Fisher (Niagara Falls, 1996, etc.) admirably cobbles together a picture of Anasazi life from the mere fragments of culture that have weathered the centuries. The Anasazi civilization grew and flourished in the Four Comers region of the American Southwest for over a thousand years. Then, abruptly, about 700 years ago they left their traditional haunts and vanished into history. Fisher explains the development of Anasazi weaving, pottery, and toolmaking, speculates on their shift from hunter-gatherers to mesa farmers, and details the evolution of their architecture from pithouses to log-and-pole structures, to complex pueblos (one had 1,826 rooms), and finally to the glorious sandstone-block cliff houses that continue to mesmerize visitors today. Relevant terms are introduced, and a fascinating time chart alerts readers to what was happening elsewhere on the globe during the years of the Anasazi: Irish monks were toiling on the Book of Kelis, chess was invented in India, Eric the Red sailed to Greenland, Cambridge University started up in England. Moody sepia illustrations, with highly contrasted areas of light and shadow, lend an ancient feel and just the right note of mystery.