• The Great House at Casa Grande Ruins stands out for miles

    Casa Grande Ruins

    National Monument Arizona

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What is Trade?

Trade occurs when one thing is exchanged for another. Today, we trade money for things. We earn money by trading our time and effort for a paycheck. Then we trade the paycheck for money and the money for things like food and clothing.
 
Hohokam trade routes.
The Hohokam established extensive trade routes.
 

What was exchanged?

The ancient people of the Sonoran Desert didn't have money. Instead, they used items they had created or collected to trade for things they didn’t have. Many things were unavailable in the Sonoran Desert, so they traded extensively throughout the Southwest. From the west, they acquired seashells, either from the Pacific Ocean or the Gulf of California. From the North, they traded for raw materials like obsidian for making arrowheads. And from the south, where Mexico is now located, they traded for copper bells, macaws, parrots, and seeds for their crops.

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Did You Know?

The 'Big House' at Casa Grande National Monument

Casa Grande Ruins National Monument was the first cultural and prehistoric site to be protected by the United States government. It was set aside in 1892 by President Benjamin Harrison.