Casa Grande Ruins National Monument
Leaving the Superstition Mountains, we made a not-so-bee-line for Tucson, Arizona. In an effort to avoid tiresome highways, we happened across Casa Grande Ruins National Monument. This collection of ancient structures is remarkable for the size of the titular, free standing “Great House.”
The “Great House” is one of the One of the largest prehistoric structures ever built in North America but its exact purpose remains a point of conjecture. What is clear though, is that, at its height (around 1350 C.E.), it was the center of a complex Ancient Sonoran Desert People’s farming community. Remains of complex irrigation canals demonstrate use of advanced farming techniques.
Today, we wandered through the small museum—with artifacts excavated from the ruins—and into the wide open area that was once a hub of activity. While this community was abandoned by its people around 1450 C.E. it continues to draw crowds to this day.