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Tour the Valley of the Sun and its GeoScenery.
Take a virtual tour of the Superstition Mountains, near Phoenix, Apache Junction, and Gold Canyon, Arizona.
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Geological History of The Valley of the Sun and the Superstition Mountains, Arizona.
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The Ancient
Hohokam Canal System
in the Valley of the Sun

   Geoarchaeology is a rapidly expanding science, and modification of the Earth by humans does qualify as geology at work (see our FREE GeoStory(TM) called "Rooms with a View" for more on this subject)!  For these reasons we have decided to include this subject in our website.
   The map below the approximate location of canals created by the people during a period beginning about 500 CE (current era) and ending about 1450 CE.  This is roughly equal to the period in European history between the end of the Roman Empire and the "Renaissance".
   Phoenix and its suburbs of Scottsdale, Glendale, Tempe, Chandler, and Mesa now occupy this site -- once one of the greatest centers of prehistoric civilization in North America.  By some estimates, up to 50,000 people then lived here!   Probably nowhere north of the Valley of Mexico (Teotihuacan / Tenochtitlan) was as populous at the time.
   A few major archaeological sites are also shown, including the big one preserved today at Pueblo Grande Museum.
   Names in BRIGHT RED are active links to more information.  Please use our GeoScenery Map to compare the ancient locations to present-day features.
   There is little evidence of the old canals today, but many of the working canals running through modern day Phoenix were originally based on the Hohokam system.

The Hohokam people built this "platform mound" more than six centuries ago!
Pueblo Grande Ruins

   You can email this page to your friends if you like, and you can toggle between this map and a modern day map, where you can also see the names of the mountain ranges and other features.  That map is at the same scale as this one.

  If you like rocks, gems,

geology, hiking,
& stars in the sky,



  You can see more about the Grotto on  Camelback Mountain, in the Camelback sequence of eight views.

  Another of the photo sequences from the GeoScenery section of this website shows an ancient Hohokam Solar Observatory on Shaw Butte.

  You can also read a short GeoStory(TM) about those ruins as well as some modern day ones in "Rooms with a View".
  It is in PDF format, so you can print it off easily if you like.

  If you like those stories, there are other in the GeoStories section.

  Also, see the GeoArt page for views of ancient rock art.

  You can also join us for an actual tour specializing in local archaeology and geology!

The Ancient Hohokam Canals of Phoenix and Tempe.

   The map above is based on work done by Omar Turney in 1929.  According to him, the system encompassed "the largest single body of land irrigated in prehistoric times in North or South America, and perhaps in the world".  The system utilized at least 1000 miles (1600 km) of canals and irrigated over 100,000 acres (40,470 hectares) of land.
   The area shown measures about 50 miles (80 km) West to East, by 40 miles (64km) North to South, and encompasses approximately 2000 square miles (5200 km).  The scale is the same as the map of the Rock Formations of the Valley of the Sun.

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