The first people moved into the Mesa Verde area about 11,000 years ago. These people are called “Paleoindians” by archeaologists. They hunted giant bison, wooly pachyderms, and species of horses that are now extinct. They walked around mostly naked except when it was very cold. When it was cold they kept warm by dressing and builting homes with animal hides. By 7500 BC the large animals died out and the ancient Anasazi were forced to hunt smaller animals. At this time they developed stone tools and the atlatl which was a spear thrower. Everything changed rapidly when corn, squash, and beans were introduced from Mexico around 1000 BC. Very quickly people began to live in small villages because they could not leave their crops alone for long periods of time. This era, which marks the birth of several of the first civilizations in our hemisphere is called Basketmaker. It is called Basketmaker because of the unique baskets that were made by these early people.