El Paso Museum of Archaeology Opens Exhibit: Paquimé and the Casas Grandes Culture

The El Paso Museum of Archaeology announces the opening of a special exhibition, Paquimé and the Casas Grandes Culture on Saturday, May 20.

This exhibition highlights Paquimé’s importance as a center of regional trade and culture during the 13th and 14th centuries AD.

Located on Mesoamerica’s norther frontier, the city became an important trade center through which substantial quantities of turquoise, shell, colorful parrots, copper items and other commodities flowed north and south. The Casas Grandes culture is noted for their complex technology of raising tropical birds, such as Scarlet Macaws, in a non-tropical environment.

Paquimé (Casas Grandes Culture) 2The driving center of the Casas Grandes culture was the city of Paquimé, and extensive ruin located in northwest Mexico. The formative stages of the culture are recognizable as early as the 1st century AD.

In its heyday, AD 1200 – 1450, Paquimé was the largest city in northern Mexico, covering nearly 88 acres, and was one of the largest cities in the greater Southwest.

The Casas Grandes culture is renowned for having produced some of the finest and most accomplished geometric pottery of the Pre-Columbian world.

This exhibition affords a wonderful opportunity to view many examples of this famous, visually-pleasing pottery. Indeed, the collection of Casas Grandes pottery held at the El Paso Museum of Archaeology is possibly one of the largest in the Southwest and many pieces from the Naylor Collection, donated a few years ago, will display for the first time.

Complimenting this exhibition will be a smaller photograph exhibition in the Museum’s auditorium showing three petroglyph sites in the Casas Grandes region.

The free exhibit will run through October 21. For more information, call the El Paso Museum of Archaeology at (915) 755-4332.