Thames and Hudson, 1997. — 224 p. — (Ancient Peoples and Places). — ISBN 0-500-02116-3.Most people are familiar with the famous Precolumbian civilizations of the Aztecs and Maya of Mexico, but few realize just how advanced were contemporary cultures in the American Southwest. Here lie some of the most remarkable monuments of America's prehistoric past, such as Chaco Canyon and Mesa Verde. Visitors marvel at the impressive ruined pueblos and spectacular cliff dwellings, but often have little idea of the cultures that produced these prehistoric wonders. Stephen Plog, who has spent decades working in the region, now provides the most readable and up-to-date account of the predecessors of the modern Hopi and Pueblo Indian cultures. Ten thousand years ago, humans first colonized this seemingly inhospitable landscape with its scorching hot deserts and upland areas that drop below freezing even during the early summer months. The initial hunter-gatherer bands gradually adapted to become sedentary village groups, and the high point of Southwestern civilization was reached with the emergence of cultures known to archaeologists as Anasazi, Hohokam, and Mogollon in the first millennium AD. Interweaving the latest archaeological evidence with early first-person accounts, Stephen Plog explains the rise and mysterious fall of Southwestern cultures. As he concludes, despite the depredations and diseases introduced by the Europeans, the Southwest is still home to vibrant Native American communities who carry on many of the old traditions. With 150 illustrations, 17 in color.Introduction: People and Landscape. Paleo-Indians: Early Hunters and Gatherers 9500 to 6000 BC. The Archaic: Questions of Continuity and Change 6000/5500 to 200 BC. The Rise of Village Life 200 BC to AD 700. From Village to Town: Hohokam, Mogollon, and Anasazi AD 700 to 1130. Cliff dwellings, Cooperation, and Conflict AD 1130 to 1350. Towns, Mounds, and Kachinas. From Prehistory to History. Epilogue.
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