Digital-Desert : Mojave Desert
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Mojave Desert History: Pioneer of the Mojave
Old Skeletons & New Trails

THE "OLD ONES"

Frank would have saved himself some trouble with the authorities had he known about a visit to the ranch some eleven years earlier by archaeologist Arthur Woodward, then with the Los Angeles Exposition Museum. Early in 1929 Woodward was shown the ranch by John Calvin Turner, whose father, Robert Turner, had purchased the ranch in 1883.

On that occasion pottery was discovered -- pottery which had decorations similar to those found at the "lost cities" of Nevada. At a later luncheon with the Lions Club, Woodward stated, "...the Nevada ruins are very old, perhaps antedating those of the cliff dwellers of Arizona and New Mexico." He said that bits of the earthenware and beads at the Turner Ranch site seemed to be dated at the same age as the Nevada civilization.

Artifacts from more recent habitation were also noticed, but Woodward said the earlier objects were quite old, perhaps thousands of years. The Indian graves were found during the 1929 trip, and were located "on ruins which are much older [than the Spanish period]. The position and condition of various articles found indicate a great lapse of time between the deposits."

In 1950 newspaperman William Caruthers wrote of his desert experiences, and included some observations on the Indian burial practices. He reported that he learned of a burial place for a race of Indians antedating the Paiutes and Shoshones. "They buried their dead in a crouching position on their knees, elbows bent, hands at their ears." So these were the "Old Ones," and there is little known to this day of these ancients.

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ecology: wildlife - plants - geography: places - MAPS - roads & trails: route 66 - old west - communities - weather - glossary
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