Earth Oven Facilities of the Sheep Range in Southern Nevada

Author(s): Spencer Lodge

Year: 2015


Since 2012, nearly 200 earth oven facilities have been recorded within the Sheep Range on the Desert National Wildlife Refuge in southern Nevada. The identification of these features was aided by the use of Google Earth due to a chemical reaction that occurs in the local limestone when exposed to extended periods of heat. Also known as roasting pits, the widespread use of these features in southern Nevada has not been previously addressed, resulting in a dearth of knowledge regarding their prehistoric role in the region. Roasting pits mark the focused exploitation of previously underutilized resources, such as desert succulents like agave and yucca, which require long baking periods to be rendered edible. A substantial increase in the use of similar features has been noted elsewhere within the American Southwest from 4,000 - 2,000 B.C., and has also been attributed to increasing population densities. This presentation highlights my interpretations of the earth oven facilities of the Sheep Range.

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Cite this Record

Earth Oven Facilities of the Sheep Range in Southern Nevada. Spencer Lodge. Presented at The 80th Annual Meeting of the Society for American Archaeology, San Francisco, California. 2015 ( tDAR id: 398278)

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Spatial Coverage

min long: -115.532; min lat: 30.676 ; max long: -102.349; max lat: 42.033 ;