Archaeologist analyzing pottery, courtesy of Archaeology Southwest
The El Paso Museum of Archaeology's "The Pieces of the Puzzle" exhibit tour, led by archaeology curator George Maloof, shows how crime scene investigators and archaeologists use similar techniques focusing on minute details to figure out what happened in the past. The lives of the people of the ancient Hohokam culture of southern Arizona become more real through their jewelry, painted food serving bowls, paint pallets, axes, “cloud blowers” and other objects on display. The Hohokam are famous for their massive agricultural irrigation canal system, the largest in the prehistoric Americas. For all their accomplishments, this ancient culture puzzles archaeologists because over time they expanded in population and then, about 550 years ago, suffered a major population decline. Visitors are invited to follow the clues on this tour and try to solve the puzzle of this ancient culture.
Two speakers in January will explore the ancient Hohokam culture and the Pieces of the Puzzle exhibit in more depth with PowerPoint presentations. On Sat. Jan. 18, 2:00 to 3:30 pm, Dr. Jerry Howard discusses the Ancient Engineers of the Salt River Valley of Arizona. On Sat. Jan. 25, 2:00 to 3:30 pm, Dr. Jeff Clark presents Migrants and Mounds: Late Precontact Archaeology of the San Pedro Valley of Southeast Arizona. Both of these programs are free. On Sat. Feb. 1, 2:00 to 3:00 pm, curator of education Marilyn Guida will give another free tour of the Pieces of the Puzzle exhibit which is on view through Feb. 8, 2014.