The Anasazi lived in southern Utah, southwestern Colorado, northern Arizona and northwestern New Mexico. At first, they lived in regular villages, but the Anasazi later created stunning structures, which the Spanish called "pueblos."
The origins of the Anasazi are ambiguous. Even the name "Anasazi" is something of an error; it is a word used by the Navajo Indians that means "ancestors of our enemies." However, historians know that they had settled down into a largely sedentary lifestyle by the eighth century A.D. During this period, they began to develop the pueblo structures for which they are known. These large complexes comprised both residential and religious uses. Eventually, the Anasazi began to build stunning complexes on the sides of hills and cliffs before they abandoned their large communities for smaller complexes. No one knows the reason for this sudden cultural collapse.