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Prehistory: First Inhabitants
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New Mexico Early History
First Early Inhabitants of New Mexico
Early history examines the archaeological record that tells the story of the first inhabitants of New Mexico. Learn about the prehistory and culture of the first early inhabitants, and what lessons it might teach us about the early history of New Mexico.
New Mexico First Early Inhabitants Timeline
Early History of Native Americans in New Mexico
The Indigenous People of New Mexico
The Clovis-Paleo Indians later discovered the eastern plains of New Mexico, the same expansive romping grounds of the dinosaurs around 10,000 B.C. The river valleys west of their hunting grounds later flooded with refugees from the declining Four Corners Anasazi cultures.
Sometime between A.D. 1130 and 1180, the Anasazi drifted from their high-walled towns to evolve into today's Pueblo Indians, so named by early Spanish explorers because they lived in land-based communities much like the villages, or pueblos, of home. Culturally similar American Indians, the Mogollón, lived in today's Gila National Forest.
The Anasazi occupied the region where present day Arizona, New Mexico and Colorado meet. They were among the most highly civilized of the Native American cultures. They raised corn and cotton, and tamed wild turkeys, using the meat for food and the feathers for clothing. In the winter, the Anasazi wore garments fashioned from turkey feathers.
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