About the Museum
Piecing Together Paquime
Feb 20, 2017
At the Museum of Peoples and Cultures, students are responsible for the installation of all exhibits. The exhibitions are made by students, for you. We invite all to come visit the newest exhibition opening February 24th 2017, “Piecing Together Paquimé."
Paquimé, is an ancient archaeological site in the Casas Grandes cultural region located in northern Mexico. Casas Grandes is thought to be a bridge between Meso-America and the Southwest. The first stones of the settlement were laid in 8th century AD. It started as a group of approximately 20 homes, each with a plaza and enclosing wall. These single-story dwellings shared a common water system. The city became the most developed site in northern Mexico at its time. After a fire around 1340, the residents erected multi-storied apartments to replace the single-story homes. At its peak in the 14th century, the city possibly held 10,000 people. This great metropolitan was abandoned around 1450 BC. All that remains today is a maze of thick adobe walls.
Casas Grandes culture is known for its pottery which was likely distributed by an extensive trading network. Effigy bowls and vessels were frequently formed in the shape of animals and human figures, as shown. Jessica Simpson, a Masters student studying Archeology, is researching Casas Grandes pottery. “Pottery is one of the few things that survived,” said Simpson, “We are unaware of the clothes they wore or the objects in their houses, but we know from their pottery they were entrenched in symbolism. Much of their pottery has religious meaning.” Painted on their pottery is the setting and rising of the sun, mountains, agriculture, or animals. These symbols represent the journey all make through this life
Jacque Johnson, MPC Exhibits Manger, describes the process of her research of Paquimé, “I’ve been surprised with my research,” she stated, “I learned they had underground walk in-wells with stairs. I’m amazed with how advanced they were.” After hundreds of hours of design, planning, and construction, BYU students are excited to showcase this exhibition. “I hope visitors leave with a sense of wonder about the people of Paquimé. The exhibit is designed to help them gain a deeper connection with the people of the city,” Johnson concluded.