Archaeological Dig at Cave Springs unites BLM, Universities, and Tribal Historians

Dr. Mark Giambastiani in the field

Dr. Mark Giambastiani in the field

As the dust settles on GBI’s Cave Springs excavation block project, the careful and exacting work begins for the categorization of prehistory findings rendered at the heart of the Great Basin.  Collaborating with the Bureau of Land Management, Battle Mountain District, University of Nevada, Reno, University of California, Davis, California State University, Sacramento, and the Timbisha Shoshone Tribe, principal investigators and archaeological technicians coordinated at Cave Springs to secure cultural resources at this unique high desert site.  Backhoes, protective fences, shoring and stabilization allowed for students and faculty to uncover and protect a long history once lost to the sagebrush ocean.  The project allows for the archaeological testing, data recovery, and documentation of any lithic, faunal, botanical and textile remains, including radiocarbon dating of intact hearth features of the prehistoric shelters.

The collaborative effort demonstrates the unique accomplishments made possible by the institute’s broad reaching partnerships.  While the general public may not be fully aware of the need to manage and protect “rock shelters with datable deposits,” the quiet work completed in the labs and in the field ensure the prehistoric artifacts of our region are remembered and shared by future generations.  “It is a distinct pleasure to work so efficiently with such large agencies and institutions to quickly achieve a mutually understood and valued conservation objective,” commented Jerry Keir, Executive Director of the institute.   Dr. Mark Giambastiani, Co-Principle Investigator, will complete the project in coordination with the cooperating Universities and the BLM Tonopah Field Office this autumn.

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