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Mario Vázquez | profile | all galleries >> México, My Country ... >> Paquimé - Casas Grandes, Chih. tree view | thumbnails | slideshow

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Paquimé - Casas Grandes, Chih.

Located 350 Km to the NW of the state capital of Chihuahua, Paquimé was the center of the Casas Grandes culture in the northern part of México for over 300 years, reaching the peak of its power around the 13th century. It is believed that the population of the city reached 3500. The buildings of Paquimé were constructed of rammed earth (adobe). Many walls were plastered with mud or caliche and painted white or decorated with colored patterns and designs. Inhabitants of the city enjoyed running water and even a sewer system. The "T-door" shape can be recognized sprinkled throughout the ruins. Paquimé contained a ceremonial area, temple structures, a ball court, ceremonial pyramids, and a parrot hatchery. Imported parrots from the tropic were protected from the sun so that the vibrant plumage (used for ceremonial adornment) would not fade. It's a long standing debate as to whether this culture spread north, explaining the vast similarities between Paquimé and the Hohokam and other Southwestern U.S. peoples of this time. Paquimé and Chaco Canyon are lined up longitudinally within 1 kilometer. The remains, only part of which have been excavated, are clear evidence of the vitality of a culture which was perfectly adapted to its physical and economic environment, but which suddenly vanished at the time of the Spanish conquest. Their linguistic and etnical affiliations are ignored.