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Mojave River Valley Museum



Mohahve Historical Society

Mojave Desert Archaeology - Native American Culture

Newberry Cave

Newberry Indian burial cave
A cave south of Newberry Springs in a box canyon in the Newberry Mountains. This cave was first discovered in 1933 but not excavated until 1953. Artifacts from the excavation were reexamined in 1981. The cave shows evidence of having been used by Native Americans for a very long time; human artifacts found here have been dated 3500 years BP, and bones of the Shasta ground sloth found here have been radiocarbon dated to 12,000 years ago.

The cave is the only one in California to contain split-twig figures, primarily representing deer or bighorn sheep. All the other caves with split twig figures similar to those found here have been found at only at 15 other sites near the Grand Canyon in Arizona, Nevada, and Utah.

The Newberry Cave deposit contained numerous dart points and decorated dart shafts

It is one of the few caves in California that contains green pictographs. Pictographs, which are painted on rock surfaces, are usually red, black, and white.

It was originally called Big Cave or Smith Cave, for Dr. Gerald a Smith. The cave was placed on the National Register of Historic Places in 2000.

ref:
Mojave Desert Dictionary
Victor Valley County Museum
Newberry cave artifact

Newberry Cave pictograph

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