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A Natural and Cultural History of Leonard Rockshelter in Nevada

Presented by Sara Sturtz

  • Associate Archaeologist ASM Affiliates, Inc. in Reno, Nevada.
  •  MA from the University of Nevada, Reno (2020)

More about the lecture

Leonard Rockshelter is located in Pershing County, Nevada. Robert Heizer excavated the site in 1950 and recovered a modest assemblage of perishable and lithic artifacts. Of interest to the University of Nevada Reno’s Great Basin Paleoindian Research Unit (GBPRU) was Heizer’s discovery of obsidian flakes in deposits dated to 14,900 to 11,610 BP. The possibility of a stratified Pleistocene occupation prompted the GBPRU to return to Leonard Rock Shelter in 2018 and 2019 for additional work, which produced few artifacts but a sizeable small mammal assemblage.

In our final Spring lecture, Sara will discuss how this small mammal assemblage provides a paleoenvironmental record that demonstrates changing local conditions. In addition, Sara will also discuss Heizer’s claim of a Pleistocene occupation and when humans actually occupied the shelter.

About the presenter

Sara Sturtz is a Great Basin archaeologist, born and raised in northern Nevada. She graduated with an MA from the University of Nevada, Reno in May of 2020. She is now an associate archaeologist with ASM Affiliates, Inc. in Reno, Nevada.

Free For Everyone

Our virtual lectures are a part of our Outreach and Education efforts. They are free to our Members and the General Public.  Recorded lectures are posted on YouTube and on the event page after the event occurs.

For questions about the event or how to register, please contact Susan Bowdoin ( or Sarah Webber (