As Desert Cultures , literally translated as "desert cultures", various Native American collector cultures of the steppes and deserts of northern Mexico and the western USA are summarized. The basic food for these peoples was the hunting of small animals and the intensive search for edible plants. Later, early plant cultivation began to develop (around 5000 BC to 500 BC).
The Desert Cultures were the forerunners of the peoples known as Formative Cultures , which could be found in the Rocky Mountains until the 1st century . These peoples were sedentary and grew crops such as corn, beans, and potatoes. They thus culturally represent the American equivalent of the European Neolithic (New Stone Age ).