Origins

Where go Hohokam culture come from? come the an initial scientists that asked this question, the Hohokam seemed to show up in Arizona rather suddenly with the ability to build innovative irrigation system to water their crops. Early archaeologists proposed that Hohokam society developed in Mexico and moved into what is currently Arizona. In the 1990s, a major archaeological dig along the Santa Cruz river in Tucson resulted in a frighten discovery. Excavators identified a society and people that to be ancestors that the Hohokam. Dubbed the Early agricultural Period, this at an early stage group grew corn, resided in sedentary villages all year round and developed sophisticated irrigation canals. This group could have occupied southern Arizona as early as 2000 BC! Originating as antiquated hunters and also gatherers who lived ~ above wild plants and also animals, this peoples settled in long-term communities and also produced their very own food instead of living a an ext mobile life and also gathering what nature provided.

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Prehistoric Irrigation

Omar Turney map the 1929 reflecting prehistoric watering canals north and also south that the Salt flow in the Phoenix area.

Carla Booker and also Alexandra Howard recording a prehistoric canal exposed in a trench at the Riverview advancement in Mesa.

O"odham water manage gate in historic period irrigation canal.

The Hohokam to be the only culture in phibìc America to depend on irrigation canals to it is provided water to their crops. In the arid desert atmosphere of the Salt and also Gila flow Valleys, the countryside of the Hohokam, there to be not enough rainfall to prosper crops. To meet their needs, the Hohokam engineered the largest and most advanced irrigation mechanism in the Americas.The canals were perfectly laid the end on the landscape to accomplish a downhill fall (or gradient) that 1 come 2 feet per mile. Countless of the canals were substantial in size. The Arizona Museum of Natural background discovered a primitive canal in ~ the north finish of Dobson road that measure 15 feet deep and also 45 feet wide. Irrigating up to 110,000 acre by advertisement 1300, the Hohokam watering systems supported the largest population in the ancient Southwest.

Daily Life

Mural in the Arizona Museum of Natural history of the Rowley Site, close to Park of the Canals in Mesa, c. 1200-1450, by Ann and also Jerry Schutte.

Life because that the Hohokam focused, in huge extent, on agriculture and growing crops. The canals forced the organization and also labor of thousands of people to build, maintain and also operate. Farmers had to keep the fields and open and also close the irrigation gateways at the ideal time. They had actually to protect crops from rabbits, birds and other marauders. Planting and harvest times would need the initiatives of the whole community.Disease was a significant problem for pre-industrial people. While some in the neighborhoods had clinical knowledge and also offered traditional cures, treatments were not accessible for numerous maladies. Infant mortality to be high, with probably one the end of every four kids dying before their first birthday.Life was no all work and also illness. The Hohokam held big community gatherings at ballcourts and also temple mounds. Here, people would profession goods and young human being could fulfill potential marriage partners from various other villages.

Village Structure

Structure that a Hohokam village.

The Hohokam arranged their villages to separate and also coordinate different activities. Homes clustered into residential areas. To keep the village neat, the Hohokam disposed the trash in pits and also piles within certain areas. They used large open areas in the town for messy activities including the usage of big earth ovens (hornos). Hornos, which measured 6 to 10 feet throughout and 6 come 8 feet in depth, were offered to pit roasted the understanding of agave plants and also other foodstuffs such together corn and possibly squash.Families live in solitary room structures that surrounded rectangle-shaped courtyards wherein daily tasks took place. Every room would house a nuclear family members consisting that mother, father and also their children. The households joined in this "courtyard groups" were carefully related and also formed prolonged family unit. In Hohokam culture you would certainly live in a team with your parents and your brother"s and also sister"s families. This extended family functioned as a straightforward social and also economic unit, sharing resources and daily chores.

Trade and Exchange

Map that Hohokam trade.

Reproductions the the former and back sides that a pyrite winter from Mesoamerica, traded come the Hohokam and found in the Valley.

The Hohokam traded goods widely throughout the American Southwest and Mesoamerica (Mexico). Hohokam cotton and also woven items such together blankets were very prized and also fetched a good price in the exchange networks. Shell bracelets, pendants, rings and also other objects made of shell from the Gulf of California were traded right into the Hohokam area. Pendants and other objects made from turquoise were traded from countless different sources right into the Hohokam heartland. Ceramic pots were traded widely and also it is not unusual to discover vessels make in northern, southern and eastern Arizona in local Hohokam sites. Numerous of this traded ceramics are unusual shapes such together canteens, duck effigy pots and other unique types.

Many rarely objects generally used only by the elites of Mesoamerican society, to be traded into the Hohokam area. Copper bells, developed from native melted copper and also using a shed wax technique, were derived from northern and also western Mexico. Pyrite mirrors, do from a ring disk the schist ~ above which were glued slim sheets of pyrite (a reflective metallic mineral often referred to as fool"s gold), to be traded from the valley of Mexico.

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Artifacts

Hohokam craftsmen created a broad array of artifacts made native stone, bone, shell and also clay. Rock was chipped into cutting tools v sharp edges or hammered into other shapes. Stone bowls sported a range of motifs including rattlesnakes, frogs, and lizards. Very symmetrical and well-polished axes were created in large numbers in ~ Mesa Grande. Petroglyphs, rock art pecked onto boulders, deserve to be found throughout the Hohokam area.Bone was sculpted into detailed shapes. Long bone hair pins, often found with males, had actually ends carved into hill sheep and other forms, including a human being foot. Bone tube were sculpted with sophisticated geometric designs. Spicy awls and also needles offered in do baskets and clothing are typical in Hohokam sites.A variety of shells were built up in the Gulf that California and traded right into the Hohokam area. Artisans used shell to do a wide range of objects, many of i m sorry were provided as ornaments. Shell bracelets are a common artifact form found on Hohokam sites consisting of Mesa Grande. Do by removing the center of a clam shell, the arm bands were typically worn by men on their upper left arm. Shells with designs etched into them with a mild acid represent one of the earliest examples of this progressed technology.Figurines, small fired clay dolls, are additionally found in the early on Hohokam villages and also are comparable to those make in Mesoamerica. Numbers give us details on Hohokam dress and ornamentation. Some figures portray mothers v infants and also children and also several have been found of pregnant women and even females in childbirth.