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Arizona construction unearths Hohokam canal


An ancient canal built by the Hohokam people 1,500 years ago to irrigate their crops has been unearthed during Sky Train construction in Arizona.

The network of canals belonged to the Hohokam people who settled in the area around A.D. 400 to 500. Knowledge of their existence is nothing new — through the 20th century, many researchers studied and mapped the Hohokam’s expansive network of canals, hundreds of miles long, built to direct water from the Salt River to their fields.

However, the unearthing of these canals is no less exciting, said Laurene Montero, archaeologist for Phoenix.

The Hohokam people continued to use those canals through the 1400s, and some remained visible into the 1920s. Gradually, as the Valley exploded into one of the fastest-growing metropolitan areas in the nation, new developments covered what researchers referred to as Canal System 2.

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Story: Amy B. Wang, AZCentral | Photo: Mark Henle, The Republic

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