The American Desert Southwest has some of the most impressive prehistoric ruins and artifacts in the world. Thousands of archaeological sites, spread about across the American states of New Mexico, Colorado, Utah, and Arizona, testify to the presence of a advanced civilization: the “Anasazi” or the Ancestral/Ancient Puebloan peoples. Long revered and venerated as the ancestors of the Hopi, Zuni, and other Puebloan dwellers, this remarkable civilization, characterized by its impressive architecture, sophisticated systems of irrigation, and understanding astronomical phenomena, flourished from c. 600-1300 CE before mysterious vanishing. In wake of their “rediscovery” by archaeologists over 100 years ago, many questions still remain as to how they were able to create a civilization in such a harsh climate and why their decline was so sudden.
In this exclusive interview, James Blake Wiener of the Ancient History Encyclopedia took the time to speak with Dr. David E. Stuart, a renown expert on the Ancient Puebloans and Professor of Anthropology at the University of New Mexico, and two of his research assistants, Ms. Jenny Lund and Ms. Christine Dubois. Probing through fact and fiction while sharing their research, these scholars reveal some curious truths about this most remarkable civilization.