Visiting the museum at Pueblo Grande was a fantastic place to begin our Tohono O’odham excursion; I mean, what better place to start than the beginning? It was fascinating to get a glimpse into the life and culture surrounding the Hohokam tribe and to learn about their great successes and eventual decline. It was even more interesting being able to walk the same grounds upon which this historic civilization once lived. Seeing first hand the results of the hours upon hours of physical labor that the Hohokam people had to have put into their architecture, agriculture, and irrigation was truly remarkable and deserving of the utmost appreciation. However, even with the intrigue that comes from learning about these people, it was hard to avoid a certain sense of sadness seeing how marginalized the archaeological sight was.
What was once over one square mile of Hohokam lands was now reduced to one, undermanned museum area that stretched for barely a percent of what it once was. Where homes, burial sites, and trade centers of these historic people once stood now is the home of commercial buildings, highways, and antiquated railroads. It was nearly impossible to to look anywhere on the protected site without being reminded of the rapid urbanization that has covered most of the once nature-centered civilization. To me, visiting Pueblo Grande, while fascinating and worthwhile, was a reminder that urbanization is not always positive and that more effort has to be put into the conservation of our historic sites.