This present-day name given to the prehistoric occupants of central and southern Arizona applies to those who lived here between about the year 0 and 1450 CE (current era).  It comes from the Pima Indian (Akimel O'odham) word for "those who have gone" or "all used up".
   The Hohokam engineered an amazing system of irrigation canals and villages, turning the desert valleys into fertile centers of civilization.  They traded with Mesoamerican civilizations (like the Aztecs) and surrounding Native American cultures, and developed beautiful pottery, ornamentation, and elaborate rituals.
   Although they mysteriously disappeared around 1450 CE (among their descendants are thought to be the above-mentioned Pima Indians), they set the stage for the development of modern-day Phoenix.
   When white settlers from the expanding United States arrived in the Valley of the Sun in the nineteenth century, they realized that they had an easy time in trying to develop an agricultural base.  All they had to do was to clean out the old Hohokam canals, get them going again, and start farming!
   A modern city then grew from the ruins of the former civilization: Phoenix -- from the name of the mythical bird that rose from ashes, to live again.


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