Besh-Ba-Gowah Archaeological Park

March 4, 2006

From the Besh-Ba-Gowah page of the Southern Gila Countiy website:
Visitors can walk through a reconstructed 700-year-old Salado pueblo, climb ladders to second-story rooms and view artifacts of the era. The Besh-Ba-Gowah Museum holds one of the largest single-site archaeological collections in the Southwest and is one of the most significant finds of Southwest archaeology.


On Saturday morning, I drove out route 60 to Globe, AZ, and visited the Besh-Be-Gowah pueblo ruins. This was home to a community of the Salado people. Salado, Spanish for "salt", was the name given to these people by the Spanish settlers in the area because the Salt River is nearby. The first two photos are overall views of the site from two angles.

This is a reconstruction of a corridor which leads from the outside to the central plaza. Imagine the entire corridor with walls and a roof like you can see at the beginning of this reconstruction. It would have been a long dark tunnel, and was the only known entrance to the pueblo. We do not know if it was for ceremonial purposes or for defence.

This is an outdoor "activity area". Because the rooms could be very hot during the day, much of the life of the people at this time was spent outside. There would have been ramadas to help block the sun on the hotter days.

Here is a photo of a portion of the central plaza. At one time it was about half the size it is now, but at some point, the people who lived here removed some rooms to make it its current size.

This is one of the more interesting rooms that have been excavated so far.

Here are some rooms that have not been excavated yet.

This is a reconstruction of a one storey structure at Besh-Ba-Gowah. Also, in the foreground you can see a slab-lined pit. It is unknown if it was used for cooking or for storage. The room to the right of this one also had a slab-lined pit.

This is a reconstruction of a two storey structure. You can go inside and also go up a ladder to the second floor.

Here is the interior of one of the rooms in the reconstruction.

I decided that showing this photo was better than me trying to describe the ceremonial room.

The Ceremonial Room

The Ceremonial Room

This photo shows the echo chamber and storage rooms associated with the ceremonial room.

There are two types of doorways found at Besh-Ba-Gowah, with the small rectangle being the most common. The other type found here was the half T-shaped doorway. Looking through this window, we can see a half T-shaped doorway in the next wall.

And finally, here is a photo of a squirrel I saw from the second story of the replica building.

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