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Aridoamerica is a term used by Mexican archeologists to describe a region of the southwestern United States and the northern and central regions of Mexico, in contrast to Mesoamerica, which lies to the south and east.
Unlike Mesoamerica, Aridoamerica has a dry, arid climate and geography. Because of the hard conditions, the precolumbian people in this region were mostly nomadic. The indigenous groups that occupied this land came to be known as Chichimecas, meaning barbaric, or uncivilized. The cultivation of maize reached Aridoamerica by about 2100 BC. Archaeologists disagree whether it was introduced by Uto-Aztecan migrants from Mesoamerica or spread northward by cultural borrowing. The introduction of agriculture resulted in the creation of sedentary cultures such as the Hohokam, Mogollon, and Ancient Pueblo Peoples, sometimes delineated from the mesolithic inhabitants of Aridoamerica by the term Oasisamerica.
The current Mexican states that lie in Aridoamerica are:
- Baja California
- Baja California Sur
- Nuevo León
- San Luis Potosí
The northern parts of:
- Cordell and Fowler 85
- Herr, Sara A. "The Latest Research on the Earliest Farmers." Archaeology Southwest Vol. 23, No. 1, Winter 2009, p.1
- Cordell, Linda S. and Don D. Fowler, eds. Southwest Archaeology in the Twentieth Century. Salt Lake City: University of Utah Press, 2005. ISBN 978-0-87480-825-4.
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