There is no better place to start your ancient journey than at the internationally famous Heard Museum. Feast your eyes on ancestral and contemporary arts and cultural artifacts woven into the story of the ancient peoples of the region. Learn the timeline of the ancient cultures, hear the pieces speak through their creators and appreciate the more recent contributions of today's tribes. The focus here is on delivering an accurate portrayal of the cultures, both old and new and a visit here will help put the rest of the trip into perspective.
Your first visit to ancient ruins is right in Phoenix, where a 1,500 year old Hohokam Village spreads over 102 acres. At the Pueblo Grand Museum, begin you visit with the exhibit titled "The Hohokam: The Land and the People for a full introduction, before hitting the trail through Doorways to the Past: Hohokam Houses along the Ruins Trail and Dig IT, where you can explore the archeology of the site.
Traveling outside Phoenix as you begin to approach Casa Grande Ruins National Monument, you'll see the Great House in the distance surrounded by the architectural structure created to preserve the ruins from the harsh desert. The structure was once a part of Hohokam settlements scattered along the Gila River in the 14th century. It is thought that Casa Grande served as an astronomical observatory since the four walls face the points of a compass and the windows aligned with positions of the sun and moon. As at so many sites, the structures were surrounded by a Hohokam farming village.