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These people constructed irrigation canals and grew corn, beans, and other crops while gathering wild plants and hunting.
Eventually the town came to be called "Tucson" and became a part of the state of Sonora after Mexico gained independence from the Kingdom of Spain and its Spanish Empire in 1821. George Cooke with the Mormon Battalion during the Mexican–American War in 1846-1848, but soon returned to Mexican control as Cooke continued his mission westward establishing Cooke's Wagon Road to California.
Recent archaeological excavations near the Santa Cruz River have located a village site dating from 2100 BC.
The floodplain of the Santa Cruz River was extensively farmed during the Early Agricultural Period, circa 1200 BC to AD 150.
Major incorporated suburbs of Tucson include Oro Valley and Marana northwest of the city, Sahuarita south of the city, and South Tucson in an enclave south of downtown.
Communities in the vicinity of Tucson (some within or overlapping the city limits) include Casas Adobes, Catalina Foothills, Flowing Wells, Midvale Park, Tanque Verde, Tortolita, and Vail.
A separate Convento settlement was founded downstream along the Santa Cruz River, near the base of what is now "A" mountain.