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There's More Than Meets The Eye

by Crystal Coons
Jan 28, 2003

We drove into Scottsdale and pulled into the Historic district. My Husband had decided that on our day excavation that we would explore Arizona
Arizona(air-i'-ZON-u')

The State of Arizona comprises the extreme south-western portion of the United States. It is bounded on the north by Utah, on the east by New Mexico, on the south by Mexico, and on the west by California and Nevada.

culture in the city. We parked in front of one of many western tourist shops, and headed towards a little building that didn't look like much of anything, we he pulled me towards the open door.

I soon found myself in a world that was 94 years ago. The walls were covered with photos of farmland, and dirt roads. The plaques underneath them read "Scottsdale, Arizona
Arizona(air-i'-ZON-u')

The State of Arizona comprises the extreme south-western portion of the United States. It is bounded on the north by Utah, on the east by New Mexico, on the south by Mexico, and on the west by California and Nevada.

." It was hardly recognizable from what stood outside the door. We walked slowly through the little museum, taking in the fact that we were standing in what was once the only schoolhouse in the area. A replica of a circa 1910 classroom was perfectly constructed, as well as an old style kitchen and living room. Behind glass cases were old school shirts, band uniforms, plaques and photos of students. Once we were done taking photos of everything, we went to our truck, and back towards Phoenix.

Unknown to me, we were headed back into a world I didn't even know existed. I was still entrapped in the little red schoolhouse, and the vital part of southwest history it held, when we pulled up to the Pueblo Grande Museum.

We entered the building, and went straight into a photography exhibit, containing photos that have appeared in the infamous "Arizona
Arizona(air-i'-ZON-u')

The State of Arizona comprises the extreme south-western portion of the United States. It is bounded on the north by Utah, on the east by New Mexico, on the south by Mexico, and on the west by California and Nevada.

Highways" magazine. The photos were stunning, and one in particular left me feeling dizzy, as though I was standing on the cliff of the canyon with the photographer. We headed into the next exhibit, entitled "The Hohokam
Hohokam(HO-ho-ko'm)

The prehistoric Hohokam people lived in central and southern Arizona from about AD 1 to 1450. Drought, floods and perhaps internal strife, forced the Hohokam to abandon the Salt River Valley in the fifteenth century. When Spanish explorers arrived in the sixteenth century, they found the Hohokam villages in ruins. However, they also found thriving villages of Akimel O'odham (Pima) natives, who claim to be descendents of the Hohokam.

: The Land and the People". This exhibit was truly a world in itself, covering every aspect of the Hohokam
Hohokam(HO-ho-ko'm)

The prehistoric Hohokam people lived in central and southern Arizona from about AD 1 to 1450. Drought, floods and perhaps internal strife, forced the Hohokam to abandon the Salt River Valley in the fifteenth century. When Spanish explorers arrived in the sixteenth century, they found the Hohokam villages in ruins. However, they also found thriving villages of Akimel O'odham (Pima) natives, who claim to be descendents of the Hohokam.

life, from petroglyphs, to weapons, to furniture.

Once we were done with this exhibit, we began our journey through the main feature at the Pueblo Grande Museum
Pueblo Grande Museum(PWE'-blo GRO'N-da myu-ZE-u'm)

Pueblo Grande Museum is located at a 1,500 year-old Hohokam village ruins in modern day Phoenix. For over 70 years the museum has been dedicated to the study and interpretation of the Hohokam culture.

. The outdoor trail that went around and into the ruins dates back to over 800 years ago. I began the trail, and suddenly giggled to myself at my ignorance. In the midst of a busy Phoenix afternoon, with an interstate nearby, and overhead planes, there I stood, in a place that held more history than I've ever seen. A calm sense of history amongst the hustle and bustle of one of the country's fastest growing cities. Markers all along the trails explain what each room was used for, including the head of the compound's living space, to a ceremonial platform. We walked the path, and imagined all of the people that used this ruin as a home.

Once we reached the end, we headed towards the adobe structures that were located at the far back end of the park. Standing there were structures designed to be replicas of the Hohokam
Hohokam(HO-ho-ko'm)

The prehistoric Hohokam people lived in central and southern Arizona from about AD 1 to 1450. Drought, floods and perhaps internal strife, forced the Hohokam to abandon the Salt River Valley in the fifteenth century. When Spanish explorers arrived in the sixteenth century, they found the Hohokam villages in ruins. However, they also found thriving villages of Akimel O'odham (Pima) natives, who claim to be descendents of the Hohokam.

houses. We were able to enter some of the abode houses to get a better feel as to what the life was like for them. Keeping on the trail, we ended up at what we were told was a ball court. It is speculated that this was created for sporting events, or ceremonies. Pressing on, we came to what was most impressive. The Hohokam
Hohokam(HO-ho-ko'm)

The prehistoric Hohokam people lived in central and southern Arizona from about AD 1 to 1450. Drought, floods and perhaps internal strife, forced the Hohokam to abandon the Salt River Valley in the fifteenth century. When Spanish explorers arrived in the sixteenth century, they found the Hohokam villages in ruins. However, they also found thriving villages of Akimel O'odham (Pima) natives, who claim to be descendents of the Hohokam.

agriculture system. Irrigation channels were dug for miles, to bring water to their fields, so that they would grow their grains.

Our tour ended, and with a final thought. No one knows what really happened to the Hohokam
Hohokam(HO-ho-ko'm)

The prehistoric Hohokam people lived in central and southern Arizona from about AD 1 to 1450. Drought, floods and perhaps internal strife, forced the Hohokam to abandon the Salt River Valley in the fifteenth century. When Spanish explorers arrived in the sixteenth century, they found the Hohokam villages in ruins. However, they also found thriving villages of Akimel O'odham (Pima) natives, who claim to be descendents of the Hohokam.

. Speculations are that drought, flood or internal problems forced them to leave the ruins. A sadness filled me as I waked through the gates, and back into the main building. An entire culture, gone. A gap in Southwestern history.

It forces me to look at Southwestern life in a different view. There is so much more to this place than burritos and cactus. More to this than Tombstone and the Grand Canyon
Grand Canyon(gra'nd KA'N-yu'n)

Located entirely in northern Arizona, the park encompasses 277 miles of the Colorado River and adjacent uplands. One of the most spectacular examples of erosion anywhere in the world, Grand Canyon is unmatched in the incomparable vistas it offers to visitors on the rim.

. Every place has a story, and we've only scratched the surface.

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