Besh-Ba-Gowah Archaeological Park – Globe, Arizona

Besh-Ba-Gowah Archaeological Park - Globe, Arizona.jpgBesh-Ba-Gowah Archaeological Park – Globe, Arizona

Visitors can walk through a 700 year old Salado Culture pueblo, climb ladders to second story rooms and view the typical furnishing of the era.  The Salado people made their living from what nature provided in mountainous desert terrain.  The land provided all they needed through the water in the river and the wildlife drawn to the area such as deer, rabbit, quail and other game.  The Nomadic peoples found their way into the basin as early as 7,000 years ago.

The Salado were farmers.  Their pueblo villages dotted the area where irrigated fields of corn, beans, pumpkins, amaranth and cotton.  They supplemented their diet by hunting and gathering buds, leaves, and roots.

The Salado are to this day a rather mysterious culture.  They left no written record of their existence, no chronology of events that shaped their society.  The most vivid signs of life are in their pottery, in remnants of fabric, in smoke stains from their cook fires, and in hand prints on the pueblo walls, all reminders that humans once led rich and productive lives.

There are numerous artifacts of this remarkable culture on display in the Besh-Ba-Gowah Museum.

The Pueblo is located at the confluence of Pinal Creek and Ice House Canon Wash, south of present day Globe.  Besh-Ba-Gowah has one of the largest single site archaeological collections in the southwest and is one of the most significant finds of Southwest archaeology.  This culture is identified as the cultural period from 1150 to 1450 in the Tonto Basin.

Besh-Ba-Gowah had about 400 rooms; of these about 240 were ground floor rooms.  Precise numbers are impossible due to modern destruction of sections.  Entrance was through a long narrow ground level corridor covered by the second level.  The corridor opened onto the main plaza.  This probably was for defensive purposes.

Besh-Ba-Gowan is an Apache work meaning "Place of Metals," and refers to modern mining activity.  In 1935 excavation was begun on the ruins.  Due to the death of the project director the results have not been published even though the complete excavation of the surface rooms was completed in 1940.

Inside the museum two models of the ruins are presented.  One shows the present condition the other is a hypothetical reconstruction of the pueblo in 1325 AD.  It shows 20 courtyards and 2 three story sections. 

There is so much to see and so much to learn from this park that you will want to come back time after time as the archaeological "bug" bites you and you need to discover more and more about this fascinating culture.

Directions: US 60 in Globe and follow the signs.  (Jesse Hayes Street)

Phone: 928-425-0320

Hours: 9-5 daily