Crow Canyon


Perspectives on Pueblo History and Culture

Pueblo Indians' historical perspectives are shaped by their deep cultural heritage, kept alive through oral tradition. Archaeologists' understanding of Pueblo history derives primarily from the application of the scientific method. In this series of videos, Pueblo people and archaeologists discuss aspects of Pueblo history and culture from their different—but often complementary—perspectives.

See map for locations of areas discussed in the videos.

Filmed at Crow Canyon, in partnership with History Colorado and the Science Museum of Minnesota; funding provided by the National Science Foundation.


Connections to the Ancestors

oral traditions

Oral Tradition




Thirteenth-Century Migrations





The Great Pueblo Migrations of the 13th Century

In abouBill Lipet A.D. 1250, the number of Pueblo people living in the Mesa Verde region peaked at more than 20,000. Only 35 years later, by about A.D. 1285, they were gone—the result of a decades-long exodus sometimes called the "great Pueblo migrations." Why the Pueblo people left the Mesa Verde region and where they went are questions that have intrigued generations of archaeologists.

Former Crow Canyon Director of Research and Washington State University Professor Emeritus William Lipe discusses the thirteenth-century depopulation of the Mesa Verde region in "Leaving Mesa Verde: The Great Pueblo Migrations of the 13th Century," a lecture presented as part of Archaeology Southwest’s Tea and Archaeology series.  (01:05:32)