Pueblo Grande Museum and Archaeological Park

Phoenix parks aren't just about grass. One of the best city parks in town features a building erected in 1935 to house the then-decade-old Pueblo Grande Museum and adjacent park. According to city staff, during the Great Depression, Phoenix's archaeologists used to love to brag that the city only had to pay for a box of nails — the rest of the materials for the adobe were scavenged. Today, you'll see signs of ingenuity from much further back in time — and more recently, too. Scientists and historians estimate that the Hohokam settled in the Valley of the Sun before 500 A.D., and by 750 had everything from houses to cemeteries. Pueblo Grande gives visitors a glimpse into the awesomeness that were the Hohokam, whose actual name is lost to history. No one knows what they called themselves or what they dreamed about while not digging canal ditches, but these were some of the hardiest, most ingenious people ever to have lived. What we do know is that while Euro-migrants have been at this Sonoran Desert-living thing for a couple of hundred years, the Hohokam plowed the ground here for 1,000 years before vanishing for reasons that are still mysterious. You can put your hands on remnants of their civilization at the museum and park, which features an "interpretative agricultural garden" with cotton, corn, and other crops grown way back when. If you haven't been here yet, you don't know your home's history.

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