Andy Ward
traditional SW pottery


About the author, Andy Ward

I became interested in prehistoric cultures of the Southwest while growing up in southeast Arizona. I spent a lot of time in the mountains and deserts of this region as a kid and saw a lots of artifacts, ruins and petroglyphs. As I grew older I spent much of my time exploring ruins, poring over books and thinking about what had happened to the people who once lived here.

By the time I reached my early twenties I was helping archeologists locate resources on the ground and asking questions of leaders in the field. Some of my friends went on to study archeology in college, while I, not being too inclined towards school, perfected the art of recreating prehistoric pottery types and raised a family.

I spent most of the decade of the 90s working as a fire fighter for the Coronado National Forest, between that job and hunting camping and hiking trips taken in my free time, I became intimately familiar with just about every corner of southeastern Arizona.

About this blog

Around 1400 there were large pueblos all over Central and Southern Arizona and stretching into Northern Mexico, what I refer to as Southern Pueblo Culture, Casa Grande to Casas Grandes. When Coronado arrived 140 years later they were all abandoned, the pueblo in this area that Coronado mentions visiting is described as a roofless ruin and the people that live in the area are described as “the most barbarous people that have yet been seen”. So what happened to Southern Pueblo Culture? The cultures that archaeologists call Hohokam, Mogollon, Salado and Casas Grandes just completely vanished from the map during that critical 140 years. Through this blog I hope to explore that era, try out some different theories and get some different people’s feedback on this subject.

About the name

Palatkwapi is a village in Hopi legend where some of their clans came from, it was somewhere to the south of the Hopi pueblos and the name means red house. Is it possible that Palatkwapi (Red House) and Chichilticalli (Red House) are one and the same?