"The Anasazi Mystery" essay deals with ability/inability to adapt to the environment

Essay by m44nagantUniversity, Bachelor'sA+, April 2004

download word file, 7 pages 3.9

The Anasazi Mystery

Survival is something few people think about in modern times. This phenomenon adds both a new and unique chapter to human history. Native Americans, who lived in what is now called the Four Corners region of the southwestern United States, had a very different reality. Almost all labor and attention had to be focused on basic survival tasks such as gathering food and finding drinkable water. Throughout the vast majority of human history this lifestyle was typical. Living with only primitive technology was very difficult, time consuming, and labor intensive; so most people spent their whole lives performing tasks necessary for self-preservation.

The Anasazi tribe is a good example of both survival success and failure. This tribe occupied the Four Corners of what are now New Mexico, Colorado, Arizona, and Utah, for more than two thousand years. Rugged terrain, scarce water sources, and unpredictable rainfall made life in this region very difficult.

By living flexible lifestyles the Anasazi were able to minimize the negative impact of the unpredictable climate and water supply. Three different methods were utilized to obtain food: hunting, gathering, and agriculture.

In this way the Anasazi were less dependant on the weather. During a time of drought hunting and gathering would be the main focus. If the drought lasted for a while they would move to a more moist area. This system enabled the tribe to survive under very harsh conditions. They flourished until sometime around 1300 A.D when they suddenly disappeared. Why they disappeared is somewhat of a mystery; theories attempting to explain it cite war, disease, environmental disaster, etc as possible causes. This essay will present the most reasonable explanation for the rapid disappearance of the Anasazi people.

It has already been stated that flexibility was the key to Anasazi survival.