Living as simple farmers raising corn and beans, these early Hohokam founded a series of small villages along the middle Gila River. The communities were located near good arable land, with dry farming common in the earlier years of this period. Wells, usually less than 3 m deep, were dug for domestic water supplies. Early Hohokam homes were constructed of branches bent in a semi-circular fashion and then covered with twigs, reeds and heavily applied mud and other items at hand.
Crop, agricultural skill and cultural refinements increased between AD 300 and AD 500 as the Hohokam acquired new plants, presumably from trade with peoples in the area of modern Mexico. These new acquisitions included cotton, tepary, sieva and jack beans, cushaw and warty squash and pig weed. Engineering improved access to river water and canals were dug for irrigation. Evidences of trade networks include turquoise, shells from the Gulf of California and parrot bones from Central Mexico. Ceramics appeared shortly before AD 300, with pots of unembellished brown used for storage, cooking and as containers for cremated remains. Materials produced for ritual use included fired clay human and animal figures and incense burners.