Textiles of the North American Southwest
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Timeline, North American Southwest

9000 BC First people arrive in North American Southwest, most likely from Asia via the Bering Land Bridge, a thousand-mile-wide strip of land connecting Alaska and Siberia during the Ice Age.

People live a nomadic lifestyle, hunting animals and gathering plants for food.

8000 BC Ice Age ends, Archaic Period begins. The wooly mammoth and many other species become extinct. People adapt by hunting smaller animals. Importance of wild plants increases.
6500 BC Plant domestication begins in tropical Mesoamerica, first squash, then maize and beans.
3500 BC Maize diffuses to central Mexico and from there northward to other areas of the North American Southwest.
1600 BC People throughout the North American Southwest are cultivating maize. They begin making pottery and settling down in permanent villages to tend crops.
1000 BC Complex societies begin to appear in Mesoamerica.
200 BC People across the North American Southwest are living in permanent settlements, cultivating maize, beans, and squash.
0 Christian calendar begins
AD 200 Complex societies begin to form in the North American Southwest, north of Mesoamerica.
AD 1000 Trade increases within North American Southwest, extending south to Mesoamerica.
AD 1250

Drought forces mass migrations within the North American Southwest. About the same time, Navajo and Apache ancestors arrive from the north.
AD 1492

Europeans arrive in the Americas.  
AD 1521 Spanish and Tlaxcalan forces defeat Aztecs at Tenochtitlán (today Mexico City), ushering in the Spanish Colonial Period in Mexico.
AD 1540 Coronado Expedition explores the North American Southwest, traveling as far as Kansas. Fails to find fabled cities of gold.
AD 1560 Spanish mining towns are established from Mexico City north to Chihuahua.
AD 1598

Juan de Oñate Expedition begins Spanish settlement of New Mexico.
AD 1700 Indian resistance is crushed as Spanish build a network of mines, haciendas, ranches, forts, and towns.

New forms of culture emerge in North American Southwest out of extensive cultural exchange and intermarriage among Indians, Europeans, and Africans.
AD 1821 Spanish Colonial Period ends. Mexico gains independence from Spain.
AD 1848

Annexation of the northern half of the North American Southwest is completed by United States, including Texas, New Mexico, Arizona. Large numbers of Anglo-Americans flow into the region, introducing new cultural practices.
AD 1900 Handwoven textile production declines as commercially produced cloth becomes widely available.
AD 1950 Demand for handwoven textiles increases throughout the North American Southwest, as tourists and collectors begin to recognize their value as works of art.
AD 2002

Cultural diversity thrives in the North American Southwest, now home to people from around the world. Spanish and English are the dominant languages, but many Indian societies maintain their distinct cultures, languages, and identities.

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