Archaeological Inventory of the California Desert: a Proposed Methodology

Author(s): Margaret L. Weide

Year: 1973


The California Desert includes a considerable quantity of archaeological resources along with its many other values. As the Bureau of Land Management seeks to meet the challenge of managing its desert lands for the common good, it is appropriate that the archaeology of the area be numbered among its considerations. Not only does the BLM have a legal responsibility to protect archaeological remains under Federal law, but archaeology constitutes a public resource in several respects. Understanding and enjoyment of the desert as a recreational area is enhanced by understanding the ways prehistoric man lived in this environment that strikes many as harsh and sterile. Archaeology is the raw material for the unwritten history of several of the California Indian peoples and is of special concern to them. It is also a scientific resource, a proving ground where archaeologists can test and revise their ideas about how man's long years as a hunter and gatherer shaped his modern lifeways, and through what socio-economic arrangements and technological developments man adapted to a wide variety of environments.

Basic to archaeological resource management is inventory, and inventory of archaeological resources on the scale of the California Desert is not easily accomplished. this report describes a proposed sampling design to discover the patterns of location of archaeological resources in the desert and to make these patterns and projections derived from them available as a data base for management planning.

The proposed survey has six objectives:

1. The discovery and recognition of patterns of ethnographic and prehistoric use of the California Desert area;

2. Identification of the biotic, topographic or hydrologic variables, or combinations thereof that form the most accurate predictors of archaeological locations;

3. Investigation of how well the variables employed in the Desert Study will predict the location of archaeological resources;

4. Development of projections of expected density and distribution of archaeological resources in the California Desert;

5. Delineation of areas of high archaeological sensitivity requiring maximum protection; and,

6. Delineation of areas with a high probability of lower archaeological sensitivity where development for economic or recreational activities should endanger relatively few archaeological resources, resulting in minimal costs for protection and/or salvage of what resources are present.

Originally the information in this record was migrated into tDAR from the National Archaeological Database Reports Module (NADB-R) and updated. In 2014, as part of its effort to improve tDAR content, the Center for Digital Antiquity uploaded a copy of the document and further improved the record metadata.

Cite this Record

Archaeological Inventory of the California Desert: a Proposed Methodology. Margaret L. Weide. Riverside, CA: Bureau of Land Management. 1973 ( tDAR id: 126817) ; doi:10.6067/XCV800031T

This Resource is Part of the Following Collections

Spatial Coverage

min long: -117.56; min lat: 32.643 ; max long: -114.131; max lat: 37.465 ;

Record Identifiers

Contract Number(s): 04960-PH3-15

NADB document id number(s): 1044504; 1043904

NADB citation id number(s): 000000015309; 000000015895

File Information

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california_inventory-method-cali-desert.pdf 1.52mb Nov 14, 2014 11:14:35 AM Public