Who were the ancestral Sonoran Desert people? Archeological evidence suggests they may have descended from an earlier hunting and gathering “Archaic” culture that began in this area around 5,500 B.C.E. Over time, as the area grew hotter and drier, wild plants and animals became less abundant.   

This is an artist's depiction of the Casa Grande ('Great House') and its surrounding compound as it may have appeared around 1350 C.E. One of the largest prehistoric structures ever built in North America, its purpose remains a mystery.

Archeologists have discovered evidence that the ancestral Sonoran Desert people who built the Casa Grande also developed wide-scale irrigation farming and extensive trade connections which lasted over a thousand years until about 1450 C.E. Archeologists call a site where there are earthen buildings, red on buff pottery, and extensive canals 'Hohokam' but this is not the name of a tribe or a people. Years of misunderstanding have confused the ancestors of the O'Odham, Hopi, and Zuni people with the name Hohokam, which is not a word in any of their languages nor the name of a separate people.

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Founded: 1300's
Category: Prehistoric and archaeological sites in United States

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Mary Thompson (12 months ago)
Great if you are interested in the native people of the area. Been here many times and still love it. It would be better if Covid19 hadn't shown up!
Natascha Dennee (12 months ago)
Wow! What a beautiful monument. Definitely worth the trip. The informative signs and audio were very interesting and the ruin was beautiful! I don't have words for seeing it up close and personal.
Justin Brown (14 months ago)
Worth the short drive down from Phoenix area. Arrived early in the day to little traffic.
Jennifer Faux - Campbell (14 months ago)
Great place to visit during the pandemic. We were the only people present the day we went. Plus, they have a one-way pass on the trails to protect visitors. The information building was closed, but they still have information about the site posted on the trails. My 2 year old enjoyed wandering the trials. We had a great time.
Jose Maqueda (14 months ago)
I visited the ruins twice in 2019. During those two times I didn't experience anything negative. There was ample parking. Although, the only shaded spots were near trees. The national monument doesn't charge entrance fees, which is fantastic. In the main building there's a nice exhibit that details the history and facts about the surrounding area. The ruins are located outside. There's a nice paved path to walk on. This national monument is highly recommend, especially because it's free.
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