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Paquime was the center of the Casas Grandes culture in the northern part of the Republic of Mexico for over 300 years, reaching the peak of its power in the 13th century.  It is believed that the population of the City reached 10,000, most living in five and six story "apartment" buildings.  The current town of Casas Grandes, which means "big houses" derived its name from the ruins.
The ruins were first excavated from 1958 to 1961 by Charles C. DiPeso of the Amerind Foundation, Dragoon, AZ.  Sporadic archaeological work by individuals and groups continues as funding allows.  
The buildings of Paquime were constructed of cast mud and caliche.  The walls were plastered  with mud or caliche and painted white or decorated with colored patterns and designs.  Roofs were built with pine timbers of planks covered by several inches of mud and earth.  Doors in private home were usually made in the T-shape design for protection.  Most doors to public areas were large and open.  
Paquime contained a ceremonial area, temple structures, a ball court, ceremonial pyramids, mound of the cross with perfect astronomical orientation and a parrot hatchery.  There were special cages for turkeys and parrots.  Feathers were used for ceremonial and personal adornment.
During the winter months, rooms were heated with small fires.  Residents enjoyed an efficient water system that brought hot water from the springs north of the city.  They also had a drainage system.  These water channels are still visible throughout the ruins.
The exact cause of Paquime's demise remains a mystery, but there is evidence to suggest it was destroyed by invaders about 1340 A.D.

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