traveled to the Southwest with the rising anthropologist Edgar Lee Hewett, to see for himself the extent of the pot hunters' impact.
His findings, supported by an exhaustive report by Hewett to Congress detailing the archaeological resources of the region, provided the necessary impetus for the passage of the legislation. Since the Antiquities Act became law, all but four presidents, Richard Nixon, Gerald Ford, Ronald Reagan, George H. W. Bush have chosen to dedicate new national monuments. President Obama in his last term in office erected more monuments than any President before him, with 26; the previous record was held by President Theodore Roosevelt with 18 monuments. On April 26, 2017, President Donald Trump signed an executive order directing a review of the law and its uses; the Act was intended to allow the President to set aside certain valuable public natural areas as park and conservation land. The 1906 act stated that it was intended for: "... the protection of objects of historic and scientific interest." These areas are given the title of "National Monuments." It allows the President to reserve or accept private lands for that purpose.
The aim is to protect all historic and prehistoric sites on United States federal lands and to prohibit excavation or destruction of these antiquities. With this act, this can be done much more than going through the Congressional process of creating a National Park; the Act states that areas of the monuments are to be confined to the smallest area compatible with the proper care and management of the objects to be protected. The United States Supreme Court has upheld presidential proclamations under the Antiquities Act, ruling each time that the Act gives the president nearly-unfettered discretion as to the nature of the object to be protected and the size of the area reserved; some areas designated as National Monuments have been converted into National Parks, or incorporated into existing National Parks. The first use of the Act protected a large geographic feature – President Theodore Roosevelt proclaimed Devils Tower National Monument on September 24, 1906. President Roosevelt used it to create the Grand Canyon National Monument.
At 583,000 square miles, Papahānaumokuākea Marine National Monument is the largest protected area proclaimed. The smallest, Father Millet Cross National Monument, was a mere 0.0074 acres. For any excavation, the Act requires that a permit be obtained from the Secretary of the department which has jurisdiction over those lands. Presidential powers under the Act have been reduced twice; the first time followed the unpopular proclamation of Jackson Hole National Monument in 1943. The 1950 law that incorporated Jackson Hole into an enlarged Grand Teton National Park amended the Antiquities Act, requiring Congressional consent for any future creation or enlargement of National Monuments in Wyoming; the second time followed Jimmy Carter's use of the Act to create 56 million acres of National Monuments in Alaska. The Alaska National Interest Lands Conservation Act requires Congressional ratification of the use of the Antiquities Act in Alaska for withdrawals of greater than 5,000 acres. Under the Trump administration, all monuments dedicated after the year 1996 have been called into question.
The Trump Administration is looking to modify or dismantle some of the monuments erected under the 1906 Antiquities Act. Although some Presidents have chosen to ignore the tradition of preservation of notable environmental or historic areas, no President to date has undone a predecessor's monument. List of National Monuments of the United States Timeline of environmental events National Park Service Richard West Sellars, "A Very Large Array: Early Federal Historic Preservation--The Antiquities Act, Mesa Verde, the National Park Service Act" published by the University of New Mexico School of Law, 2007 Chronological list of uses of the Antiquities Act and related actions from NPS The Story of the Antiquities Act, by Ronald F. Lee Antiquities Act 1906–2006 The National Park Service Almanac of Theodore Roosevelt Archeology.org The Antiquities Act: A Century of American Archaeology, Historic Preservation, Nature Conservation, ed. by David Harmon, Frank P. McManamon, Dwight T. Pitcaithley The Highs and Lows of the Antiquities Act
In archeology, cliff dwellings are dwellings formed by using niches or caves in high cliffs, with more or less excavation or with additions in the way of masonry. Two special sorts of cliff dwelling are distinguished by archaeologists: the cliff-house, built on levels in the cliff, the cavate, dug out, by using natural recesses or openings. Rock-cut architecture refers to rather grander temples, but tombs, cut into living rock, although for example the Ajanta Caves in India, of the 2nd century BCE to 5th century CE housed several hundred Buddhist monks and are cut into a cliff, as are the Mogao Caves in China; some of the most famous cliff dwellings are those in North America among the canyons of the southwest, in Arizona, New Mexico, Utah and Chihuahua in Mexico, some of which are still used by Native Americans. There has been considerable discussion as to their antiquity, but modern research finds no definite justification for assigning them to a distinct primitive race, or farther back than the ancestors of the modern Pueblo people.
