Here are a few shots of some things in the cases. Most of the artifacts were found in the park including the water basket.
|These ax's and woodworking tools are replicated by an archaeologist. Great job!|
|There are some nice points and blades in this display. I spotted a very nice drill.|
|This shows some very rare pottery fragments and the drill is in the second row down to the far right. These Indians rarely used any pottery because of their nomadic lifestyle. They traveled for hundreds of miles and they traveled light.|
|This is a basketry water bottle or wosa. It is tightly woven and was lined with pitch and bee's wax. It is 200 or so years old. Bee's wax wasn't available until the white man arrived.|
These replica duck decoys are typical of the Paiute and Shoshoni Indians. One was made by Margaret Wheat, a Paiute woman who authored "Survival Arts of the Primitive Paiutes" available on Amazon. Its the best book I know of on these folks and is very well illustrated and detailed.
I believe they are made from cattail and bull rush. The ones I saw in California's central valley were made of tule and looked exactly the same. I wonder if there was interaction between the California Indians and the Paiutes or Shoshoni? I wouldn't doubt it since there was extensive trade over the Sierra Nevada range.
These two photos are of effigy's the Indians made. They were used as talismans to help the hunt be successful. They were made from anything at hand and perhaps they were even used as toys by the children?
|The folks who do these replications do a fantastic job!|
|This poster tells about the atlatl. There is a gentleman there on weekends who gives atlatl demonstrations and you can even fire one off if you like.|
|The Oregon Trail|
|Poster describing the petroglyphs and rocks.|
|Unfortunately the meaning is lost as to whatt most of these represent so use your imagination. Some think this is a sun or a star but if you turn it upside down it looks like a stick figure of a human, kind of.|
|This has a circle and three circles in a chain and a zig-zag line. I think the three in a row represent a rattlesnakes rattle. The rattlers are common here.|
|Now this one does look like a sun.|
|Here are three lizards, which are very common here. The other item's are a total mystery. The one at the far left looks like a lizard stick figure.|
|Heres another shot of "lizard rock". Note the the figure "8"and string of dot's. It also shows a better picture of the "loaf of bread".|
|Same "lizard" rock. More enigmatic designs.|
|This is easily seen as a bird.|
|Some say a devil and I think it looks like a Viking. Most call it "bat man".|
|"Bat man" close up.|
|A turtle and two ???|
|More drawings on this very busy rock.The one middle row, right and next to the last looks like a cows head.|
|Heres the cows head and an udder underneath? Fanciful thinking on my part.|
|This looks like a a man and a buffalo head. Its a vision rock so the guide said.|
|Closer look at the buff head and I have no clue what that is to the left of the man. And the bird with the crack running through its right wing is very plain to see.|
|Farther back and at an angle. Fortunately the sun was straight overhead and I was able to get these great shots.|
|This must have been a favorite "bulletin board". All kinds of odd designs! Rows of circles with dots in them, etc.etc. The one at the very top looks|
|This lizard was nice enough to pose for me. I wonder if he realizes his great, great grandpappy was drawn on a nearby rock?|
|Mr. Lizard up close. These were food! Lizard on a stick! YUM!|
I heard people say how neat it would be to live back in those times. I say "no way!!!" The average life span was 25 years and if you got so much as an impacted tooth or an infected scratch, chances were good that it would kill you. The hunt for food was constant for the daily supply as well as long term. There wasn't much available in the winter so you had to stock up. And if certain things weren't abundant as usual, you may well starve. Riparian habitat was probably the most diverse for edible plants and wild life. That's why the Indians who lived and traveled through these vast canyons stayed near the water. If you venture just a few miles away it is dry, desolate high desert with water being very rare. These folks depended heavily on fish, wild fowl and wild plants for their diet and anything else was a bonus. I recall seeing a fish skeleton petroglyph on one of the rocks
|This is a nice replica of a fish trap. They must have made and used hundreds of these a year. The river has trout, whitefish and bass. Catfish are abundant.|
Here are some shots of the surrounding canyon. It is very rough terrain and all of the rock is volcanic basalt. There are places where you can find some obsidian and chalcedony. These were the stones used for tool making. Basalt was used for mortars and pestles. These were left behind until the next year as they were too heavy to carry the long distances these people traveled.
|More rugged terrain to the west.|
|Looking southeast down the Snake river canyon.|
|"Eagle nest" cliffs.|
Here are some of the local edible as well as useful plants. The currants were very tasty, especially the golden currants. In some of the dry caves of Nevada, archaeologists found raisins made from currants by these people. Google "Hidden cave" for some very interesting reading.
|Bull rush again.|
|Wild asparagus. A none native species. One of the plants Euell used to stalk.|
|Purple currant up close. The red ones aren't ripe yet and are very tart.|
|The tasty golden currant up close.|
|Our intrepid explorer gathering the fruits of the field.|
|Pretty, aren't they?|
|This shows the three lobed leaf, an identification aid, a bit better. If its three big leaves and has white berries, you are eating poison ivy! Don't do that.|
|Remember to click on the photos for a bigger view.|
And speaking of Guffy bridge. It was built to run trains to the silver mining camps in Silver City and other towns in Owyhee county across the river. It never made it to any of them except Murphy. The plan was to build an electric railroad at the end of this line but it never happened. The railroad did bring the present agriculture to this area and that is a mainstay of the local economy. The town of Melba is a famous seed growing center.
|A plaque about the bridge.|
|The bridge is in the background. They are building a new museum which should open around October. Its the farthest building in the distance just at the end of the right span of the bridge.|
|Here's a nice poster of the area.|
|This is a very well made replica of a coiled clay pot. Pottery like this was not used by any of these Indians.|
|This explains the pot pictured above.|