First there was the river and the land-the Gila River that wound westward across south-central Arizona and the surprisingly fertile Sonoran Desert. Some 6,000 years ago, various cultural groups collectively labeled the Archaic peoples, who lived by hunting and gathering along the river’s banks and adjoining up land terrain, wandered into this realm.
Circa 300 B.C., these early inhabitants were joined by peoples from central Mexico, transformed by concepts and technology introduced from the south. From this merger arose the Hohokam (or Huhukam) people-our ancestors-who conducted trade over great distances and became superb farmers. Fed by waters of the Gila River, they constructed some