We would like to share with you information & history of Paquime
And why we reference its name in our restaurant chain.
Around the year 700 the Paquime culture began with the introduction of agriculture
& construction of small adobe houses, semi-underground & built along the edge
of the rivers Piedras Verdes, San Pedro & San Miguel, that, when united form the
Casas Grandes River.
The Paquime arqueological zone, is located approximately 217 miles Northeast of the city of Chihuahua, Mexico and about one third mile from the city of Casas Grandes.
It was a pre-Hispanic settlement that influenced the Northeast of the Western Sierra Madre, most of western Chihuahua, and some areas in the states of Sonora, Utah, Colorado & NewMexico.
The site is famous for its adobe constructions and its doors shaped like a letter “T”.
Its buildings show signs of the Oasisamerican culture.
To the West of this settlement there is a row of structures built with filling & stones,
that were ceremonial centers. It is acknowledged that the Paquime culture had a
cultural development independent of the Salado de Oasisamerica culture.
Others affirm that it was the result of the invasion of some elite group from the
highgrounds of Central Mexico.
In 1562, the Spanish explorer, Francisco de Ibarra, pointed out that he had visited
unexplored cities populated by well-dressed natives, that lived in adobe houses,
that worked in agriculture and had irrigation canals, with surplus of food.
In 1566, he returned to the region and arrived at Paquime, or Casas Grandes and wrote in his diary: ....." that was populated with houses of very great altitudes and strength of six or seven towers, or fort fencings as a way of relilef & defence from enemies.
And it is held by great pillars, of thick wood, brought from afar.
The walls are painted in many colors, arranged in forms of “tapias”, although
weaved and mixed with stone, a stone that is more durable & strong than wood.
An arqueologist named Charles Di Peso showed much interest in Paquime
and upon studying the zone, proposed six stages that demonstrated the development of the culture. They are:
1) Preceramic Horizon: Its beninnings are not exactly known, but ends between the first and second century.
2) Period of ceramic without decoration: Concludes around the VIII century.
3) Old Period: concludes around the XI century and is divided in three phases: "Convento" , "Pilon" & "Perros Bravos"
4) Median Period: Ended in the XIV century and is divided in the "fase buena fe", "Paquime" & "Diablo" phases.
5) Late Period: From 1340 to 1660. The period is subdivided in the: "Robles" & the "The first contact with the Spanish" phases.
6) Period of the Spanish: From 1660 to 1821.
During the Old Period, the first villages were built. They practice seasonal agriculture
And took advantage of the water that came from the Sierra (mountains).
During the Convento & Pilon phases, the construction of circular houses began by
excavating into the earth a deepness of at least one meter that served as the foundation.
The area of such living quarters was of approximately 10m², and the door was rounded.
In the middle of the village, a house was erected that was much bigger than the family houses.
During the “perros bravos” phase, the house sizes became bigger.
They began to build them back to back and stopped building circular houses, to begin
building them squared. In this phase, the worked and decorated ceramic becan to flourish.
Theare have been findings of collars made of seashells, turquoise and worked copper.
During the median period, the social organization is transformed, going hand in hand to
the city’s aspect. During the “Buena fe” phase, houses are single story, and their doors
are shaped like a letter “T”, classic to Paquime and their roofs are made of beams.
During the Paquime phase, the population reaches its maximum development.
Commercial relations to other settlements increase and ceremonial places are built.
The settlement is crossed by a system of canals that provide water.
A ball game was invented and gave birth to the multi-story houses; some up to four stories.
During the Diablo phase, the settlement was parcially abandoned, and the declinment
becan caused by the histility of enemy towns. By 1340 the population is victimized by
raids and many of its habitants are murdered. This is determined by the human remains
that were found in grotesc postures.