April 8, 2012

SandBoxBlogs: Durango Telegraph "Digging deeper with the Hohokam"

Jim Mimiaga:
"Everyone has heard of the Anasazi, the intrepid Native American people who flourished between 500 A.D. - 1200 A.D. in the cliff dwellings of Mesa Verde and Chaco Canyon.
But who’s heard of the Hohokam? These southern neighbors predate our trademark Anasazi (now called Ancestral Puebloan), and new proof shows both cultures intermingled, sharing different skills, maybe playing an ancient ball game and surely swapping recipes for venison stew.

Now visitors can travel back in time to a pre-colonial block party at the Anasazi Hertiage Center’s newest exhibit, “Pieces of the Puzzle: New Perspectives on the Hohokam,” on display through Oct. 31.

The Hohokam (pronounced he-ho-kem) occupied what is now central and southern Arizona and are known for their impressive irrigation works, mysterious ball courts and unique pottery and jewelry skills.

Little is known about this ancient Southwest culture as much of it was, and still is, buried beneath the pavement and urbanization of Phoenix, the population center of the Hohokam. But since more intense study began in the 1980s, a fascinating story has emerged, including a link to the Anasazi of the Four Corners..."
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