A Pueblo III village.

Pueblo III Period: A.D. 1150 to 1300

Why did the Pueblo people leave the Mesa Verde region in the late A.D. 1200s?

The Pueblo III period was a time of great change in the Mesa Verde region. At the beginning of the period, most people lived on small farmsteads. But by A.D. 1250, almost everyone had left their farmsteads and moved into large villages, like the one shown in the drawing above.

There was also an amazing increase in the number of people living in the area during this time. Archaeologists estimate that more than 20,000 Pueblo people lived in the Mesa Verde region in A.D. 1250. That was more people than had ever lived there before.

Did other native peoples move into the Mesa Verde region after the Pueblo people left?

But in the years following A.D. 1250, people began leaving the region in large numbers. By about A.D. 1285, everyone had moved south to numerous villages in Arizona and New Mexico.