Haley Conde


The Anasazi society collapsed to the primary factors, that archaeologists have found that anything from drought, invasions, or overuse of resources could have sparked the collapse for the society.


  • 100 B.C.E. - 1300 C.E.
  • Important culture to present day Southwest
  • Core Area: Four Corners (present day: Colorado, Utah, Arizona, and New Mexico)

-- Dry, rugged country with high mesas and deep canyons

  • 1150 C.E. Anasazi evacuated Chaco Canyon & most pueblos
  • Built Pueblos (multistory residences)
  • Pueblo phase of Anasazi culture is known as "Anasazi Golden Age"

-- During the Pueblo Phase, Mesa Verde was built (The largest complex of Anasazi cliff dwellings)

-- During the Golden Age the Anasazi influenced other Native American regions

  • Traded through a network of stone roads within the Chaco Canyon

-- Traded with Toltec/ Aztecs/ Mayans

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  • Chaco Canyon: An urban center established by Anasazi located in southern New Mexico. There, they built a walled city with many of three-story adobe houses . Community religious functions were carried out in two large circular chambers called kivas.
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In 1276 C.E. , a extended drought struck the undivided Southwest. This drought had lasted twenty-four years. With no rain whatsoever, The Native Americans were forced to migrate, and leave their farmlands, and villages behind to find new game, and tracking hunting, swell as find a new food source elsewhere. Scientists have found evidence that the varying width of the tree rings, they indeed see a harmful dry spell in the Southwest during the final quarter of the 13th century, around the hight of its collapse, even with severe previous droughts. Closley following the collapse of the society, the drought lifted. “The tree-ring reconstructions show that at 1300 to 1340 it was exceedingly wet,” said Larry Benson, a paleoclimatologist with the Arid Regions Climate Project of the United States Geological Survey. Anasazi civilization began an extended period of migration and decline after these years of drought and famine. By the 1300s, it had reached a major decline in Chaco Canyon. Anasazi civilization began a long period of migration and decline after these years of drought and famine. By the 1300s, it had all but died out in Chaco Canyon. They stored water in holes and ditches to use during droughts. The Anasazi were always prepared for droughts. They saved dried corn in clay jars, which supplied enough dried corn to feed their civilization for two years during a long drought. For the most part the Anasazi society were prepared for occurring droughts, but after the "Great Drought" it can be inferred that after twenty-four years without water its had to replenish the supply of the over used and needed resources with further caused them to relocate. The drought was the proximate cause of collapse for a society that was overpopulated compared to the lacked resources it had to maintain self-sufficiency. This is the foremost reason why many people find that this is because of the drought, that the Anasazi moved south and east.

Outside Invasions

Many invasions on the society it's self caused the society to downfall. Invasions from outside, and by other Nomadic Native American people. Athapascans which later became known as the Navajo and Apache, arrived from the North, and invaded the society with constant raids. In order to have greater amount of protection most of the Anasazi society moved to keep from further invasion to keep proceeding. Most above ground pueblos, and the Chaco Canyon were evacuated because of the fact that their living conditions were not offering enough protection. The majority of the society moved to areas which the society had built homes within the canyon walls or cliff dwellings or on cliff ledges. These new locations supported the society more, and provided further protection for them. Invasions on the Anasazi's society were from settled region of nomadic invaders who practiced cannibalism. Most evidenced is proposed in a manner that ancient Mexicans invaded from the South had aroused the most derision.

Abuse of Resources

Twenty-four year drought began in the area of Four Corners. The Anasazi had not conserved wood for fuel. The farm fields had been over planted, and planting the same crops, year after year had removed the nutrients from the soil. The society began to starve when drought became severe, and they had no other resources to to take into account since they had ruined the soil, deforested the region, and were dependent upon outside regions of the area. Anasazi practices occurred to have a major impact on the forests, primarily through clearing and blazing. A larger population also took a major tole on the forests by clearing parts of the forests in order to create fields and to collect firewood. Because of this constant cycle the forest became depleted from the society. Culture change, population growth, more thorough farming practices, and a habit of collecting in large villages at numerous times in the period of the civilization. The deforestation , along with the over planting, caused an eroding of the soil which later caused a lack of water supply from stripping away the soil, and creating a lacked supply of food resources. The societies movements seem to be interconnected to a drought which spanned several decades and then resulted in climatic change, soil erosion, or overuse of the area's resources. Overall the factors of abusing the land itself took a crucial toll on the society's resources, environment, and population

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Work Cited

Works Cited

Axtell, Robert L., Joshua M. Epstein, Jeffrey S. Dean, George J. Gumerman, Alan C. Swedlund, Jason Harburger, Shubha Chakravarty, Ross Hammond, Jon Parker, and Miles Parker. "Population Growth and Collapse in a Multiagent Model of the Kayenta Anasazi in Long House Valley." PNAS. Stanford University's HighWire Press®, 14 May 2002. Web. 3 Mar. 2014. <>.

"Collapse: Chaco Canyon." Collapse: Chaco Canyon. Annenberg Foundation, 2014. Web. 26 Feb. 2014.

This website is reliable because i tried the triangluating the research that i found the same information on many other sites. the website was also reliable due to the facts that I've used it before, specifically at school and had passed the C.R.A.P. Test from my teacher.

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Diamond, Jared M. Collapse: How Societies Choose to Fail or Succeed. New York: Viking, 2005. Print.

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Gumerman, George. "Anasazi Culture." American History. ABC-CLIO, 2000. Web. 6 Mar. 2014. <>.

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