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Baskets were woven for light, mobile use at first, when the people kept moving, and as they found ways to settle in their cities they continued to use baskets for cooking, storage and hauling. But more durable and more widely useful vessels could be made out of clay; and so the women developed in connection with domestic arts the craft of pottery. Their early attempts imitated the construction of basketry, with long clay ropes coiled into enclosing form which was not smoothed over on the surface.

Between the great stone fingers the people built small stone dams to catch storm waters running off the plateau. Occasionally springs came to the surface in the veined rock of the cliffs and were held sacred. Seeds were planted and crops cultivated with a stick about a yard long which could poke holes in the earth or turn it over. The prevailing crop was red corn, and others were pumpkin, beans and cotton. Wild sunflowers yielded their seeds which were eaten. When the crop was harvested it became the charge of the women, who were ready to receive it and store it in baskets which they wove to hold about two bushels.

A time came when they lost favor with him. He abandoned them, retired to the sky, and became the major galaxy of stars which reached across the central heavens as the Milky Way. Without him the people were at a loss. They gathered their life and its objects and, leaving their rooms in modest order, went away to build new cities on the river. At the greatest of cliff cities (Mesa Verde) the people began to build a temple to the sun. It sat upon a crown of the mesa between valley and sky. Using the skin-colored stone of the place, they quarried and shaped their blocks and raised their walls in expert masonry.

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Vikings Invasion 872

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