About the author, Andy Ward
I became interested in prehistoric cultures of the Southwest as a young child while growing up in Southeast Arizona. I spent a lot of time in the mountains and deserts near my home as a kid and saw a lots of artifacts, ruins and petroglyphs. As I grew older my best friend and I spent all our free time exploring ruins, pouring over books and discussing what had happened to the people who once lived here.
By the time I was in my early twenties I was helping real archeologists locate resources on the ground and asking questions of leaders in the field. My friend went on to study archeology at NAU, while I, not being too inclined towards school, perfected the art of recreating prehistoric pottery types and had a family.
So my qualifications in this area have nothing to do with education, but lots of experience, reading, study and practice. I can hold a relatively intelligent conversation on the subject of Southwest prehistory with an archaeologist, have read everything I can get my hands on about it, and posses a wealth of on the ground knowledge of just about every corner of Southeastern Arizona.
About this blog
In my opinion, the biggest question in Southwestern archaeology is this. Around 1400 there were large pueblos all over Central and Southern Arizona and stretching into Northern Mexico. When Coronado arrived 140 years later they were all abandoned, the pueblo in this area that Coronado mentions visiting is described as a roofless ruin and the people that live in the area are described as “the most barbarous people that have yet been seen”. So what happened to these pueblos? The cultures that we call Hohokam, Mogollon and Salado just completely vanished from the map during that critical 140 years. Through this blog I hope to explore that era, try out some different theories and get some different people’s feedback on this subject.
About the name
Palatkwapi is a village in Hopi legend where some of their clans came from, it was somewhere to the south of the Hopi pueblos and the name means red house. Is it possible that Palatkwapi (Red House) and Chichilticalli (Red House) are one and the same?
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