Roland H. Wiley Preserve (Nevada)

Saving Southwestern Nevada Prehistory: The Conservancy obtains a site in an area that’s seeing extensive development.

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Mark Boatwright and John Wiley, the son of Roland Wiley, stand by a hearth-like feature.
Mark Boatwright and John Wiley, the son of Roland Wiley, stand by a hearth-like feature.

The Conservancy is acquiring the 63-acre Roland H. Wiley Archaeological Preserve, located in the desert of southwestern Nevada. The preserve is part of the historic Hidden Hills Ranch and is situated in the Pahrump Valley along the Nevada-California state line. It is named in honor of a former owner of the ranch.

Avocational archaeologist Donald Hendricks brought the preserve to the Conservancy’s attention several years ago. He noted that it contained an extensive scatter of ceramic sherds, some of which aren’t usually found in this area. After visiting the site with Hendricks, a member of the Wiley family, and local Bureau of Land Management archaeologist Mark Boatwright, members of the Conservancy’s Western region office conducted a cursory cultural resource survey. In addition to the pottery fragments, they found that the site is covered by a scatter of lithic flakes. For the most part the scatter is sparse, but there are several areas where the flakes are dense, and there are also stone tools such as scrapers, bifaces, and point fragments.

The property also contains features that appear to be earth ovens or hearths.
These features contain a dark, ashy soil with numerous angular, possibly fire-cracked, cobbles, but they are not as big or developed as the roasting pits that are common in the region. Since no scientific research has been conducted on the property, it is difficult to assess the age and continuity of its occupation.

Part of a POINT 5 Acquisitions- The Protect Our Irreplaceable National Treasures
(POINT) program was designed to save significant sites that are in immediate danger of destruction.

Summary. Read More  in our Winter 2015-16 Issue of American Archaeology, Vol. 19 No. 3

Explore Our Other Featured Conservancy Sites

American Archaeology is available on Newsstands and at Bookstores, Subscriptions are available by becoming a Member of the Archaeological Conservancy for an annual Donation of $25 dollars or more.

2 COMMENTS

    • Hi Charles,
      Please contact our western regional office, often arrangements can be made on preserves that have site stewards for special visits. Western Regional Office- Cory D. Wilkins, Regional Director, tac-west@comcast.net, (530) 592-9797,(916) 424-6240
      All the Best,
      Dawn and TAC

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