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   The Ancients

     First Wayfarers
     Mound Builders
     Rock Art
     Stone Stackers

      Anasazi
      Freemont
      Hohokam
      Mogollon
      Patayan
      Prescott
      Salado
      Salinas
      Sinagua
      Trincheras

     Fossils

   The Earth
   The Life
   The Modern Man
   The Nonpareils
   The Steps
   The Way

The Appendix

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THE ANCIENTS
The Stone Stackers

The Stone Stackers Gallery Index Go Down Go Back
According to those who study human cultures and origins, the first wayfarers traveled across the Colorado plateau over four thousand years ago.
These travelers would most likely had been a part of the Second Migration, the second of three major postdiluvian migrations which crossed the land bridge over the Bearing Sea.
The Desert Cultures
Post-Contact Cultures (1550 CE - date)

Hunter-Gatherer (Before 2000 BCE)
Those of the second migration when arriving at the land bridge, encountered several settlements lining the shores of the land bridge and along the eastern coast line, so these itinerant arrivals to the area choose to travel further to the east in search of their own new homeland.
As hunter-gatherers they created hunting tools such as darts, fending sticks and the atlatl. The would have camped in caves when available.
Over time, these wayfarers began to utilize water habitats near rivers, swamps and marshes where they found abundant fish and game.

Basketmaker Era (2000 BCE to 200 CE)
This time period on the Colorado plateau is referred to as the Early Basketmaker Era due to the abundant fragments found.
Gradually, from 2000 BCE until sometime around 200 CE, those referred to as the wayfarer culture transitioned from hunter-gatherers to a more settled lifestyle, one characterized by dependence on agriculture, social stratification, population clusters and major architecture. From these, post-wayfarer cultures are to develop in the desert regions located in the southwest areas of this continent.
Other contemporary cultures may include the Cochise, Chihuahua, Oshara, and San Dieguito Complex.
The year 750 CE is generally regarded as the end of the Basketmaker Era and the beginning of the post-wayfarer period. (zoom in on map to see detail)

The Post-Wayfarer Era (750 CE - 1550 CE)
Major post-wayfarer cultures include the Anasazi (recently renamed the Ancestral Puebloan), Hohokam, and Mogollon, who spread out in the present day Colorado plateau region and southward to the Rio Bravo, Rio Concho and Rio Yaqui basins. These cultures dominate this region before European contact.
There are other post-wayfarer cultures that are contemporary to the three major cultures. Those that exist during this period, their identity and the number of different cultures vary greatly among anthropologist but usually include the following: Freemont; La Junta; Patayan; Salado; Salinas; Sinagua and possibly more. Some studies connect these minor cultures to one or more of the major cultures, still, these people often lived apart culturally, socially and in location.
The remnant of the post-wayfarer cultures that survived the era of droughts during the late 1200′s and early 1300′s were few in number and area coverage. Most abandoned their canyon homelands and moved to lower altitudes near larger rivers while a few remained in the higher altitude stone dwellings.
Probably the most well know pueblo and definitely the oldest dwelling of these people are those in Acoma Pueblo, also known as Acoma Sky City, built circa 1100 CE and has been continuously inhabited for over 800 years. Acoma tribal traditions estimate that they have lived in the village for more than two thousand years. Acoma means place that always was.

Cultural Labels
The names used in this gallery are those given to the ancients by moderns and are based on the current research and thinking. In fact, non of the ancients had any input as to what they would be call by these modern.
This means that any and all of these cultural divisions as well as naming conventions are often arbitrary and have come about from the observation by those moderns who study ancient people.
Too, all names assigned and cultural divisions are subject to change.
A point in case is the historical use of the word Anasazi to describe this stone stacker culture. However, this word comes from the Navajo word meaning: ancestors of enemies. Today, those who claim to be descendants of the so called Anasazi have expressed their wish that the undesirable term Anasazi not be used. Thus, the moderns have changed the cultural label to Ancestral Puebloans.
Since the name Anasazi has been used for decades, possible even centuries, and is already a familiar tern, this gallery will continue to use the name Anasazi for those ancient inhabits of the ruins on the Colorado plateau.
The Ancestral Puebloans
(m1st.20091012) Hovenweep Ruins

The Anasazi (Ancestral Puebloans), A Wayƒarer′s Gallery Go Down Go Up
The word Anasazi comes from the Navajo word meaning Ancient Enemy however, today, the word has come to mean ancient ones or ancient people. Yes, these were one of the major groups who inhabited the lands of the Desert Cultures, and except for the Fremont, were in the northernmost area of all the other major stone stackers cultures.
The Anasazi lived in this area from 200 CE until 1300 CE. These ancients are thought to be ancestors of the modern Pueblo Indians who today inhabit close by areas of the Colorado plateau.
Today, what is left of the Anasazi culture are a large accumulation of the ruins of where they previously made their homes. (See above map: Post-Contact Cultures)

The Fremont, A Future Gallery Go Down Go Up
The name Fremont comes from the Fremont River located in the southeast portion of the state of Utah where this culture was discovered. The 95 mile Fremont river merges with the Dirty Devil river and then with the Colorado River.

