A Lost Nevada City

It’s a little more than 62 miles from Las Vegas to Overton, so I wanted to make sure that the trip was worth it.  There were 2 gentlemen working in the new visitors’ booth in the Las Vegas Convention Center.   The 1st had never heard of the Lost City Museum, which is in Overton, and the 2nd man was silent, probably because he didn’t want to hurt the feelings of the older gentleman he was working with.  As soon as the man who had never been to Lost City was distracted by another traveler, however, the younger man motioned me closer and whispered ,”The Lost City is really worth visiting.”

He was right.  The Lost City Museum proved to be both worthwhile and unusual.   The name refers to a Puebloan culture, people who lived in the area about a thousand years ago but are pretty much unknown.   Archaeologists have determined that they were the first permanent residents of what is now Nevada.  But who they were  is largely unknown.  Too much time has passed.  Artifacts not recognized by the untrained were damaged.  Mormon pioneers built atop the pueblo site.  A road was cut through it.  By 1940 many sites were under Lake Meade.  Scientists have figured that this lost city’s residents were basketmakers and builders of a pueblo that extended for 30 miles.    They were already living there 15 centuries ago, had a dynamic culture by A.D. 1000, experienced drought and abandoned the pueblo around the middle of the 12th century.

The Lost City Museum, a Nevada State facility, is comprehensive and not the kind of place I can explore in a short visit.  There was too much to absorb. A WPA project, the Lost City Museum has been around since 1934 and is unusual in that an actual archaeological dig was incorporated into the exhibits.  There are examples on display of stuff found in the area from many eras and many tribes.  There were beautiful baskets, reconstructed pottery examples, exhibits about the Mormons, info about mining, etc.  The displays ranged from updated to traditional, but it was obvious that this place is well curated and cared for.

One of my favorite areas was about Katsinas, which were represented by a number of well-dressed Hopi dolls like the fella with red ears.    Katsinas were spirit beings who guided and taught people.  They lived on mountain peaks, descended to be among humans during the winter solstice, and stayed with them until  late July.

Both of the films available were worth watching.  I enjoyed observing native Americans repairing outdoor pueblo examples.   The Lost City Museum is a 5 Compass attraction that’s exactly where it needs to be.

Hank

About roadsrus

Since the beginning, I've had to avoid writing about the downside of travel in order to sell more than 100 articles. Just because something negative happened doesn't mean your trip was ruined. But tell that to publishers who are into 5-star cruise and tropical beach fantasies. I want to tell what happened on my way to the beach, and it may not have been all that pleasant. My number one rule of the road is...today's disaster is tomorrow's great story. My travel experiences have appeared in about twenty magazines and newspapers. I've been in all 50 states more than once and more than 50 countries. Ruth and I love to travel internationally--Japan, Canada, China, Argentina, Hungary, Iceland, Italy, etc. Within the next 2 years we will have visited all of the European countries. But our favorite destination is Australia. Ruth and I have been there 9 times. I've written a book about Australia's Outback, ALONE NEAR ALICE, which is available through both Amazon & Barnes & Noble. My first fictional work, MOVING FORWARD, GETTING NOWHERE, has recently been posted on Amazon. It's a contemporary, hopefully funny re-telling of The Odyssey. View all posts by roadsrus

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