Archeological Inventory and Testing at Indian Camp and Tie Canyon, Death Valley National Park, Inyo County, California

Author(s): Nancy E. Pearson

Year: 2003


This report describes the results of an archeological inventory and testing project that archeologists from the Western Archeological and Conservation Center (WACC) completed in the Death Valley Scotty Historic District (DVSHD), in Death Valley National Park (DEVA), California, between February 27 and March 9, 2001. The inventory was completed in site CA-INY-5702/H to rerecord the site to standards required by Director's Order 28 (DO-28) (NPS 1997) and by the Standards and Guidelines for Archeological and Historical Preservation (U.S, DOl 1983), Additional archeological inventory was completed in Upper Tie Canyon to identify and document the trash and the trash dumps in a side canyon, Tie Canyon, near Scotty's Castle. The testing was conducted within the midden in site CA-INY-5702/H, Indian Camp, to identify, through an analysis of the recovered data and artifacts, the midden's historical function and origins.

After the field work, the primary objectives of the DEVA 2001 C project are to provide an account of the work, a summary of the analytical results, an interpretive prospectus of information the park might want to make available to park visitors, and recommendatious for the appropriate management of the properties. These objectives are satisfied within this report. Information and suggestions for possible interpretive uses

are mentioned tbroughout the report and in Chapter 5. An interpretive prospectus by Shana Stearn is offered in Appendix B. Management recommendations are presented in Chapter 5.

Indian Camp. During the rerecording of site CA-INY -5702/H, the calculated site area was adjusted from about 2 1/2 acres (1 ha) to about 12 acres (almost 5 ha), The new site boundaries more accurately reflect the historical use of the area during Indian Camp's period of activity, Four loci, 11 features, and 2 artifact concentrations were recorded, In the current report, present-day photographs of the site are compared to

historical ones. The comparisons show damage to the site from a paved road, water and wind erosion, possible clean up of historical objects and materials, and neglect.

Despite the visible attrition and damages, Indian Camp retains values for interpretation to the park visitor. The site is also significant to the Timbisha Shoshone Tribe, The site, furthermore, is included within the DVSHD, although not listed as a contributing element. It ought to be. Because of the site's vulnerability to additional damage from several sources, the site should undergo periodic monitoring to protect it. Some portions of the site are in need of stabilization. The Timbisha Shoshone Tribe would be a valuable partner for developing additional site management strategies and avenues of interpretation.

Upper Tie Canyon, During the recording of the cultural resources in Upper Tie Canyon, the WACC archeologists documented 23 sites and 23 isolated finds, none of which were, or contained, cultural resources

of historical importance. The WACC archeologists consider the information potential of the trash and dumps lying in the upper portion of Tie Canyon to be exhausted with the mapping, documentation, and GPS

recording completed during WACC Project DEVA 2001 C.

Cite this Record

Archeological Inventory and Testing at Indian Camp and Tie Canyon, Death Valley National Park, Inyo County, California. Nancy E. Pearson. Publications in Anthropology ,83. Tucson, Arizona: Western Archeological and Conservation Center. 2003 ( tDAR id: 4344) ; doi:10.6067/XCV8R20ZC7

This Resource is Part of the Following Collections

Temporal Coverage

Calendar Date: 1700 to 1950

Spatial Coverage

min long: -117.4; min lat: 36.976 ; max long: -117.197; max lat: 37.081 ;

Individual & Institutional Roles

Contributor(s): Melissa B. Markel; Shirley L. Shirley; Trisha J. Rude

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