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Open Access Publications from the University of California

The Grass Valley Archaeological Project: Looking Back and Looking Forward

  • Author(s): Wells, Helen Fairman
  • Evelyn
  • Ambro, Richard D.
  • et al.

C. William Clewlow, Jr. and his Berkeley colleagues began their investigation of the Grass Valley region of central Nevada in 1969. Over the course of several seasons, powered by summer eld schools, their focus changed from prehistoric settlement patterns to the documentation and interpretation of nineteenth century Shoshone habitation sites. At the time, there were few models for the study of historic­period Native American sites. As Clewlow himself characterized it in 1978, the project became a series of “particularistic” studies that “will someday make a whole.” More than 30 years later, our studies and our understanding continue to evolve, as we begin to revisit the archived collections and eld notes from the Grass Valley Archaeological Project. A recently completed re­examination and analysis of the historic artifact assemblage from Pottery Hill (26LA1107), one of the Shoshone habitation sites, illustrates how new approaches, along with newly available comparative data, can be used to interpret the Grass Valley material.

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