Based on the most up-to-date archaeological and historical research, Rio del Norte is a tour de force, highlighting the upper Rio Grande region and its diverse peoples across some twelve thousand years of continuous history. Over eleven millenia ago, Paleoindians tracked mammoth and bison in the Rio Grande Basin. As the Ice Ages ended and arid conditions caught hold, the place of the Paleoindians was taken by bands of hunters and gatherers who long maintained a presence in the valleys, deserts, and mountains. Three thousand years ago the idea of domesticated plants filtered up from Mexico. The Basketmaker-Pueblo, or Anasazi, appeared in the early centuries of the common era and flourished in the San Juan basin and the Four Corners region for several centuries. Anasazi occupation of the San Juan region ended about seven hundred years ago, yet that same period saw a quickening along the Rio Grande and its tributaries. Large towns appeared, some holding several thousand people who practiced irrigation-based agriculture, rich artistry, and maintained complex social and political organizations. Trade with the civilizations of Mexico brought various luxury goods and introduced new and spectacular religious ceremonies. This "golden age" was continuing when Spaniards moving from west Mexico contacted the upper Rio Grande people, then colonized and missionized the region in 1598. Eighty-two years later the Pueblos rose in a powerful revolt and ousted the invaders. In one sense Rio del Norte is about the flexibility of the Pueblo lifeway. During the fifteen hundred years of Basketmaker-Pueblo history, settlers of the Rio Grande and the San Juan River basin faced military threats from hungry nomads and European empire builders, internal pressures caused by the increasing complexity of Pueblo society, and recurring problems from the vagaries of weather. Although the Spanish returned, the Pueblos have maintained important parts of their cultural heritage to the present.