New Mexico

New Mexico, in the southwestern United States, has many sites from cultures which thrived in the area prior to contact with the European cultures. 

During the period around 1000 CE the Ancestral Puebloans and the Mogollon were the dominate cultures in the western part of the state.  Older sources may refer to the Ancestral Puebloans as the Anazazi.  However, Anazazi is a Navajo word, not an Ancestral Puebloan word, and is not an appropriate descriptor of that culture.  Chaco Canyon is the premier Ancestral Puebloan site in New Mexico.  It, and other sites, are represented by some of the photo galleries (see links to right).  Note, however, that cultures are temporal in nature.  There were undoubtedly people in Chaco Canyon prior to the Ancestral Puebloans and the Navajo inhabited the canyon after about 1200 CE.  In the general area of Chaco Canyon there are many other Ancestral Puebloan sites, see the Aztec and Salmon photo galleries, for instance.  The Ancestral Puebloan geographic range extended westward through northern Arizona (Canyon de Chelly) into Nevada, northward into Utah and Colorado (Mesa Verde), eastward to Bandelier and Pecos (also known as Cicuye), and southward to the area west of modern day Albuquerque, El Morro is a site in this area.  Abó, Quarai, and Gran Quivira are close to the southeastern edge of the cultural range.  The largest glyph site created by the Ancestral Puebloans is now protected by the Petroglyph National Monument near Albuquerque.

The Mogollon sites in the state are myriad and include the Gila Cliff Dwellings, Gran Quivira, and Hawikuh.  The Mimbres are generally assumed to be a cultural sub-group within the Mogollon, typified primarily by their distinctive pottery style.  The Mogollon culture extended as far east as the Guadalupe Mountains and as far west as the Hohokam (Casa Grande etc.) sites in Arizona and as far west as the Gulf of California in Sonora.  In Chichuaha the culture extended a bit farther south than modern day Ciudad Chihuahua and included sites like Paquimé and Cueva de la Olla.

The Pony Hills & Frying Pan Canyon petroglyph sites northeast of Deming are two of the best Mogollon (Mimbres) glyph sites in the state.  There are, however, numerous other sites in the southwestern part of the state.

© Robert Barnes 2019 - 2020