Dicke, Robert J. (ed.) / Transactions of the Wisconsin Academy of Sciences, Arts and Letters
volume XLIV (1955)
McCabe, Robert A.
The prehistoric engineer-farmers of Chihuahua, pp. 75-90 PDF (6.1 MB)
76 Wisconsin Academy of Sciences, Arts and Letters [Vol. 44 city of Aztalan to Anh~iuac in south Mexico. En route they supposedly stopped at three places: Zuni in New Mexico, in the Gila valley in Arizona, and at the Casas Grandes in Chihuahua. The Spanish historian Clavijero is quoted by Cozzens~ as stating of the Chihuahuan Casas Grandes that they were "similar in every respect to those of New Mexico." There seems to be little doubt that the Casas Grandes in each case were built by people of the same culture. The builders of the large houses are thought by some to be descendents of the cultured and skillful Toltecs, who were also predecessors of the fierce and war-loving Aztecs. In the end it may have been the Aztec who waged war on the town builder and eventually destroyed him. One clue as to when the Casas Grandes fell is given by Wallace.6 In her collection is a water vase from the Chihuahua ruins dated 1864. It has an attached memorandum, part of which reads: "These Casas Grandes (great houses) were reduced to ruin by siege in 1070." This is signed "William Pierson, American Consul 1873." No further enlightenment regarding this date is given us by Susan E. Wallace who owns the vase and who presents the original information in her book The Land of the Pueblos. THE TRINCHERAS Virtually in the shadow of these house ruins that frustrate the antiquarian are *other archeological features to intrigue the iowers of deductive reasoning. These are numerous stone dams o~ walls found in the canyons and on mesas in the surrounding ~ountains. These dams or trincheras rather than the Casas Grandes seem to me to be the more interesting. In the summer of 1948 I visited northwestern Chihuahua studying game animals and collecting vertebrate specimens for the University of Wisconsin.~ Other members of the party, Alden H. Miller, A. Starker Leopold, and Ward C. Russell, were also there for the same purpose representing the University of California. Floyd Johnson of Colonia Pacheco, our guide and packer, escorted us to our first camp seven air-line miles southwest of Colonia Pacheco on the Gavilan River. Even in this remote and rugged mesa country the check dams were present on almost every slope. These trincheras are built ' Samuel Woodworth Cozzens. The Marvellous Country. Lee and Shepard, Boston, t876, pp. 547. ' Ibid., p. 235. Supported by the University of Wisconsin College of Agriculture and a grant from the Wisconsin Alumni Research Foundation.
This material may be protected by copyright law (e.g., Title 17, US Code).| For information on re-use, see http://digital.library.wisc.edu/1711.dl/Copyright