What is Paquimé?


One of the Amerind Foundations's signature projects was the excavation at Casas Grandes, also known as Paquimé. The archaeological site is located in northwest Chihuahua, Mexico and was part of the Mogollon culture.


In 1958 the Amerind Foundation and Instituto Nacional de Antroplogía e Historia (INAH) initiated the Joint Casas Grandes Project (1958 - 1961). Paquimé was the center of trade for a large area during its height. It may have been a link of sorts between the cultures of Mesoamerica and the Pueblo cultures of the American Southwest.


It is estimated to contain the remains of some 2,000 rooms in clusters of residential rooms, workshops, and stores. At its peak in the 14th century, Paquimé may have supported a population of up to several thousand.  It was part of the Mogollon culture.


Casas Grandes possessed an elaborate water system. It was comprised of reservoirs connected by channels that distribute water to the various room blocks of the complex. Some canals were also designed to remove waste from the residential areas of the complex. Water was also collected from a large cistern located in the aptly named "House of the Wells".


Macaws and turkeys were kept in pens in several locations throughout Casas Grandes. Macaws were acquired in trade from Mesoamerican peoples further to the south. They were likely used primarily for their colorful feathers.


In 1998 Casas Grandes was designated a UNESCO World Heritage Site.


See the video about this project on the Video page.


The DVD Paquime: An Ancient Town, A Continuing Inspiration describes the project and current thought on the research findings.


Interesting in going?  See the Learn More page.

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