Sunday, February 14, 2016

2/13 Pueblo Grande Museum, Phoenix

I got bored this afternoon after hanging around the campground and headed out to this small museum in Phoenix.  It was a hot day, so I was glad there was not a lot of walking. 

From 450 AD to about 1,450 AD, the valley occupied by what is now Phoenix and its many suburbs was occupied by the Hohokam Indians.  They dug canals to bring water from the Salt River to their hundreds of small garden plots. They were successful enough in this that the area supported from 10,000 to 20,000 individuals.

This small patch of land with a mound containing ruins of some of the original buildings are all that is left.  The site is next to the Phoenix airport, which was built on some of the areas that were originally farmed.

And some of the current irrigation canals in this area follow the old Hohokam canals. I thought this plaque from the American Society of Civil Engineers was interesting.  This web site describes this in more detail:

Clearly, the native builders did not have a lot of large stones available to them, so it is amazing that some of the walls were thought to originally have been 30' high.

This is a reconstruction done by college students.

These reconstructed buildings represent the older pit houses people once lived in.

And a reconstructed ball court.

The signs said the sticks acted as a wind break to the cooking fires.  Obviously, this also is a reconstruction.

Ruins seen from the top of the mound.

Some of the exhibits from inside the museum.  This is a drawing of what the mound would have looked like originally.

This heat has been getting to me.  When I have been in this area in the past, it has been about 10 degrees cooler.  And up until two weeks ago, it has been freezing cold in California, Las Vegas, and here when I came in December.  Now the temperature is in the mid to upper 80s, and I am not used to it!! 
Better than the snow and cold in the northern states, however!!

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