Arizona Museum of Natural History, Phoenix
Fast Facts




53 N. MacDonald
Mesa, Arizona 85211
+1 (480) 644 2230
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Kids "star" in the made-in-Arizona movie, AZ Museum of Natural History


Photo by Arizona Museum of Natural History

The Arizona Museum of Natural History is a great place to learn about prehistoric Arizona. Discover Paleozoic seas and a Triassic petrified forest. Marvel at what Arizona once looked like. View some of the largest dinosaurs to have roamed the earth. Learn about North America's first inhabitants, Paleoindian hunter and gatherers, and Arizona's first settlers, the Hohokam people. Travel from Spanish colonial times to statehood and discover fun facts about Arizona.
The Hohokam
A Hohokam Pit House

A Hohokam Pit House

AZ Museum of Natural History

The Hohokam people inhabited what is now south-central Arizona from 300 to 1450 AD. They migrated north from the area known today as Mexico. They settled in villages next to rivers, streams and springs from Flagstaff south to the Mexican border and from Gila Bend east to Globe. They built canals to irrigate their crops of corn, beans, squash, and cotton. They hunted game, fished and gathered clams. They made flour, cakes and jam from the fruit, pulp and seeds of cacti. The Hohokam made red coil pottery and clay figurines. They traded pottery and cloth for seashells and copper bells. The first Hohokam homes were pit houses or shallow dwellings built partially below ground. By 1150, they lived in adobe-walled compounds. The Hohokam played a ballgame in a sunken open-air court called a ballcourt. They conducted rituals in flat-topped structures called platform mounds. The Hohokam made petroglyphs but didn't have a form of writing.
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