Wednesday, November 27, 2013

Big House Bound!

Casa Grande National Park, or Big House in English, is the large ruins of the vanished Hohokam Indian tribe. They used the materials of the desert, saguero cactus ribs, mud, and juniper trees in their construction.


And deer were common delicacies. Brian can tell you more about deer antlers seeings how he's dealt with them previously this year.

Sophie had previously been to Casa Grande when she was 3 months old. Now at almost the age of 5, she got to take her little brother (age 1) and show him around. When we told her she'd been her before, she answered: "Yeah I know. I remembered." We got a good laugh out of it.

The main house is 4 stories made of 3,000 tons of caliche (mixture of sand, clay, limestone) plastered over saguaro ribs and wood from juniper, pine, and fir trees. The four walls align with the four compass points and some of the circular holes in the building align with the setting sun and moon during specific times.

 Although it was built in the desert they created and managed a vast canal systems that diverted water from the rivers. And were able to tap ground water and divert storm run off in large circular drains found around the perimeter of the ruins.

 Other than Casa Grande there were other areas or "rooms" that were once buildings within the Casa Grande complex.

Some storage, others small homes, and another which was a larger home of one of the more wealthy citizens of the Indian tribe.

 The kids LOVED this house, because unlike Casa Grande, they were allowed to roam inside this one. There was a room with a very small door leading to a larger room. The kids had so much fun in there.

 The Hohokam ruins were found in 1694 by the Spanish, but it wouldn't be till 1892 the site became under the protection of the U.S. government as a archaeological reserve. I'm surprised that after so many years they even remembered it's location in the middle of the desert. The archeologists believe that the Hohokam people  began their "Classical Period" there around 1150 CE (or AD), built the Great House in 1350, and then left sometime into the 1400s. Although there is no evidence, they believe it might be weather related because lets be honest... it is a desert out there.

For more information about the Casa Grande Ruins National Monuments, click HERE.

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