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The Pueblo Grande Platform Mound

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The Pueblo Grande Platform Mound is a prehistoric Hohokam village. Archaeologists believe the Hohokam established the Pueblo Grande Platform Mound sometime before A.D. 500. At this time in history, evidence shows larger towns than ever before. “Mound construction is significant in a way that a system must have established that consisted of political organizations that included hundreds of workers and laborers.” One can view the platform mounds as a redefinition of social systems and community. In addition, the well-being of the entire community is dependent on consistent thriving maintenance and operation of the system.

If one closely observes the construction of the Pueblo Grande Platform Mound, he or she was view the construction as complex for that period of time. A variety of materials accompanied the sure virtuosity of the mound constructed. Most of the materials available in this time frame were stone, earth, and water. “The total volume [of the mound] estimate[d] is 450,000 cubic feet. Eighteen percent of that is 81,000 cubic feet, the amount of stone. The remaining 82 percent is earthen fill; a combination of soil, ashes, ceramics pieces, and the small stones and gravels found in the local soil.” The fill material was treated as adobe; 110,700 cubic feet of water was added to ensure hardening of the fill material. Although the Hohokam used stone, archaeologists stated that it was unique and unusual. Other materials used in the construction of the mound included river cobbles, chunks of hardened caliche and granite, and sandstone blocks. The entire perimeter of the mound has a three to four feet thick stone retaining wall. The actual platform mound size was 300 x 100 x 15 feet, therefore; a volume estimate of 450,000 cubic feet was established. The walls of the mound were built to hold dirt and trash which served as “cells” and these cells served as a foundation for plastered floors rather than to enclose actual rooms. The corner door of the mound was built to face the northeast. In addition, another doorway was built in the middle of the south wall.

At sunrise, on the summer solstice, and sunset on winter solstice on alignment occurs. During these two days, a shaft of light stretches from one doorway to the other doorway signaling midpoints of solar annual cycle. Also, the corner doorway lines up with a hole-in-rock. This was a natural feature in the Papago Buttes to the northeast, which may have served as a prehistoric astronomical observatory. The doorway served as a calendar for the Hohokam, which was

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