Who were the Anasazi?
The Anasazi were a distinct cultural group of people who lived within the southwest for thousands of years. There are four distinct ancient peoples groups in the southwest; Anasazi, Patayan, Hohokam, and Mogollon. They can be identified by their architectural structures, pottery, and art style. They were the first of these ancient groups to develop and adopt villages of contiguos rectagular rooms. The anasazi were centered over Northwestern Arizona to Southern Utah and out past Albuquerque, New Mexico and up north of Durango, Colorado. When visiting the southwest be sure to visit the most spectacular displays of their history; Mesa Verde, Hovenweep, Chaco Canyon, and the ruins at Navajo National Monument.
What does the word Anasazi mean?
The word Anasazi comes from the Navajo language, for which it means "enemy ancestor." The term was first used by Richard Wetherill who had picked it up from the Navajos from who he worked with in 1888 and 1889. Archeologists tried on different occasions to use Puebloan words, but because there were so many different pueblo languages, non of them have stuck. Today people like to use the english term "ancient puebloans."