Experienced Nevada Site Stewards were provided a two day training on identifying artifacts like stone tools, recording building conditions, and updating existing records on archaeological sites. The class took place at the Virginia City Comstock History Center. Locals were even nice enough to allow us to practice our building recording skills on their property.
The goal of this training is to provide trained volunteers to assist with updating the archaeological site records of the thousands of sites across Nevada.
We were invited to teach a three hour course on cultural resources. We covered what types of resources are found in Nevada and how to protect them. Participants were able to test their plant processing skills with stone tools and try to make cordage from plant fibers.
To learn more about the Nevada Naturalists Program. Click on the logo below.
Sali Underwood, Curator of Natural History, provided an educational tour of the museum collections not on display. Tour guests learned how materials get into a museum and how they are stored and cared for. Some highlights of the tour included the 225 million year old fossil remains of our "state dinosaur," the Ichthyosaur, a collection of butterflies, and an assortment of Native American basketry.
Katie Hoffman, NVFCP Secretary, held a NVFCP educational booth at the Red Rock Canyon Visitor's Center for Archaeology Day. She spoke with many visitors to the area about the importance of preserving Nevada's cultural resources. Red Rock Canyon National Conservation Area has many important rock art and habitation sites. These sites are threatened by visitation from people who have no knowledge of the laws that protect them. Katie helped to educate visitors on how to visit sites without disturbing them. Photo is of graffiti by Ian and Cooper over the top of Native American paintings of people.
Through a partnership with the Nevada Site Stewardship Program, NVFCP has trained 24 Volunteer Site Stewards on how to gather initial condition information on archaeological sites. In May and June, twelve of these trained volunteers assisted in a field project to gather condition information on 29 stewarded archaeological sites in Gold Butte. Shortly after this information was provided to the Stewardship Program and the Bureau of Land Management, the area opened back up to stewardship. We were happy to have assisted in bringing site stewards back into this amazing area.
Shannon Horton, a UNLV Graduate Intern with the Nevada Site Stewardship Program, created an artifact display focused on preserving Nevada's cultural resources for the Boulder City Spring Jamboree. The display case and space were provided by the Nevada Gem and Mineral Society. NVFCP's display was proudly centered in the Gem and Mineral Show Showroom.
Mark Boatwright, BLM Archaeologist, provided an informative guided tour of Brownstone Canyon. While attendees hike through the wash alongside agave roasting pits, pictographs, and petroglyph panels, Boatwright provided visitors with insight into the area's archaeological significance. Attendees also learned about impacts left by visitors from the past and present. The BLM is constantly monitoring the area and works hard to ensure that this place will be preserved for future generations to enjoy.
Erin Eichenberg, Archaeologist with the National Park Service for Lake Mead NRA, led a tour of St. Thomas. Attendees were able to ask questions and gain knowledge about the site, which was flooded after the construction of the Hoover Dam. Now that the water has receded, the buildings and artifacts, like glass bottles, are exposed. Erin focused her tour on the preservation efforts of the park service to ensure the town-site will be around for folks to visit and enjoy. Many descendants of St. Thomas reside in Logandale and Overton, where the group headed next.
In Overton, the group had a behind the scenes tour of the Lost City Museum by Archaeologist and Curator, Molly Fierer-Donaldson. At the museum, they learned just how many items are in the collection and the efforts needed to conserve them. Many attendees are looking forward to going on another field-trip with NVFCP to learn more about our cultural resources.
Kevin Rafferty of the College of Southern Nevada graciously provided a tour of the archaeological resources in Valley of Fire State Park. Mr. Rafferty has been conducting research in the area for many years and provided his insight and findings with the group. They will never look at the area the same again.
One attendee exclaimed, "It was the best day! The weather was great and having Kevin to do some interpretation was wonderful. Everyone on the trip was friendly and nice. Just a really really nice day. Thank you for putting the event together."
Justin DeMaio, BLM Archaeologist and skilled flintknapper (stone tool maker) provided a demonstration and hands on workshop for site stewards and the general public. He taught the basic principles of flintknapping then assisted participants at trying their hand at the craft.
Participants learned that turning stone into a tool takes a lot of time, patience, and practice. When they left the workshop many exclaimed their appreciation for the class and how nice it was to be able to try it for themselves.
Many left with scrapes and an understanding of how these amazing tools are made.