NC State UniversityAchae Interactive


Pre-Anasazi Period


6500 - 1200 B.C.  The pre-Anasazi culture that moved into the Southwest after the big game hunters departed are called Archaic. There is little evidence of warfare. The people subsisted on wild foods. Hunters used stone-tipped spears and knives, atlatl and dart or spear, and hunted deer, bighorn sheep and antelope. They moved regularly and gathered wild plants in season.

The Anasazi Period

Basketmaker II (early) 1200 B.C. - A.D. 50  These early Anasazi camped in the open or lived in caves seasonally. During this period they increasingly relied on cultivated gardens of corn and squash, but no beans. They made baskets, but had no pottery.
Basketmaker II  (late)  A.D. 50 - 500  Construction during this period was shallow pithouses, storage bins or cists. Still no beans or pottery. 

Basketmaker III  A.D. 500 - 750  Deep pithouses were developed, along with some above- ground rooms, surface storage pits and cists. The bow and arrow replaces the atlatl and spear. Plain gray and some black-on-white pottery is made. Cultivation of beans begins. 

Pueblo I  750 - 900  Large villages and great kivas appear. Deep pithouses still in use. Above-ground construction is generally of jacal or crude masonry. Plain pottery and gray with neck bands predominate; there is some black-on-white and decorated redware. 

Pueblo II  900 - 1100  Chaco flowers. There are Great Houses, great kivas and roads in some areas. Small blocks of above-ground masonry rooms and a kiva make up a typical pueblo. Pottery consists of corrugated gray and decorated black-on-white in addition to some decorated red and orange vessels. 

Pueblo III  1100 - 1300  Large pueblos, cliff dwellings and towers are the rule. Pottery includes corrugated gray, elaborate black-on-white, red and orange. Most of the traditional Anasazi villages in the Four Corners Area are abandoned by 1300. 

Pueblo IV  1300 - 1600  Typically, large pueblos are oriented on a central plaza. The Kachina phenomenon continues. Plain pottery supplants corrugated. Red, orange and yellow pottery on the rise as black-on-white declines. 

Pueblo V 1600 – present During the first part of this era the Spanish military, church and civil domination and rule of the pueblos drives the Pueblo religion underground. The number of Pueblos shrinks from the more than 100 observed in 1539 to 20. However, the resilient and resourceful Pueblo still live and maintain their thousands-of-years-old culture. 

Additional Reference: American Southwest and Anasazi Timeline: