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Anasazi

[ah-nuh-sah-zee]
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noun, plural A·na·sa·zis, (especially collectively) A·na·sa·zi for 2.
  1. a Basket Maker-Pueblo culture of the plateau region of northern Arizona and New Mexico and of southern Utah and Colorado, dating probably from a.d. 100 to 1300.
  2. a member of the people producing this culture.
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adjective
  1. of, relating to, or characteristic of this culture or its people: the Anasazi communities.
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Origin of Anasazi

term introduced in 1936 by U.S. archaeologist Alfred V. Kidder (1885-1963) < Navajo ʾanaasází ancient inhabitants of the Pueblo ruins, literally, aliens' ancestors ('anaa- enemy, alien + -sází ancestor(s), ancestral)
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018

Word Origin and History for anasazi

Anasazi

Name applied by their Navajo neighbors to modern Pueblo peoples of the U.S. southwest, and to various landscape features associated with them, from Navajo anaasazi "ancestors of the enemies." Said to first have been applied to the ancient Pueblo ruins of southwestern United States in the Mesa Verde region c.1889 by rancher and trader Richard Wetherill, who began exploration of the sites in the area; established in archaeological terminology 1927.

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Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper