Masters Thesis

Investigations of a rock feature complex at the Mirror Point Site (CA-SBR-12134/H), Western Mojave Desert, San Bernardino County, California

This thesis describes and interprets a large rock feature complex and associated artifact caches from the Mirror Point site (CA-SBR-12134/H) located on the east side of Searles Lake within the boundaries of the South Range, Naval Air Weapons Station (NAWS) China Lake, California. The objectives of this investigation: to access the lifeways of the inhabitants that once occupied this site; activities of the occupants at this site; time period(s) when this site was occupied; and purpose or function of rock features and associated artifact caches. Archaeological investigations of CA-SBR-12134/H included four surface scrapes and the excavation of eight test units, mapping of the overall site surface, and analysis of recovered materials. Artifacts recovered from this site include large obsidian bifaces, glass, silver, and shell beads, a bow fragment, pottery, debitage, historic bottles, mining debris, and several types of projectile points. Because the rock features and artifacts seem to serve no utilitarian purpose it is assumed that this site was visited for ideological reasons. Diagnostic artifacts span from the Early Period (before 6600 BP) to Historic times (circa 1900). It is possible if not likely that these artifacts were collected from other sites and brought to CA-SBR-12134/H as part of a ritual offering and that the site was visited from prehistoric to historic times.

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