In Search of the Old Ones

By Roberts, David

ISBN 9780684832128

Price $16.00

Roberts describes the culture of the Anasazi--the name means "enemy ancestors" in Navajo--who once inhabited the Colorado Plateau and whose modern descendants are the Hopi Indians of Arizona. Archaeologists, Roberts writes, have been puzzling over the Anasazi for more than a century, trying to determine the environmental and cultural stresses that caused their society to collapse 700 years ago. He guides us through controversies in the historical record, among them the haunting question of whether the Anasazi committed acts of cannibalism. Roberts's book is full of up-to-date thinking on the culture of the ancient people who lived in the harsh desert country of the Southwest.

Six hundred years ago, the Anasazi, said to be the ancestors of the Hopi, Zuni and other Pueblo peoples, left their homes in the region known as the Four Corners, where Colorado, Utah, New Mexico and Arizona converge, and disappeared. They had inhabited the area for perhaps 5000 or more years. They left behind pots, weavings, tools, monuments, human remains and, above all, their astounding cliff "palaces," containing apartments of as many as 20 rooms each. Many of these are still viable but so fragile that, in the national park lands where most are located, they are closed to the public. Roberts (Once They Moved Like the Wind) has spent 20 years exploring the region, and he recounts the history of the discoveries, the appalling thefts of artifacts, the cave paintings and his own transcendent experiences in stumbling upon some vestige of this lost civilization. His awe at the region's beauty, with its sheer cliffs, canyons and mesas, and at the testaments to an unknown culture will be contagious for readers.
Copyright 1996 Reed Business Information, Inc.