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Open Access Publications from the University of California

Approach and Process of Dating Lake Mohave Artifacts


The Lake Mohave sites present problems of dating cultural material that are typical of many sites in the California deserts. The artifacts lie on the deflated surface of ancient shorelines making it impossible to demonstrate association of individual artifacts with ancient geological features. The cultural material found on these deflated surfaces may be as old as the surface or it may date from anytime after the formation of the surface. The difficulty of dating the Lake Mohave artifact assemblages has given rise to controversies over the years (Campbell et al. 1937; Rogers 1939; Roberts 1940; Brainerd 1953; Warren and DeCosta 1964; Heizer 1965, 1970; Warren 1970). This paper presents the results of investigations aimed at demonstrating the association of specific artifacts with geomorphic features of known age. As a result, the occupation at Lake Mohave by 8000 B.C. can be firmly established.

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