Farther south, Casas Grandes, with its ritual and trading center Paquimé, flourished from AD 1200 to 1450.Macaw parrots, native to the tropical lowlands of southern Mexico, were bred at Paquimé, hub of the precious-feather trade during the 14th and 15th centuries.: Known as mound builders because they buried the dead in large earth mounds, these groups lived in small farming villages, which were likely run by leaders of clans (relatives).The villages grew and became increasingly complex, building trade networks and creating elaborate artwork using materials from as far away as the Gulf of Mexico and the Great Lakes.Ancient stories tie the present-day Pueblo peoples to their origins and ancestral lands, where Native people built and rebuilt stone or adobe dwellings, often occupied them for hundreds of years, and then moved on.The earliest Pueblo material in the museum’s collection, dating to between 550 BC and AD 500, was recovered from caves at Grand Gulch.Three culture areas are featured in this on-line exhibit: Mesoamerica, the Intermediate Area, and the Central Andes.
Other important pieces were collected from Chaco Canyon (AD 800s–1100s), where ancestral Pueblo peoples built large, multistoried masonry buildings, the most impressive of which is Pueblo Bonito. The first to emerge was the extensive site of villages and irrigation canals known as Hohokam (AD 200–1400), a culture regarded as ancestral by the Akimel O´odham and Tohono O´odham of Arizona.
Ceramic sherds (fragments) in our archaeological collections are represented predominantly by materials excavated under controlled conditions from Mesoamerican sites in Veracruz and in the Maya area of Guatemala and Belize.
We also have a surface collection from various sites in Honduras in the Intermediate Area, an important corridor for cultural exchange with cultures to the north and south.
Directly to the south of Ecuador, Peru and highland Bolivia form the area known as the Central Andes.
In the exhibit, Peru and Costa Rica are well represented, but there are also pieces representing many other countries in the three main areas.