Thursday, November 29, 2012

Casa Grande Ruins

Yesterday we visited the Casa Grande Ruins, here in Casa Grande AZ.

This structure was discovered in 1694 by Spanish missionaries (who gave it the name) and has baffled archeologists since that time.

It stands four stories high and is 60 feet long, with a platform mound filling the first floor.  It is the largest of the known structures of the Ancestral People of the Sonoran Desert.

It's walls face the four cardinal points of the compass.  A circular hole in the upper west wall aligns with the setting sun at the summer solstice.  Other openings align with the sun and the moon at specific times.  Perhaps people would gather here to study how the positions of celestial objects related to times for planting, harvesting and celebration.

These people were able to hand dig canals allowing irrigation for growing crops.  In areas without year-round streams, they tapped groundwater or diverted storm runoff.

They did more than just survive and created some beautiful and ornately painted pottery, showing that artistry and beauty was just as important as day to day living.

The mysery is to where they went.  The entire civilization seemed to have vanished like dust in the air.  There are many theories on this, including war, famine, drought and flood.  There had been a great flood at one time and that may have destroyed the village.  It seems every civilization has their great flood story.

Another plausible theory is that by irrigating the land they reduced the water table while at the same time increasing population and the land could no longer sustain the numbers of people.

It was an interesting glimpse into a time long ago.

Long Live the Queen of the Desert People


1 comment:

  1. Very interesting. Amazing how super intelligent these people of long ago were. I love your cactus. I'm at work, so gotta run. You have a great day, hugs, Edna B.