The area in which they occur coincides with that in which other traces of the Pueblo tribes have been found. The niches that were used are of considerable size, occurring in cliffs up to a thousand feet in height, approached by rock steps or log ladders. Ancestral Puebloan dwellings Bandiagara Escarpment Moki steps White Canyon Water glyphs Timeline of dendrochronology timestamp events Noble, David Grant. "Ancient Ruins of the Southwest. Northland Publishing, Arizona 1995. ISBN 0-87358-530-5 Oppelt, Norman T. "Guide to Prehistoric Ruins of the Southwest". Pruett Publishing, Colorado, 1989. ISBN 0-87108-783-9; this article incorporates text from a publication now in the public domain: Chisholm, Hugh, ed.. "Cliff-dwellings". Encyclopædia Britannica. 6. Cambridge University Press. P. 507. Media related to Cliff dwellings at Wikimedia Commons
Oasisamerica is a term used by some scholars Mexican anthropologists, for the broad cultural area defining pre-Columbian southwestern North America. It extends from modern-day Utah down to southern Chihuahua, from the coast on the Gulf of California eastward to the Río Bravo river valley, its name comes from its position in relationship with the similar regions of Mesoamerica and nomadic Aridoamerica. The term Greater Southwest is used to describe this region by American anthropologists; as opposed to their nomadic Aridoamerican neighbors, the Oasisamericans had agricultural societies. The term "Oasisamerica" is derived from a combination of the terms "oasis" and "America", it refers to a wild land dominated by the Sierra Madre Occidental. To the east and west of these enormous mountain ranges stretch the grand arid plains of the Sonora and Arizona Deserts. At its height, Oasisamerica covered part of the present-day Mexican states of Chihuahua and Baja California, as well as the U. S. states of Arizona, New Mexico, Colorado and California.
Despite being a dry land, Oasisamerica contains several bodies of water like rivers: Yaqui, Rio Grande, Colorado and Gila Rivers. The presence of these rivers, combined with a climate, much milder than eastern Aridoamerica, allowed the development of agricultural techniques that were imported from Mesoamerica; the story of the origins of the cultural superarea of Mesoamerica takes place some 2000 years after the separation of Mesoamerica and Aridoamerica. Some of the Aridoamerican communities farmed as a complement to their hunter-gatherer economy; those communities, among whom one finds adherents to the Desert Tradition would become more agricultural and form Oasisamerica. Based on maize remnants found in Bat Cave, Arizona, it appears that agriculture practices date back to at least 3500 BC. Given that the oldest traces of maize in North America date back to the year 5000 BC, it would seem that the hypothesis of importation of agriculture from the south is correct, it is less certain who brought the agricultural technology and what role they played in the development of the high cultures of Oasisamerica.
At least three hypotheses have been proposed to explain the birth of the cultures of Oasisamerica. One, an endogenous model, posits an independent cultural development whose roots lie deep in antiquity. From this point of view, thanks to a superior climate, the ancient desert communities would have been able to develop agriculture much as the Mesoamericans did. A second hypothesis presupposes that the nomads of the Mesoamerican culture moved northward over time. Thus, the Oasisamericans would be an offshoot of their neighbors to the south. In this view, the development of the Oasisamerican cultures, much like the northern Mesoamerican cultures, began with a group of outsiders who were tied to the local original inhabitants of western Mexico. There are many indications of a close relationship between the two great cultural regions of North America. For one, the turquoise that the Mesoamericans prized so dearly came exclusively from southern New Mexico and Arizona. Demand for this mineral alone may have played a large part in establishing trade relationships between the two cultural areas.
At the same time, in Paquimé, a site connected to the Mogollon culture, there have been found ceremonial structures related to Mesoamerican religion and an important number of skeletons of Macaws that were transported from the forests of southeastern Mexico. The area encompassed by Oasisamerica fostered the growth of several major cultural groups: the Ancestral Pueblo people, Mogollon and Fremont. Smaller cultures within this region include the Sinagua. Ancestral Pueblo cultures flourished in the region known as the Four Corners; the territory was covered by juniper forests which the ancient peoples learned to exploit for their own needs, since foraging among the other vegetation only sufficed for half of the year, only to fail from November to April. The Ancestral Pueblo society is one of the most complex to be found in Oasisamerica, they are assumed to be the ancestors of the modern Pueblo people. (The term "Anasazi" is used to describe these cultures. It is a Navajo term meaning "enemy ancestors."
The Ancestral Pueblo is considered to be the most intensely studied Pre-Columbian culture in the United States. Archaeological investigation has established a sequence of cultural development that began before the first century BC and extended to AD 1540 when the Pueblo Indians were subjugated by the Spanish Crown; this long period encompasses the Basketmaker I, II, III phases followed by the Pueblo I, II, III, IV phases. In the Basketmaker II phase, the Ancestral Pueblo took up residence in caves and rocky shelters, in Basketmaker III Era they constructed the first subterranean cities with up to four abodes in a circular arrangement; the Pueblo period begins with the development of ceramics. The most prominent feature of these ceramics is the predominance of pieces of a white or red color with black designs. During the Pueblo I phase, the Ancestral Pueblo developed their first irrigation systems, their former subterranean habitations were replaced by houses constructed of masonry. Pueblo II is defined by the construction of great works of architecture, including multi-family, multi-story dwellings.
The following phase of Pueblo III witnessed the greatest expansion of Ancestral Pueblo agriculture as well as the construction of large regional communication networks that would persist until the Pueblo IV Era. I