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Aridoamerica (orthographic projection).svg

Aridoamerica is a term used by Mexican archeologists to describe the northern and central regions of Mexico, in contrast to Mesoamerica,[1] 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.[citation needed] Despite the conditions however, the Mogollon culture and Peoples successfully established population centers at Casas Grandes and Cuarenta Casas in a vast territory that encompassed northern Chihuahua state and parts of Arizona and New Mexico in the United States.

The cultivation of maize reached Aridoamerica by about 2100 BC.[citation needed] Archaeologists disagree whether the plant was introduced by Uto-Aztecan migrants from Mesoamerica or spread either northward or southward from other groups by cultural borrowing.[2]

Map of major prehistoric Archaeological Cultures in the United States and Mexico

To some, the indigenous groups that occupied this land came to be known as Chichimecas, meaning barbaric, or uncivilized.[citation needed]


The current Mexican states that lie in Aridoamerica are:

The northern parts of:

Archeological cultures of Aridoamerica[edit]

T-shaped doorway at Paquimé

See also[edit]


  1. ^ Cordell and Fowler 85
  2. ^ Herr, Sara A. "The Latest Research on the Earliest Farmers." Archaeology Southwest Vol. 23, No. 1, Winter 2009, p.1