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The watery secret of historic North America


Nonetheless, Huckleberry says, there’s a lot to be taught from the Hohokam and their ancestors, who utilised canal irrigation for 3,000 years. “That, to me, is the definition of sustainable,” he stated. “They realized the best way to sustainably farm, to handle water, to not destroy their soils in a manner that’s commendable and may give us perception into how we would take care of the present plight. I feel one of many key classes is that you do not put all of your eggs in a single basket; you propose for the worst, and also you diversify your methods.”

The Hohokam might have stopped managing their canal system, however they didn’t disappear. Their story continues with their descendants, the Akimel O’odham (“River Individuals”) and Tohono O’odham (“Desert Individuals”), who stay in central and southern Arizona as we speak.

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Their legacy additionally lives on within the metropolis’s trendy canals, lots of which have been constructed by retracing the Hohokam’s handiwork. The Grand Canal is now getting spruced up as a part of a challenge to attach Phoenix’s east and west suburbs in a steady multi-use path. “Immediately we’re integrating the canals into our communities to enhance neighbourhood entry, add new public artwork areas and contribute to a more healthy Phoenix by introducing them as a leisure amenity,” introduced Phoenix Mayor Kate Gallego in 2020.

The Hohokam’s heritage can be preserved in certainly one of their villages, Pueblo Grande, a museum and archaeological park the place guests can see ballcourts, a platform mound (ceremonial home) and re-created adobe homes. Hikers can seek for Hohokam petroglyphs of coyotes, mountain sheep and spirals alongside the paths of South Mountain Protect and Deer Valley Petroglyph Protect. And travellers can use the A Deeper Map app to swipe proper on a contemporary map of Phoenix and reveal the Hohokam improvements hidden beneath their ft.

However maybe one of many Hohokam’s most vital legacies is much less tangible: the concept that it is doable – via cooperation, dedication and shared information – to stay sustainably on this sun-baked desert.

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Historic Engineering Marvels is a BBC Journey collection that takes inspiration from distinctive architectural concepts or ingenious constructions constructed by previous civilisations and cultures throughout the planet.

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