Oshara (Northern) Tradition – New Mexico – Archaic of Rio Grande Valley 5500 BC – 800 BC

It is believed by archeologists that certain climatic factors abruptly changed the living of Paleo-Indian in the Southwest US. The archaic tradition which builds up in Rio Grande Valley, New Mexico was termed as Oshara Northern tradition. It is believed that about 5500 BC the Archaic People living in this region started developing whole new culture. These people started using black color material especially Basalt to develop their tool which was outstandingly different from their predecessor Paleo Indians who used variety of rainbow colors stones especially Obsidian in their tools .There are many archeological sites found related with these people in regions like the North Central New Mexico, San Juan Basin, the Rio Grande Valley, southern Colorado, and southeastern Utah. These sites have provided evidence of their extraordinary tool making skills. The Oshara people are believed to be ancestors of Anasazi or the ancient Pueblo people.

Oshara (Northern) Tradition - New Mexico - Archaic of Rio Grande Valley

Phases of Oshara Tradition (5500BC to 800BC)

The Oshara tradition because of its change in projectile point making technique is divided in various phases like:

Jay phase (5500BC to 4800BC)

The earliest settlement of archaic people was done in the Rio Grande valley in New Mexico. The archeologist have revealed oldest and one of the largest Projectile points from this valley.

Bajada Phase (4800BC to 3200BC)

The quantity of basalt used in projectile point decreased and other materials like Obsidian were promoted.  This period is longest among all the phases in the field of projectile making. The projectile points had parallel lateral edge and concave proximal edge.

San Jose Phase (3200BC to 1800BC)

This phase marks very low use of black stones like basalt for making projectile. The projectile points were more sophisticated and manufactured on large scale. It is believed that highest numbers of projectile points were made during this phase. Most number of settlements was also established during this era suggesting that pinnacle of this culture.

Development into Anasazi culture

The Last phases of Oshara tradition were Armijo, En Medio and Trujillo which ended by 1st century AD. These people later developed basket making and were famously called the Basketmakers. These Basketmakers started developing one of the most prominent post Archaic cultures called The Anasazi.

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