In 1994, the Nevada State Museum radiocarbon dated a burial recovered in 1940 from Spirit Cave, near Fallon. To everyone’s surprise, “Spirit Cave man” lived over 9,400 years ago. He was over 40 years old, elderly for any culture in the world at that time. He wore a rabbit skin robe and fur moccasins. Very sophisticated, labor-intensive basketry accompanied his burial.
He differs from other prehistoric and historic Nevada Indians. Instead, “Spirit Cave Man” shares characteristics with some Asians and the 9,200-year-old “Kennewick Man” found along Washington State’s Columbia River. The fate of these early Native American populations is still unknown.
Beginning in 1995, many Indians wanted all Spirit Cave Man studies stopped and his remains reburied. State administrators halted consumptive testing of human remains in the museum in 1999. Under One Sky originates from this controversy and seeks to present diverse viewpoints in hopes of understanding one another’s positions.
Native American Views: Origins |
Early Inhabitants and the Saiduka and Lovelock Culture
Spirit Cave Man | Great Basin Caves | Change vs Continuity
Traditional Lifeways | Wetlands | Seasonal Round
Water Historic Times | Native American Suburbanites | Indian Athletes
Stewart Indian School | Native Americans Today