A Story of Encounters: Archeological Sites

From L.L. Loud’s excavation of Lovelock Cave in 1912 to the present day, archaeologists have gravitated to sites throughout the state of Nevada. Excavations that started in the mid-1920s at the Pueblo Grande de Nevada (Lost City) in Southern Nevada’s Moapa Valley accelerated in the 1930s with the imminent completion of Boulder (Hoover) Dam, which submerged the site under the waters of Lake Mead. Over the next decades, Mark Harrington, Robert Heizer, and many other researchers helped to develop a number of sites associated with the Lovelock Culture, Anasazi, Basketmakers, and other ancient peoples.

Many excavations in Nevada have been sponsored by major institutions including the American Museum of Natural History, the Bureau of Land Management, and out-of-state universities. At some sites, including Gypsum Cave, tribal members have worked alongside non-native archaeologists.

Several of the state’s archaeological sites including Toquima Cave, Grimes Point, White River Narrows, and the Sunshine Locality are listed in the National Register of Historic Places. Many are considered sacred to native peoples. All are protected by law and deserving of respect and continued preservation.

See below for articles and other materials related to this topic.


Hidden Cave -- a documentary produced by the Mathewson-IGT Knowledge Center at the University of Nevada, Reno

Articles reprinted with permission from the Nevada Historical Society. Select a link to open a pdf copy of the article.

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