On Friday, we visited Pueblo Grande and Casa Grande. I have never had any interest in archaeology, but the day nevertheless gave me a greater appreciation for the field of study. I must also admit that having prior knowledge about the Hohokam made the remains much more meaningful.
At Pueblo Grande, I got my first direct glimpse of the Hohokam people and their ways of life. (On a somewhat related note, I also got my first dose of the reality known as the Arizona climate). It is truly amazing to me that a group of people prospered for many years in the suffocating heat and bright sun. ( If I had to guess, I would say that they probably did not have sunglasses). Even more remarkable to me is that the Hohokam could utilize the land for farming without many of the modern technologies we take for granted, such as GMO’s, synthetical fertilizer, industrial machinery, etc.
Both Pueblo Grande and Casa Grande offered impressive architecture. The mound at Pueblo Grande had a variety of sections, each serving a different purpose. As we walked through the ruins, I imagined all of the people who came before me and did what was necessary for their survival and prosperity. Many people just do not realize that societies such as these were quite organized and complex. Casa Grande, pictured above, really was a “grand house.” The two things that stick out to me are its height and its engineering. I wonder how much engineering the Hohokam knew. On a similar note, I also think about whether the society strategically built the building, using a basic understanding of statics and the laws of physics for example, or if they just knew that the materials would keep the structure in tact.
While Friday was not as thrilling for me as it was for a certain other person, (not going to name names, but willing to say that he carried around archeological sticks) Pueblo Grande and Casa Grande thoroughly impressed me.