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Legendary Pueblo Grande Ruins

Entrance to the Pueblo Grande Ruins
Entrance to the Pueblo Grande Ruins
Photo courtesy of Google Images

The Pueblo Grande Museum is located on a 1,500 year old archaeological site left by the Hohokam culture located just minutes from downtown Phoenix. This National Historic Landmark is the largest preserved archaeological site within Phoenix.

Explore the mysteries of the Pueblo Grande Ruins
Photo by Debe Branning

The prehistoric Hohokam culture, created the archaeological structures and items of Pueblo Grande. It is believed that this area was settled around 450 CE. Due to major population movements, among other factors, the site was abandoned by 1450 CE and became a ghost town. It is a mystery to what became of the Hohokam people. It seems as though they suddenly vanished from the face of the Earth.

Pueblo Grande features a large platform mound with retaining walls that was formerly comprised of taller walled structures. This massive structure contains over 20,000 cubic meters (yards) of fill. There were also many dwellings, and at least three ball courts where members from neighboring villages came to trade and compete with each other in early ceremonial games. Construction of the ball courts was begun by 750 CE.

The Hohokam tribe was the first people to practice irrigated agriculture in the area. There are remnants of their irrigation canals at the historic site.

The Pima Indians who now live in the area state that Pueblo Grande was once the home of “Huamanui”, or Yellow Buzzard, the name of a powerful chief.

At sunrise on the summer solstice and sunset on the winter solstice a curious alignment occurs. During these two days, a shaft of light stretches from one doorway to the other in the largest mound, signaling the midpoints of the solar annual cycle. The corner doorway also lines up with the Hole in the Rock, a natural feature in the Papago Buttes to the northeast which may have served as a prehistoric astronomical observatory.

There is a mysterious maze within the compound. There were once restricted entryways and the layout of the rooms make it appear to be a purposeful maze. The maze of rooms and fascinating artifacts lead to speculation. Could this have been where feasts were prepared and secret activities carried out?

Local Native Americans believe this is a very spiritual place and if you are open…and listen closely…you are almost certain to encounter ghosts of the past.

Visitors can venture out on a fully accessible 2/3 mile trail that takes them through a prehistoric Hohokam archaeological village site with a partially excavated platform mound, ball court, and replicated prehistoric houses.

Pueblo Grande Ruins
4619 E Washington Street
Phoenix, AZ 85034

Arizona Haunted Places Examiner: Debe Branning

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