MOV File
Online Collections


Term Type

Art & Architecture Thesaurus

Preferred Term



Refers to an early culture and style that existed mainly in the Sonoran Desert of what is now central and southern Arizona. The culture is noted for the first use of irrigation by the southwestern farmers, for the establishment of permanent settlements of pit houses and above-ground apartment-like structures, and for distinctive tools and art works, including ornaments and mosaics fashioned of shells imported from the Gulf of California, clay figurines, and pottery, which is gray ware or buff with decoration in iron red. Some experts believe that the Hohokam arrived in the area around 300 BCE, while others place their arrival around 500 CE. Disagreement also exists regarding their origins, which may be either from Mexico or as descendents of the Cochise people. Further disagreement exists regarding whether their descendants are Papago, Pima, and other Southwestern groups, or if the Hohokam moved out of the area in the fifteenth century.


Hohokam culture

Broader Term

Pre-Columbian Southwestern North American styles

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