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Photographer's Note

Several thousand years ago, the Pajarito Plateau was used by mobile Paleo-Indian hunters, and later by Archaic hunter-gatherers, who wandered through the canyons seeking game and wild plants.

About 2,000 years ago, small family groups of Anasazi moved into the canyon occupying pit houses and cultivating corn, beans and squash. Pottery, and architecture slowly evolved in this region as it did throughout other Anasazi locations in the Southwest, but people continued living in small scattered settlements of one or two families.

About 800 years ago, there appeared a sudden influx of people, perhaps migrating from dryer areas of the Four Corners. People began living together in much larger groups creating villages (pueblos) with as many as 40 rooms.

This increase in population marked a cultural explosion. The Anasazi here began employing crude topols to scoop out dwellings from the soft volcanic tuff walls of the Pajarito Plateau fronting cave-like with multistory masonry buildings supported by wooden beams. These villages can be seen today for more than a mile along the talus slopes of Frijoles Canyon. You can see the ruin at the bottom of the cliff in this photo.

In the 13th century, the Anasazi constructed Tyuonyi, the circular two-story Pueblo in the bottom of Frijoles Canyon, just behind the Monument's Visitor Center, please see my previous posted photo. This high-walled village boomed in the 15th century, hosing as many as 100 people.

About 1500, with the emergence of the Spanish into the Desert Southwest, the residents left the canyon, never to return. Their descendants probably lived in Cochiti and San lldefonso pueblos a few miles east on the Rio Grande River.

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Additional Photos by David Liu (dliu216005) Silver Star Critiquer/Silver Note Writer [C: 46 W: 0 N: 16] (214)
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