The origin of the Western Apache people into Arizona remains unsettled. Some archaeological and linguistic evidence suggests that the Apache arrived in the Southwest in the 13th or 14th centuries, about a hundred years after the Sinagua left the area. Some believe that ancestors of the Apache arrived from Athabaskan-speaking people of Western Canada and Alaska. Others suggest that some Apache clans may have lived on the eastern Plains for thousands of years until the Comanche began pushing them into the Southwest in the 17th Century.
Little archaeological material can be identified with certainty as early Apache. As hunter-gatherers, most of the Apache goods were perishable. It was common to burn the possessions of the deceased. An identifiable Apache material culture did not develop until about 1500.