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MARKER DATABASE
“Bite-Size Bits of Local, National, and Global History”
“Bite-Size Bits of Local, National, and Global History”
Mesa in Maricopa County, Arizona — The American Mountains (Southwest)
 

Prehistoric Irrigation in the Salt River Valley

 
 
Prehistoric Irrigation in the Salt River Valley Marker image. Click for full size.
By Bill Kirchner, November 24, 2011
1. Prehistoric Irrigation in the Salt River Valley Marker
Inscription. Approximately 300 B.C. Prehistoric Indians entered the Salt River Valley. They developed an extensive canal system and raised corn, beans, squash, agave and cotton.

Over 500 miles of Hohokam canal have been recorded in the Salt River Valley. Estimates suggest that the canals may have supported between 30,000 and 60,000 people with up to 100,000 acres under cultivation. Some of the canals extended over 12 miles in length. For reasons still unknown, the Hohokam abandoned their canal system and left the valley by 1450 A.D.

In 1878, Mormon Pioneers constructed their first major canal by cleaning out an ancient Hohokam canal. This canal is located West of the cactus garden. The bridge to the playground spans another prehistoric canal. A third ancient canal is located just North of the playground.

The Park of the Canals preserves about 4,500 feet of ancient canals. The National Geographic Society has listed this park as an important site for Native American heritage. The American Society of Civil Engineers has awarded the Hohokam canal system an Award for Excellence in Prehistoric Engineering. This is the first time that an ancient civil engineering project has been so honored. The Park of the Canals is listed as a National Historic site.

Additional information and a map of the park are located
Prehistoric Irrigation in the Salt River Valley Marker image. Click for full size.
By Bill Kirchner, November 24, 2011
2. Prehistoric Irrigation in the Salt River Valley Marker
inside the Brinton Desert Botanical Garden.
 
Location. 33° 26.753′ N, 111° 48.887′ W. Marker is in Mesa, Arizona, in Maricopa County. Marker can be reached from North Horne Avenue 0.4 miles south of East McKellips Road. Touch for map. Marker is in the Park of the Canals. Marker is in this post office area: Mesa AZ 85203, United States of America.
 
Other nearby markers. At least 8 other markers are within 3 miles of this marker, measured as the crow flies. Site of Old Fort Utah (approx. 0.9 miles away); Mesa Grande (approx. 2 miles away); Mesa (approx. 2.1 miles away); Sirrine House (approx. 2.1 miles away); Arizona's Honeymoon Trail (approx. 2.1 miles away); Mesa Pioneer Monument (approx. 2.1 miles away); Mesa Woman's Club House (approx. 2.1 miles away); The Alhambra Hotel (approx. 2.5 miles away). Touch for a list and map of all markers in Mesa.
 
Also see . . .  Hohokam Irrigation. In Mesa, there is "Park of the Canals" which boasts large hand-dug canals that were originally made by the Hohokam, and later deepened by the Mormon settlers. (Submitted on November 27, 2011, by Bill Kirchner of Tucson, Arizona.) 
 
Categories. Bridges & ViaductsMan-Made FeaturesNative Americans
 
Map on Marker image. Click for full size.
By Bill Kirchner, November 24, 2011
3. Map on Marker
Ancient Hohokam Canal image. Click for full size.
By Bill Kirchner, November 24, 2011
4. Ancient Hohokam Canal
This canal is located West of the cactus garden.
Prehistoric Canal image. Click for full size.
By Bill Kirchner, November 24, 2011
5. Prehistoric Canal
The bridge to the playground spans this prehistoric canal.
 
 
Credits. This page was last revised on June 16, 2016. This page originally submitted on November 27, 2011, by Bill Kirchner of Tucson, Arizona. This page has been viewed 795 times since then and 49 times this year. Photos:   1, 2, 3, 4, 5. submitted on November 27, 2011, by Bill Kirchner of Tucson, Arizona. • Syd Whittle was the editor who published this page.
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