Mata Ortiz: When?

What is the chronology of this area?

  • 700-1475 AD the Paquimé culture developed.

  • 1200-1400 AD was the height of the Paquimé culture, which was the largest in Puebloan world. In fact, it was bigger than Mesa Verde in Colorado or Chaco Canyon in New Mexico. The “City” was 80 acres, located on a trade route. They dug wells and irrigation channels. They built ball courts, religious and ceremonial structures, and homes. They raised macaws and turkeys.

  • 1500s The Spanish called the area Casas Grandes, “Big Houses”. In a native language of Mexico, it was called Paquime. Since these people did not write, we do not know what they called themselves.

  • Juan Quezada Celado was born May 6, 1940 in Santa Barbara Tutuaca, Mexico. When Juan was one, his family moved to Mata Ortiz.

  • 1952 Juan discovered his first potsherds from the Paquimé culture.

  • 1953 Juan went into a cave in the mountains and discovered a three-legged stool with an undamaged pot sitting on it.

  • 1958-1961 Charlie De Peso and William Shirley Fulton from the Amerind Foundation worked with the Mexican National Institute of Anthropology to excavate Paquimé.

  • 1976 Anthropologist Spencer MacCallum visited Mata Ortiz and met Juan Quezada and his extended family of brothers, sisters, their children and neighbors.

  • December 2, 1998 UNESCO declared Archeological zone of Paquimé in Casas Grandes a UNESCO World Heritage Site.

  • 1999 Juan Quezada was presented The National Award in Science and Arts by the president of Mexico.