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(hō`hōkăm', hōhō`kəm), term denoting the culture of the ancient agricultural populations inhabiting the Salt and Gila river valleys of S Arizona (A.D. 300–1200). They are noted for their extensive irrigation systems, with canals over 10 mi (16 km) long that channeled water to agricultural fields in an otherwise arid and inhospitable environment. Many architectural features of Hohokam settlements, including sunken ball-courts and pyramidal mounds, bear striking similarities to structures common among contemporary populations in central Mexico. Evidence also shows that they maintained extensive trade connections with groups further south, leading to speculation that the Hohokam settlements were founded by Mesoamerican migrants. Most archaeologists agree, however, that Hohokam culture evolved from local archaic antecedents (see Americas, antiquity and prehistory of theAmericas, antiquity and prehistory of the,
study of the origins of the aboriginal peoples of the Americas. Archaeologists believe humans had entered and occupied much of the Americas by the end of the Pleistocene epoch, but the date of their original entry into the Americas is
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). Debate persists regarding the fate of the Hohokam. The region has been inhabited in historical times by the PimaPima
, Native North American tribe of S Arizona. They speak the Pima language of the Uto-Aztecan branch of the Aztec-Tanoan linguistic family (see Native American languages). There are two divisions, the Lower Pima and the Upper Pima.
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 and the Tohono O'OdhamTohono O'Odham
or Papago
, Native North Americans speaking a language that belongs to the Uto-Aztecan branch of the Aztec-Tanoan linguistic stock (see Native American languages) and that is closely related to that of their neighbors, the Pima.
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, although it is not entirely clear that the Hohokam were ancestral to either group.


See E. W. Haury, The Hohokam (1976).

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References in periodicals archive ?
Where the Hohokam went when they disappeared from the archaeological record around 1450, we can only guess.
before them, the early Hohokam gathered acorns and pine nuts from the
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