Before Walled Compounds

artist conception of ancestral people working
Robert Ciaccio artwork, part of the wayside image

Commissioned art with restricted use

About 4,100 years ago, people in southern Arizona began to grow corn. Over time more and more crops were introduced by trade. People became more settled and lived in the same place for longer periods of time.

They built earthen homes called pithouses and began to dig canals to water their fields. Some 1,500 years ago, larger villages began to appear in southern Arizona. Around 800 years ago people here began to build not only pithouses, but above-ground buildings and walled compounds like the ruins you see before you today.

Ancient Grains, Ancient Technologies

The corn you see here closely resembles the ancient maize grown in the Southwest 1,500 years ago. Baskets made harvesting crops easier. People used stone tools to grind grains. Pottery helped store and protect food and seeds from pests.

Back - Next


A PDF of the wayside (16,909 KB) is available.


Last updated: April 6, 2020

Park footer

Contact Info

Mailing Address:

1100 W. Ruins Drive
Coolidge, AZ 85128


520 723-3172
General park contact number includes a phone tree for finding the employee you wish to contact. Callers may dial zero for the phone attendant. Voicemail is available for many of the extensions.

Contact Us