Saturday, February 12, 2011

Casa Grande Ruins National Monument

 Today we are at the Casa Grande Ruins for a two day music festival.  This is a small park in Coolidge, Az., 60 miles SE. of Phoenix.

The park was created as the nation’s first archeological reserve in 1892 and was declared a National Monument in 1918.

There is a very nice museum here that showcases the ancient Sonoran Desert People that lived here in what was basically a farming community.

This site is in the Gila Valley near the Gila and Salt rivers and was developed by the Hohokam People around 1350 AD.  This was a permanent settlement with water diverted from the rivers through vast systems of irrigation canals.  It was abandoned sometime in the 1400s and was only a shell when it was rediscovered by missionaries in 1694. 

The ruins are made of caliche (cuh-LEE-chee), a naturally occuring  concrete-like soil consisting of sand, clay and calcium carbonate(limestone) found in the Southwest Deserts.

 We enjoyed our lunch of Indian Tacos, which we have tasted here before on a previous visit several years ago.

We went to bed early tonight so we would not be late for tomorrow’s music and dance programs.

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