Agua Agua Historia Hohokam Legacy: Desert Canals

Hohokam Legacy: Desert Canals

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Visitors to the Salt River Valley are often surprised to discover a fertile agricultural region flourishing in the arid Arizona desert. However, these modern agricultural achievements are not without precedent. From A.D. 600 to 1450, the prehistoric Hohokam constructed one of the largest and most sophisticated irrigation networks ever created using preindustrial technology. By A.D. 1200, hundreds of miles of these waterways created green paths winding out from the Salt and Gila Rivers, dotted with large platform mounds. The remains of the ancient canals, lying beneath the streets of metropolitan Phoenix, are currently receiving greater attention from local archaeologists. We are only now beginning to understand the engineering, growth, and operation of the Hohokam irrigation systems. This information provides new insights into the Hohokam lifestyles and the organization of Hohokam society.

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