Monday, June 27, 2016

Globe, Arizona, park showcases ancient Indian ruins

Besh Ba Gowah Archeological Park
Besh Ba Gowah is one of the more significant archeological finds of the Desert Southwest. The ruins were constructed by Native Americans at least eight centuries ago.

The people who built the 164-room stone structure were originally known as Hohokams, the same tribe that built an amazing irrigation system in 300 BC in Casa Grande, Arizona. The Globe, Arizona, Hohokams assimilated other native cultures into theirs so much so they lost their Hohokam identify. For lack of anything better, archeologists called them Salados. The Salados traded far and wide, often with tribes as far as a thousand miles away.  A collection of the Pacific Coast seashells they traded for can be seen at the on-site museum.

The Salados built a warren of rooms and buildings; some of the buildings were two stories high. Two of these buildings have been restored. Stones for the complex were hauled from nearby Pinal Creek. Except for the restored buildings, the remaining walls aren’t very high. Doorways are only a couple of feet high. Some of the rooms are small, while others are bigger. They were used as living quarters and for storage, among other uses. Today, some of the rooms are filled with wildflowers and cactus, rather than home furnishings, some of which you can see at the museum.

Globe was founded around 1875 as a mining camp. This resulted in the Apaches giving the place the name of Besh Ba Gowah, which translates as “metal camp.”

The Salados disappeared from Besh Ba Gowah around 1400 AD, about 50 years before the Hohokams disappeared from Casa Grande.

The on-site museum is small, but excellent. A 140minute video provides an introduction to the site. The museum displays artifacts, such as highly decorative pottery, found in the ruins. It also has a replica of what the ruins might have looked like when they were used by the Salados.

The City of Globe operates the museum and archeological park today. The museum is open daily from 9 a.m. to 4:30 p.m.; it is closed Thanksgiving, Christmas and New Year’s Day.  It’s located at 1324 South Jesse Hayes Road. Turn onto Saguaro Drive from Highway 60. Stay on the winding round for about 1.4 miles, then make a right turn onto Jesse Hays Road and follow the signs. There’s a city park with picnic facilities across the parking lot from the ruins.
See more pictures of Besh Ba Gowah on mty YouTube channel.
Besh Ba Gowah ruins as they might have looked originally

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