Abstract Title

Portable Art in the Great Basin

Additional Funding Sources

This project is supported by a 2020-2021 STEM Undergraduate Research Grant from the Higher Education Research Council.

Abstract

When we think about archaeology in the Great Basin, we usually don’t think about art. If we do it is in the form of rock art, of which there is plenty, but there is another type that commonly gets overlooked, portable art. There are basically three forms of these small creative objects in the Great Basin: ceramic figurines, incised stones, and small rocks that have had their shape altered into what is believed to mimic some type of anthropomorphic animal. I would propose that some of these items may have been misidentified in the past and would like to put forth an alternative hypothesis, with related evidence for consideration. There are three figurines in particular which I will argue, two of these effigies are possibly grasshoppers, while a third may be a predaceous diving beetle. In addition to these re-examinations, this study will be adding to the increased dialog concerning insects in the subsistence strategies of Native Americans in the Great Basin. The importance of these food resources are then transferred and reflected in these portable art objects from archaeological sites, which provide additional evidence of their significance.

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Portable Art in the Great Basin

When we think about archaeology in the Great Basin, we usually don’t think about art. If we do it is in the form of rock art, of which there is plenty, but there is another type that commonly gets overlooked, portable art. There are basically three forms of these small creative objects in the Great Basin: ceramic figurines, incised stones, and small rocks that have had their shape altered into what is believed to mimic some type of anthropomorphic animal. I would propose that some of these items may have been misidentified in the past and would like to put forth an alternative hypothesis, with related evidence for consideration. There are three figurines in particular which I will argue, two of these effigies are possibly grasshoppers, while a third may be a predaceous diving beetle. In addition to these re-examinations, this study will be adding to the increased dialog concerning insects in the subsistence strategies of Native Americans in the Great Basin. The importance of these food resources are then transferred and reflected in these portable art objects from archaeological sites, which provide additional evidence of their significance.