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.
NVFCP has partnered with the Nevada Site Stewardship Program to train their site stewards on how to gather important information on archaeological and historic sites across Nevada. The information they gather will be provided to federal agency archaeologists to assist them with their site inventory and management decisions.
A great group of volunteer site stewards joined us for this two day training on January 9th and 10th. We were able to utilize the wonderful facilities at the Red Rock Canyon Visitor's Center and practice our skills on two of their public archaeology sites.
If you are interested in learning more about this program, please visit the Nevada Site Stewardship Program website http://shpo.nv.gov/stewards or email the program coordinator, Samantha Rubinson at [email protected]
by Courtney Mooney
(Urban Design Coordinator/Historic Preservation Officer at City of Las Vegas)
Attendees enjoyed an afternoon at Floyd Lamb Park at Tule Springs. Courtney Mooney provided an extensive presentation on the divorce ranches in the area.
The relaxation of Nevada’s divorce laws in the 1930's led to the divorce industry. For those needing to establish the required six weeks residency, divorce ranches were created. One of the most preserved ranches is at Floyd Lamb Park which still contains 23 buildings mostly built in the 1940's. The ranch was purchased in 1941 by Jacob Goumond and in 1949 Goumond turned it into a divorce ranch to support this thriving industry which had a profound effect on the state of Nevada.
Lost City Museum
NVFCP Members and Site Stewards joined the curator for the Lost City Museum, Molly Fierer-Donaldson for an afternoon of identifying and cataloging artifacts for the museum. The participants learned about collection management issues, the types of resources museums house behind the scenes, and how hard it is to distinguish between brownware pottery and greyware pottery.
Friday, May 8th 6:30 pm - 7:30 pm
Truckee Meadows Community College
Sierra Bulding Rm 204
7000 Dandini Blvd, Reno, NV 89512
Free and open to the public
Caves provided some of the first shelters, storage spaces, and ceremonial centers for the prehistoric peoples of Nevada. Consequently, these cave sites have provided archaeologists with invaluable in-formation on the ancient environment, diets, settlement patterns, religious practices, and cultural lives of ancient groups. The importance of many of these caves has extended into the present, as many are considered ‘Traditional Cultural Properties’ and still used in ceremonies by modern Native American tribes.
This presentation will cover some of the prominent cave sites in Nevada. It will discuss the importance of these sites in their contribution to archaeology and the understanding of prehistoric Nevada and its people, as well as their continued use by modern tribes.