In The Cavity of a Rock

In The Cavity of a Rock
Father Lehi

Saturday, May 4, 2013

More Mesoamerican Influence in Hohokam Society (Casa Grande Arizona)

The Big House (Casa Grande) in Casa Grande, AZ
Hohokam 1350AD
Here are a few pictures form my families recent visit to some more ruins found in Casa Grande, AZ.  This is known as the "Big House" or "Casa Grande".  The ruins here date to around 1300-1400 AD.  Some date back earlier such as the unexcavated ball court which dates back to 900 AD.  Inside the ball court they found a ball but many of these ancient rubber balls have been found.  These ball courts differ in size at most locations. Although this one is unexcavated it is easy to see it is a bit smaller than the one at Pueblo Grande Museum in Phoenix although similar in shape.  In between these two is a larger square ball court much more reminiscent of the Mayan and Aztec ball courts.  This is the Snaketown ball court that was reburied shortly after excavation on the Gila River Reservation.  The last picture is a piece of shell artwork used in a bracelet that is a snake and bird which archaeologists state may have been influenced by the art from the Southern Mesoamerican tribes (the Mayans).  The purpose of these last two blog posts is to show that the direction of migration made by many of the civilizations found in Mesoamerica (mainly the Mayans) was to relocate to the north.  This is consistent with what the Book of Mormon teaches of the various groups that migrated north (Helaman 3:3,7)

3. And it came to pass in the forty and sixth, yeah , there was much contention and many dissensions; in the which there were an exceedingly great many who departed out of the land of Zarahemla, and went forth unto the land northward to inherit the land.

7. And there being but little timber upon the face of the land, nevertheless the people who went forth became exceedingly expert in the working of cement; therefore they did build houses of cement, in the which they did dwell.

Thus we see that the Pueblo people (the Hohokam and Anasazi) were more than likely ancestors of those Nephite/Lamanite people who migrated northward.  This also matches with many of the migration stories held by the tribes still in the American Southwest today. The use of cement or what is known as caliche (cuh-LEE-chee), a concrete like mix of sand, clay and calcium carbonate (limestone) was used to build whole permanent settlements throughout the southwestern Sonoran desert.  The book of Helaman in the Book of Mormon also speaks about the use of wood.  I took over 200 cedar and other types of trees that were carried from more than 60 miles away used to make the roofs of the Big House.

Casa Grande Hohokam Ruins

Me in front of the west side of Casa Grande

Unexcavated ball court at Casa Grande that dates to 900 AD.
There was a ball found in this court when first discovered.

Mesoamerican influence on shell fragments for bracelet.