Site History: It is believed that today's Paiutes and Shoshones are direct descendants of the last hunter-gathers in southern Nevada. Peoples who, during the past several thousand years, were experts in living in an arid environment. Roaming on a seasonal basis in search of natural resources (water, plants and seeds) and game (bighorn sheep and deer), they lived in caves and brush structures in small open camps. Petroglyphs, as well as other archaeological finds, suggest that these sites were occupied from around 1000 B.C. to the 1860's.
The rock art found in the hills surrounding the Pahranagat Valley are representative of the three different cultures and have been classified with three distinct styles: The Great Basin Abstract Style, that is predominately abstract symbols (circles, grids, etc,); the Pahranagat Representational Style (bighorn sheep, deer and anthromorphs – human-like characters with rectangular bodies and solidly pecked out bodies and heads); and the Fremont Representational Style, that resembles the classic trapezoidal bodied Anthromorphs and Quadrapeds.
It is believed that various distinctive cultures, known today as the Desert Archaic, Fremont, and Southern Paiute, visited these areas. By AD 1300, the Fremont had disappeared from the archaeological record of Southern Nevada, perhaps as a result of long-term droughts or other, as yet, unknown factors. Most of the petroglyphs have been classified as the "Great Basin Representational" style (A.D. 1-1500). In general, the Pahranagat Valley was a winter site for a group of peoples known as the "Pahranagats", one of several Southern Paiute groups. In recent years, archaeological evidence indicates that some Southwestern groups co-existed in this area along with the Pahranagats c. AD 500-1250. Evidence of the Pahranagats and their way of life can be found throughout Lincoln County's network of interrelated rock art sites including: Ash Springs, Crystal Wash, Mount Irish, Rainbow Canyon, Shooting Gallery and White River Narrows. Click the following link to learn more about Nevada Rock Art ... Understanding Nevada Rock Art
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