The full text of this item is not available at this time because the student has placed this item under an embargo for a period of time. The Libraries are not authorized to provide a copy of this work during the embargo period, even for Texas A&M users with NetID.
An Interdisciplinary Approach to Refining the Archaeological and Geomorphological Record of the Walker Lake Basin, Nevada
MetadataShow full item record
This dissertation presents new data to reevaluate the Holocene archaeological and geomorphological record in the Walker Lake Basin of western Nevada. The data discussed were collected using a suite of methodological approaches both above and below the contemporary Walker Lake waterline, which is prone to climate related fluctuations. My analysis provides updates to the historical lake curve and the basin’s environmental history and discusses patterns of precontact land use. I present this research across three articles. In the first article, I highlight the technical approaches used to collect the new data. Terrestrial archaeological surveys focused on the modern Walker River channel, Walker River’s abandoned channels, and relict Walker Lake shorelines. Underwater research included sub-bottom remote sensing survey and test excavations within Walker Lake to identify preserved features, stratigraphy, and archaeology. As a result, I identified 38 new archaeological sites on land and preserved fluvial and lacustrine features under the modern lake. In the second article, I focus on the geomorphological history of Walker Lake, building on previous research in the basin. I combine details from river cutbanks, results from sub-bottom survey, materials from underwater excavation and coring, radiocarbon dates, and tephra samples. With these data I reevaluate the previous lake-level curve, identifying new elevations of lake lowstands elevations, correlate stratigraphic records to volcanic events, and theorize about local environmental changes. The final article analyzes the spatial distribution of archaeological sites and artifacts within the Walker Lake basin, addressing questions about human adaptations relative to the landscape. I combine newly recorded archaeological sites with previous archaeological efforts to statistically analyze the spatial distribution of materials and sites relative to age components, landscape features, and elevation ranges. These analyses show significant relationships between artifact classes, site types, activities, and site ages relative to the landscape. This work contributes to both the environmental history and the archaeological record of the Walker Lake basin. By taking a regional approach, my research is invaluable for providing a broad conception of land use and adaptation across the Great Basin and for understanding the connection between behavioral adaptations and environmental change throughout human history.
Human Behavioral Ecology
Puckett, Neil Nelson (2021). An Interdisciplinary Approach to Refining the Archaeological and Geomorphological Record of the Walker Lake Basin, Nevada. Doctoral dissertation, Texas A&M University. Available electronically from