Thursday, January 06, 2011

More Nevada Archeology

There is little to blog about here so I might tell you a little about Nevada.

Southern Nevada was a lake during the last ice age and today the old lake bottom is buried around the edges of the valleys by hundreds of feet of alluvial out-wash from the mountains. You can see that the desert floor rises gradually from the lowest flat point in the middle to where the out-wash emanates from the mountains. There is no terracing to indicate lake depth variations over time.If you wanted you study archeology of the lake shore you would have to dig deep into the alluvial soil. I guess that is what they are doing at Calico in CA. But that archeology would be truly ancient.

Instead I found a very minor artifact on the surface near the edges:This is made of quartz, about 5 inches long, has placement for hafting which is easier to see on the back at the top:
You can see that, although crude, there is shaping of the item and a semblance of alternating flaking around the edges:If I saw this in Concord, I would think it was a hafted digging tool and there is no reason to think it is particularly old, except by comparison with that butterscotch-colored retouched flake. That was "new"; this is probably a bit older but still a lot more recent than the glacier.

Nevada....not without its own beauty:

1 comment :

Tim MacSweeney said...

I once spent a day climbing around the Calico Rocks south of Vegas - Red Rock State Park? Desert Shrimp and either toads or frogs in "tanks," springs down in the canyons...