Peoples of the Mesa Verde Region

The Pueblo I Period: A.D. 750 to 900



During this period, agriculture became an increasingly important part of the Pueblo lifestyle. With the population not only growing but also becoming more concentrated in villages, it was essential that people produced a surplus of food. Abundant harvests in good years could be stored for bad years, when drought or cold temperatures—or both—reduced the harvest.

Corn, beans, and squash were the dietary mainstays during the Pueblo I period. People continued to supplement their diet with wild plants and animals, and archaeological evidence suggests that these resources were sometimes depleted in the areas surrounding large villages, the result of over-collecting and over-hunting by village residents.

Corn, beans, and squash. Photographs by Joyce Heuman Kramer and (corn inset) Joyce Alexander; copyright Crow Canyon Archaeological Center.

Corn, beans, and squash continued to be dietary staples during the Pueblo I period.