The Hohokam, A Wayƒarer′s Gallery Go Down Go Up
The word Hohokam is a Pima language word meaning those who have vanished. These rock stackers are known for the construction of an extensive system of irrigation canals in central and southern Arizona from 200 until 1450 CE.
The Hohokam established significant trading centers such as at Snaketown and are considered to be the builders of the original canal system around the Phoenix metropolitan area, which the Mormon pioneers later rebuilt when they settled in the area of Mesa, Arizona.

The Mogollon, A Wayƒarer′s Gallery Go Down Go Up
The name Mogollon, pronounced "mug-ee-yan, comes from the Mogollon Mountains, which were named after Don Juan Ignacio Flores Mogollón, Spanish Governor of New Spain in New Mexico from 1712 to 1715 CE.
This culture flourished in southern New Mexico, eastern Arizona, northern Sonora and Chihuahua and western Texas from about 200 CE, to 1540 CE, when the Spanish arrived.

The Patayan, A Future Gallery Go Down Go Up
The word Patayan comes from the Quechan language and means Old People.
The Patayan lived in the areas along the Gila River, Colorado River and in the Lower Colorado River Valley, the nearby uplands, and north to the vicinity of the Grand Canyon during 700–1550 CE.
The archaeological record of the Patayan is poorly understood. Most Patayan people appear to have been highly mobile and did not build large structures or accumulate numerous possessions.

The Prescott, A Future Gallery Go Down Go Up
The mountains around Prescott, Arizona were once the home of a number of ancient people and there are still some visible remnants of this ancient civilizations. One village site uncovered at Willow Lake dates to about 1000 AD. This site is open to the public and includes various interpretive signs to help educate visitors on the visible ruins.
There are numerous petroglyph, prehistoric drawings, in public areas around Prescott including in many small town parks. One such site is at Vista Park, where an interpretative trail leads to a number of petroglyph.

The Salado, A Wayƒarer′s Gallery Go Down Go Up
The word Salado comes from the Spanish name Rio Salado, or Salt River and this culture
The Salado represent a culture which was centered in the Tonto Basin on the Salt river close to the Superstition Mountains and located about 80 miles east of Phoenix, Arizona. This culture appeared about 1150 CE and disappeared 1450 CE.
Just as the development of the local Salado culture in the Tonto Basin and the regional Salado Phenomenon remain a mystery, so too do the reasons for the disappearance of Salado iconography and the Salado way of life in the Southwest.

The Salinas, A Wayƒarer′s Gallery Go Down Go Up
The word Salinas is the Spanish word meaning Saltworks and most likely refers to the Salina Lake just to the northeast of the ruins. In 1598 CE, Spanish Juan Oñate established a permanent colony for New Spain that he called Sal, the Spanish word for salt, which was abundant throughout the Salinas Valley
Not much is know about the ancient people who lived here, but little doubt is cast on the fact that they did live here. However, much information is written about the Spanish missions that predominated the area from 1598 CE.
It seems that this pueblo site was settled by both the Anasazi and Mogollon people. Borrowing from one another, the combined community adapted to the changes in their environment, developed new traditions which helped them to survive.

The Sinaqua, A Wayƒarer′s Gallery Go Down Go Up
The word Sinaqua is Spanish meaning without water referring to the name originally given by Spanish explorers to the San Francisco Peaks near Flagstaff, the Sierra Sin Agua.
The Sinagua culture occupied a large area in central Arizona from the Little Colorado River, near Flagstaff, to the Salt River, near Sedona, including the Verde Valley, area around San Francisco Mountain, and significant portions of the Mogollon Rim country, between approximately 500 CE and 1425 CE.

The Trincheras, A Future Gallery Go Down Go Up
Located in northwest Sonora, Mexico and developed between 200 - 1450 CE. The most well known site is called Cerro de Trincheras.
People of the Trincheras culture lived similar to the Hohokam people. They also built distinctive terracing along volcanic hillsides which delineated work and living space. They distinctively decorated their smooth brown-red pottery with purple colored paint.
Trincheras populations as well as many Patayan people clearly interacted with groups in the Hohokam culture.

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