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Anasasi Petroglyphs

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Our Elven Kin

Joined: 06 Jul 2005
Posts: 110
Location: Anns' Arbor, MI

PostPosted: Wed Jul 20, 2005 3:44 pm    Post subject: Anasasi Petroglyphs Reply with quote

These are for the Mill Avenue Vexations fic. I've been playing around a lot with petroglyphs common to Arizona. I thought it would interesting to incorperate them into the fic.

Arizona Lore Part I

The Anasasi Indians were a proto-Indian culture who lived in the Four Corners region of the Southwest. They were an advanced society who built dwellings on the undersides of cliffs and in canyons. Many of which are still present in modern day and beloved by tourists and archaeologists alike. They left their marks in petroglyphs across the desert, in the mesas, and along the plateaus of Northeastern Arizona, and may have descended or mixed with the Pueblo and Hopi Indian cultures of that region.

Their name, Anasasi, comes from a Navajo word meaning “the ancestors of our neighbors,” or “the ancestors of our enemies.” It has been long told that it means “the old ones,” but anytime one says ancestors we often mean old ones—and when the Navajo say neighbor or other, they often mean the people who are not them, and thus people that they’d competed and battled with over land and resources.

The Anasasi flourished from 1000 B.C. passed through the ages a diverse and rolling culture that painted on rocks, built dwellings, performed primitive agriculture, and eventually came to a startling vanishing point around 1276 A.D. About that time during the 13th century a multiple decade drought is recorded as well as the encroachment of the proto-Navajo. The cliffdwellings of the Anasasi were abandoned by the families that lived there—apparently walking away from their lives, leaving their pottery, jewelry, earthen dishes, and other implements of home behind in a seeming mass vanishing act over 30-50 years. The drought and the presence of the Navajo seem to be good suggestions as to why they up-and-left, but nobody knows where they went.

It is thought that they walked away, family by family, but no tribal culture of the time would simply have a single family walk away into nothing. The houses seem to have been abandoned at relatively the same time, archaeologically speaking, and there aren’t a greater number of graves in and around the community to represent a mass die-off of the population. So it is almost as if one day the Anasasi just looked up into the night sky, turned to one another, smiled, and walked away from their dwellings to disappear into the aether.

Strange petroglyphs thought to be of Hopi and Pueblo origins have been found all over Arizona, even near Phoenix; though most of the known populations of the Anasai were around the Mogollon Rim and the northern plateaus. Kachinas thought to be Anasai in origin are found drawn on rocks even in the close vicinity of Tempe, but for the most part these are thought to be hoaxes perpetrated by students. The truly strange rests in deep, tube caverns that rise hither and to in the Black Mountains, and through the Sonoran Desert, where evidence of ancient habitation appears in worked stones—none built into dwellings—and tool marks on the walls, all but obliterated by the fragility of the rock and weathering over time…

Somewhere in the Sonoran Desert, Kokopelli still whistles his flute and danses for his daughters the moon and the stars, and in his flute music we hear the ancient story that was the Anasasi.
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