Pay Dirt in the Mojave Desert: An Assistance Agreement between Cal Poly Pomona and the California Bureau of Land Management

Author(s): Mark Allen

Year: 2015


This paper reports on more than a decade of archaeological fieldwork conducted at two archaeological landscapes in the western Mojave Desert by Cal Poly Pomona undergraduate students on lands managed by the Bureau of Land Management (BLM) Ridgecrest Field Office. The majority of funding for the project was provided by a multi-year BLM Assistance Agreement. It represents an outstanding example of a "win-win" partnership between a university and government agencies. Students received training in archaeology and were provided with research opportunities in the "real world" of public lands stewardship. In turn, the BLM obtained archaeological data, analysis, and interpretation that will assist their mission of protecting cultural resources and educating the public. The third benefit is the detailed archaeological investigation and publication of two quite different archaeological landscapes that address important research questions in the western Mojave and southern Sierra Nevada. This partnership thus provides new insights on the most well-known archaeological resources of the region such as the Coso obsidian quarries, which supplied much California and the Great Basin with volcanic glass for millennia, or the multitude of world-class petroglyphs in the Coso Mountains that still capture the imaginations of visitors.

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Cite this Record

Pay Dirt in the Mojave Desert: An Assistance Agreement between Cal Poly Pomona and the California Bureau of Land Management. Mark Allen. Presented at The 80th Annual Meeting of the Society for American Archaeology, San Francisco, California. 2015 ( tDAR id: 396453)


Spatial Coverage

min long: -125.464; min lat: 32.101 ; max long: -114.214; max lat: 42.033 ;