The Hohokam vs. Mesopotamian Culture

Hohokam Culture (Pueblo Grande) Comparative Review (Short Comparative Essay) The Hohokam culture is in many ways similar to that of Ancient Mesopotamian culture. Much like the Pueblo Grande site, people of the Ubaid Period in ancient Mesopotamia built elaborate canal systems, groups of residential houses, and centralized buildings (such as “great houses” or other public buildings). Besides architecture, cultural practices shared by the two groups can be seen in early burial practices, games and agriculture.

The canal system of the Hohokam matches a large portion of the prehistoric canals that predated their arrival. Much like the Hohokam, the ancient Mesopotamians built elaborate canals that were focused for irrigation and central water collection in similar arid desert environments. This supplied infrastructure for the development of the two cultures as a collective for village/city organization. The labor involved with building, operating and maintaining these canals required thousands of people.

Craft production and agriculture among the Hohokam and Mesopotamian peoples was an important part of economy and trade. Agriculture dominated the growth of both cultures. Canal systems, as mentioned before, were used to irrigate crops enabling the cultures to sustain life in harsh arid environments. Architecture: the Hohokam built caliche adobe houses that surrounded the village centre which might contain a public building or a “great house” as we see at the Pueblo Grande site.

In Mesopotamian sites, great ziggurats and other mudbrick public buildings were the focal point of the city. Residential houses surround these centres, whether occupied by elite members or commoners. Other public buildings or architecture that is similar can be seen in that of areas where games and ceremonies were held. The Hohokam created ball courts that were alternatively used for trading centers. In Mesopotamia, they played majore, which is a game similar to that of Rugby where masses would gather and watch as a collective.

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Burial Practices: in both Hohokam and Mesopotamian (city-states such as Surghal and El-Hibba) cultures, cremation was an early burial practice. Though inhumation later replaced this practice, it served as a vital religious act in care of their dead. In summary; I feel that given more time to research both of these cultures, I could find more similarities of the two. Regardless of the time and distance that separate them both, there are striking parallels.

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