For thousands of years, the Ancestral Sonoran Desert People, known to archaeologists as the Hohokam, have lived in Phoenix and the surrounding areas. They have been intimately connected to the landscape transforming it for their needs including the irrigation canals and agricultural fields still visible behind the museum. The village of S'edav Va'aki was settled around AD 500, and was occupied for over 1000 years. After AD 1400, the population declined and the people relocated to smaller villages. The Akimel O’Odham, descendants of the people who lived at S'edav Va'aki, still live and thrive in the Phoenix area.Archaeological Site Etiquette - Things to Know!Download Trail Map
The Museum and park is an extraordinary archaeological site where visitors can see a platform mound, a ballcourt, and centuries-old irrigation canals that are among the rare, remaining examples of these people’s exceptional architecture and engineering skills. The museum and site anchor's Phoenix to its prehistoric roots and is the only publicly accessible ancestral village site in the City.
A 2/3 mile (1 km) outdoor trail explores the prehistoric va'aki (platform mound), full-size replicas of the houses the Ancestral Sonoran Desert People lived in, and a demonstration garden showcasing the crops grown in this area. Allow about 1 ½ hours for exploration of the site. For information regarding the museum's exhibits, click here.