The origins and disappearance of the Salado inhabitants of the Tonto Basin has perplexed archaeologists for many years. Between A.D. 1250 and A.D. 1450 the Salado people influenced a large number of cultural groups within the southwestern United States through their iconographic pottery designs. The spread of the Salado culture became known as the Salado Phenomenon. The distribution of Salado polychrome pottery encompasses 130,000 square kilometers that include central Arizona, southwest New Mexico, and the northern Mexican states of Sonora and Chihuahua. Despite the great influence of the Salado culture, archaeologists continue to have questions about who the Salado people were.