Real story of the Lost City at Nevada State Museum, Las Vegas program Saturday

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05 15 14 Lost City historical photoWith 21st century technology to help provide new insight, researchers from The University of Nevada, Las Vegas recently returned to Southern Nevada’s “Lost City,” the Native American town site excavated between 1924 and 1941.  What they found will be shared from 1 to 3 p.m. Saturday, May 17 at the Nevada State Museum, Las Vegas during a presentation by Karen Harry, associate professor at UNLV, an expert in southwestern archeology and prehistoric ceramic technology.

Archeologists explored more than 100 sites in the region near Lake Mead in the early 20th century.  In 2006, UNLV researchers went back to the same place with the latest tools and techniques. Harry will present findings from the new work and talk about how the results are challenging earlier views of the inhabitants’ identity, ethnicity, health, social organization and relationships with neighboring cultures.

Now almost three years old at its new site on the grounds of the Springs Preserve, the Nevada State Museum, Las Vegas is one of seven managed by the Nevada Division of Museums and History, an agency of the Nevada Department of Tourism and Cultural Affairs.

“We are really interested in this program that helps us understand more about our sister museum and the ancient people who lived in the area,” said Dennis McBride, director of the state museum in Las Vegas.

The state also operates The Lost City Museum in Overton, actively engaging people in understanding and celebrating Nevada’s natural and cultural heritage. It was built in 1935 by the National Park Service to exhibit artifacts being excavated from Pueblo Grande de Nevada. Pueblo Indian sites were being threatened by the waters of Lake Mead as it backed up behind the newly built Hoover Dam. Eventually, when the lake was filled to capacity, about five miles of sites had been inundated or undercut by the water.

The Civilian Conservation Corps assisted in the excavation of the sites and the construction of the museum building, made of sun-dried adobe brick in a pueblo style. The museum also served as the park headquarters for the Boulder Dam State Park that was established at Lake Mead.

The lecture is sponsored by the Nevada Archaeological Association and is in conjunction with Nevada’s Historic Preservation and Archaeological Awareness month. Refreshments will be available as well as free Heritage Playing Cards provided by the Nevada State Historic Preservation Office. The Nevada State Museum, Las Vegas is open from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. Thursday through Monday at 309 S. Valley View Blvd. Admission is $9.95 for Nevada residents; children 17 and younger and members enter free. Contact the museum at (702) 486-5205  or  sirvin@nevadaculture.org.

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