National Geographic : 1967 May
grub in the less promising sites of the scorch ing desert to the south. But those who did invariably found clues to the presence of a numerous, gifted, and ancient people. In 1887-88 a colorful explorer, Frank Ham ilton Cushing, led the first organized archeo logical expedition into southern Arizona. He and his diggers collected more than 5,000 Hohokam specimens from the Salt River Val ley near Phoenix. From the ruins he examined, Cushing concluded that the desert had been the home of a "greater if not further advanced ancient population" than the Pueblo people to the north. But American archeology was then a young science, and few diggers realized that a trash dump may be a greater treasure than a tem ple. The Hohokam's story remained buried in their house pits and their humble mounds. Years passed, and to most people south western archeology still meant only one thing: cliff dwellers. Finally, in 1934, Harold S. Glad win, Director of the Gila Pueblo Archaeo logical Foundation, organized a landmark *The emerging story of the Anasazi has been told in NATIONAL GEOGRAPHIC in "Ancient Cliff Dwellers of Mesa Verde," by Don Watson, September, 1948; "Search ing for Cliff Dwellers' Secrets," by Carroll A. Burroughs, November, 1959; and "Solving the Riddles of Wetherill Mesa," by Douglas Osborne, February, 1964. 673 PAINTINGBY PETERV. BIANCHI;KODACHROMEBYHELGATEIWES(C N.G.S . First irrigationists of the Southwest, the Hohokam flood a field with water brought three miles from the Gila River. One man wades in to dam the main canal with a mat of woven fiber; his companion lifts out a similar barrier, diverting water to a side canal. Others lead off the precious flow to irrigate their staple crop, corn. Modern Indian (below), a Pima living near Snaketown, uses the same methods, sometimes following a watercourse laid down by the vanished Hohokam.