The Indian Ruin In My Yard  

puntachueca 105M
2534 posts
5/16/2006 7:05 am

Last Read:
5/18/2006 4:06 pm

The Indian Ruin In My Yard

One of the stranger parts of life.

I have an Indian ruin in my yard.

The Hohokam Indians lived in what is now Arizona between 200 BC and 1400 AD. They created a multicultural civilization and archeological evidence suggests they went around 800 years with no war.

The Hohokam are famous for building vast irrigation canal systems. In Phoenix there are something like 500 miles of these canals, some of which are still in use today.

Around 1100 AD the Hohokam city where Phoenix is now had over 250,000 people living there. In Tucson, the Hohokam population was estimated to be around 25,000 at the peak. These are populations not attained again in the region until WWII.

The Hohokam obviously had a high degree of civilization.

The Hohokam had an extensive trading network all over North America. Parrot feathers from south of Mexico City are found in the ruins.

They vanished around 1450 AD and no one knows why. It is one of the great mysteries of the world. Hohokam means "the ones who have gone".

Some theories suggest they were attacked by the Apache. Others suggest the climate turned on them and between long drougths and floods, their irrigation systems failed.

One wag suggests they elected their version of George Bush to run their society and it collapsed.

It is really an amazing thing to be the custodian of a place with a story to tell. Revealing itself slowly. Who were these people? What were their dreams? What happened to them?

The Spaniards settled the valleys where the Hohokam once lived, and built their forts and churchs on top of the Hohokam villages and cities. Then the Americans came along and tore down the Spanish colonial buildings and built their monments to their hubris. Layer upon layer of human dreams, decline, conquest.

It seems like there is a lesson there...and a lot to learn from "the ones who have gone".

blondietickler 43F
295 posts
5/16/2006 7:35 am

very true. thanks for the lesson.

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