The Safford Valley Grids
Prehistoric Cultivation in the Southern Arizona Desert
Between A.D. 750 and 1385, people gathered rocks from the tops of the terraces and rearranged them in grids of varying size and shape, averaging about 4 meters to 5 meters square. The grids captured rainfall and water accumulated under the rocks forming the grids. Agave was planted among the rocks, providing a dietary supplement to the maize and beans that were irrigated on the nearby bottom land, a survival crop when the staple crops failed, and possibly a trade commodity when yields were high. Stunning photographs by Adriel Heisey convey the vastness of the grids across the landscape.