Archaeologists continue to debate when this distinct culture emerged.The current agreement, based on terminology defined by the Pecos Classification, suggests their emergence around the 12th century BC, during the archaeologically designated Early Basketmaker II Era.Ancient Pueblo People, or Ancestral Puebloans, is a preferred term for the cultural group of people often known as Anasazi who are the ancestors of the modern Pueblo peoples.The ancestral Puebloans were a prehistoric Native American civilization centered around the present-day Four Corners area of the Southwest United States.Between AD 9, Chaco Canyon was a major center of culture for the Ancient Pueblo Peoples.Chacoans quarried sandstone blocks and hauled timber from great distances, assembling fifteen major complexes that remained the largest buildings in North America until the 19th century.In contemporary times, the people and their archaeological culture were referred to as Anasazi for historical purposes.The Navajo, who were not their descendants, called them by this term.
The people of the Chaco Culture did not use a writing system and as such, researchers have to rely on the artifacts and structures they left behind, as well as oral accounts that have been passed on through generations, to reconstruct what their lives were like.
The sites are considered sacred ancestral homelands by the Hopi and Pueblo people, who maintain oral accounts of their historical migration from Chaco and their spiritual relationship to the land.
Though park preservation efforts can conflict with native religious beliefs, tribal representatives work closely with the National Park Service to share their knowledge and respect the heritage of the Chacoan culture.
They held a distinct knowledge of celestial sciences that found form in their architecture.
The kiva, a congregational space that was used chiefly for ceremonial purposes, was an integral part of this ancient people's community structure.
The Ancestral Puebloans were an ancient Native American culture that spanned the present-day Four Corners region of the United States, comprising southeastern Utah, northeastern Arizona, northwestern New Mexico, and southwestern Colorado.