Was it a Catastrophe...

Archaeologists used to believe that Hohokam population decline happened quickly and was caused by some type of catastrophe, such as flooding, disease, or warfare.

…or was it Coalescence?

If population decline did not result from a single catastrophe, understanding why it happened is more complicated. Archaeologists now believe the region experienced a gradual, centuries-long process of population decline. Archaeology Southwest researchers explain this region-wide decline through the Coalescent Communities model.

Gradual Population Decline: The Coalescent Communities Model

Artist's conception of a Hohokam community being flooded by the Salt River in the Phoenix Basin ca. AD 1400. Illustration by Michael Hampshire.

Assembling the puzzle to see the big picture

Now that we have four pieces of the puzzle, we can put them together to finally see how they create a new perspective on what happened to the Hohokam archaeological culture.

Puzzle Piece 5

This online exhibit was created in partnership with Pueblo Grande Museum, and is made possible by grants from the National Science Foundation.

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