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A Story of Encounters: Anthropological and Archeological Encounters

In the decades after 1900, scholars and researchers from across the United States and Europe began traveling to Nevada to study the area’s existing native tribes and those that preceded them. From the ruins of the Lost City in southern Nevada to contemporary Washoe communities of the eastern Sierra, anthropologists, archeologists, and ethnographers dedicated themselves to understanding the lives and cultures of the region’s indigenous populations.

Through systematic investigation including extensive archeological excavations, researchers began to find evidence of earlier cultures including the Lovelock Culture of western Nevada and the Anasazi (Pueblo) of the Moapa Valley. For their part, anthropologists and ethnographers studied native populations of the past and present, advancing knowledge of the cultural practices, traditions, and beliefs of the Washoe, Northern and Southern Paiute, Western Shoshone, and their predecessors.

Some explanations of native cultures by scientists and social scientists differed widely from how contemporary tribal communities explained their own origins. These competing understandings have led at times to disagreements over the proper handling and control of archeological discoveries like human remains and sacred objects.

Anthropologists, Archeologists, and Other Researchers

Topics of Archeological and Anthropological Study

Archeological Sites

Article Locations