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Mesa Grande Cultural Park

The Hohokam, the ancestors of the Akimel O’odham (Pima), constructed the Mesa Grande temple mound. With walls made from “caliche,” the calcium carbonate hardpan that forms under our desert soils, the mound is longer and wider than a modern football field and is 27 feet high. Construction of the mound began by AD 1100 and continued to at least AD 1400. A large adobe wall encloses the mound and a large plaza in front of the mound. In one corner of the site, volunteers from the Arizona Museum of Natural History constructed a replica of a Hohokam ballcourt, an open-air structure where ballgames were played using a rubber ball made from a local plant. One of two Hohokam “great mounds” in the Salt River Valley, the Mesa Grande mound was a dramatic symbol of the power of this ancient community. The village surrounding the mound once covered over one-half square mile and was home to perhaps two thousand Hohokam. Situated near the headgates of one of the two largest networks of irrigation canals created in the prehistoric New World, the site of Mesa Grande controlled over 27,000 acres of highly productive farmland. Today, the streets, homes and businesses of Mesa, Arizona now cover most of the site. Preservation of the mound is due to the community and volunteer efforts, and to the foresight of the City in acquiring the six-acre property.

Our Welcoming Center opened in January 2011. We are open mid-October to May on WThF from 10am to 2pm and SaSu from 10am to 4pm. Cost for our self guided interpretive trail is $5 for adults and $2 for children ages 3-12. Groups of 15 or more people may call 480-644-3553 and prebook for a discounted rate that includes a tour with an archaeologist. We also offer interactive field trips for schools in or visiting the area!

Mesa grande

Contact Information

1000 N. Date Street
Mesa, Arizona 85201

Phone: (480) 644-3075
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