Archaeological Zone of Paquimé, Casas Grandes

Casas Grandes Travel Blog

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Among the things that Chihuahua has to offer, there is the Archaeological zone of Paquimé, which is located just about half a kilometer away from the city (or town, that's more like it) of Casas Grandes, Chihuahua. It was long inhabited by indigenous people and now it is part of the UNESCO World Heritage List.

The Paquime culture is said to have began as far back as the 700's and they especialized on pottery, which is apparently of better quality than the one you can find today, unfortunately you can only find it in museums. =P Paquime is the largest indentified settlement from this culture so far. The constructions of this site are mainly made out of Adobe with the characteristic of having "T" shaped doors (or entrances, because they didn't use doors).

The zone of Paquime is said to be abandoned by its inhabitants at around 15th century (the Spanish conquest was only until 1540).

The houses of Paquime are semi-subterranean (as much as 1 meter underground). They used to have ceremonial centers which were plastered on both sides, unlike their houses which as I said, are made of Adobe. This culture dedicated themselves to agriculture (and pottery, which may be found all the way up to Arizona) and took advantage of the water that came down from the Sierra.

This culture, eventualy developed a ball game, just like most of the mesoamerican cultures. Also, they expanded their homes or constructions and some of them reached up to four stories high.  Around 1340 the settlement was abandoned by most of its inhabitants and the rest were allegedly murdered by their enemies. This was concluded because of the large quantity of skelentons that were found during the excavations.

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Casas Grandes
photo by: ekthor