Some things we might never know….
Folks that feel that speculation is a bad word, might not appreciate my ramblings here.
I've hiked many miles, exploring the trades routes?, communication routes?, highways to growing fields or supplemental water? trails to holy spots?, trails to summer or winter homes ?, escape routes from attacks or floods? Who can be sure? Maybe a combination of a few or all of the above?
One thing is clear, The Anasasi were an organized people. One thing almost universally agreed upon, is that we don't know for sure what was the reason for their demise.
There are many remnants of larger " pueblos ". What I found more fascinating was their branches away from, or to the communities, and specifically how the Anasazi lived.
Petroglyphs that I saw suggested they were hunters, ranchers, farmers, and fishermen. I saw what appeared to be family snapshots.
One location we found because of trees and plant life suggested that the area could support life. We found the spring that supplied a constant drip of life giving water. It had a stone silo, part natural, part excavated, part built. It had a " balcony" which might have been used to stay dry, and/or to protect from attack. A rock shaded kitchen/work area. It had and underground kiva (round room), that provided us a cool place to hide from the heat.
I enjoyed pondering the imponderables, and speculating…content just wondering, even though my forensics were just a limited tool. I had fun.
If you are interested, but don't hike, and are in the Four Corners area, think about going to the ruins in Aztec, N.M. It's like a museum now.