History is a great way to understand our evolution as human beings. We have come a long way from living in the caves and hunting animals for food to living in comfortable homes with internet access. But some of the ancient civilizations were ahead of their time and the Anasazi is a great example.
The Anasazi civilization dates back to almost 1500 BC. Their descendants are still thriving around the same area where their ancestors dwelled. Pueblo Indians, Zuni, and Hopi are the known to be descended directly from the Anasazi civilization.
The most preserved remains of the Anasazi civilization can be found in the Chaco Canyon, located near the Four Corners region where States of New Mexico, Utah, Colorado and Arizona meet. A village named ‘Pueblo Bonito’, situated in the Chaco Canyon is a great example of one of the most astonishing ancient architectural sites in the world. This village consisted of 5 story tall complexes and a 400-mile road network which connects it with all the neighboring communities.
Another stunning fact about the Anasazi civilization is their interest in astronomy. Archaeologists have struggled a lot to find cave drawings to study the Anasazi culture. However, a recently found site named Penasco Blanco has shown promising signs. In one of the caves of, scientists have identified a wall drawing depicting a supernova explosion.
The drawing clearly demonstrates a crescent moon along with a relatively bigger star. Scientists say that his drawing is most likely depicting the supernova of 1054 A.D which created the crab nebula. According to Chinese astronomical records, this supernova was about five times brighter than Venus and shone at full intensity for about three weeks.
Archaeologists have estimated that the Anasazi mostly lived in open areas in their early years. But around 1250 A.D they started building shelters on top of cliffs with stone overlaying as their roof. The houses that they built on the cliffs display their excellent approach towards the architecture that was clearly ahead of its time. There are signs of plastering on the walls with mud and even paintings on the walls. The attention to detail in the homes shows that it may have taken them years to build these beautiful shelters.
How Did they Vanish?
There are many theories behind the vanishing of the Anasazi civilization from the people who have studied about it for decades. Some say that there was a cataclysmic event which forced them to move out of their regions. Some archaeologists and historians have even presented a dark theory. They think that the main reason for the disappearance of the Anasazi people was warfare and violence which resulted in cannibalism.
The theory regarding warfare and cannibalism is backed by the evidence of starvation and famine that was caused by deforestation at the time. The Anasazi people would cut trees for shelters which caused a drought; there was no rain for years. However, some historians have associated cannibalism with some of the kind of religious ritual.
We still don’t have a definite answer regarding their disappearance but scientists are hopeful for the discovery that would reveal clearly what happened to them.