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

    Casa Grande Ruins

    National Monument Arizona

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  • Visitor Center Update

    The Visitor Center is OPEN! Major heating/cooling system work is done. Not all artifacts have been returned to display at this time. Once all artifacts are returned- fees return. CURRENTLY no fees or pass sales. Changes due August 26 or so.

Exchanging Goods and Ideas

The ancient Sonoran Desert people exchanged goods and ideas, made long-distance expeditions to procure exotic raw materials, and produced prestige items such as carved shell, for exchange. These activities occurred within the Sonoran Desert culture and with other cultural areas. Interaction with other groups is indicated by the presence of macaws, copper bells, and pottery from sometimes very distant regions.
 
This very large olla was nearly intact when found at Casa Grande Ruins.

NPS Photo


Large pottery vessels were used for water and food storage and for cooking.

When different types of temper were added, a vessel became more porous and acted as an
evaporative cooler, producing chilled water.

This olla was found near the Great House and is 3-ft. tall.

The ancient Sonoran Desert people had to have something to exchange, so they produced and traded large storage jars, pottery with intricate designs, and even jewelry made from seashells. The exchange systems they established reached their maximum extent between AD 800 and 1000, and items they created have been found hundreds of miles from their homeland.


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Did You Know?

A burrowing owl guarding its burrow at Casa Grande Ruins.

Burrowing owls are unique among birds because they nest underground in existing ground squirrel, coyote, and badger burrows. They are also commonly associated with humans and will frequently nest in burrows along irrigation ditches, canals, and even in people’s yards.