Early Paleoindian groups probably first entered Nevada during the late Pleistocene where there is an indirect association of Clovis projectile points. Dating these sites in Nevada and elsewhere in the Great Basin remains elusive but across North America, Clovis sites appear contemporaneous with the abrupt onset of the Younger Dryas (YD) cooling (12.9 Ka.). New evidence from Paisley Caves in Oregon and Bonneville Estates in Nevada (awaiting final report) may indicate other cultural groups entered Nevada during the same period of Clovis groups. These are represented by the Western Stemmed tradition, archaeologists are currently debating the data based on the excavations of Paisley Caves and Bonneville Estates.
Prehistoric paradigms have been developed regionally in Nevada for the east slope of the Sierras, in the Carson and Humboldt Sinks, Central, Northeastern and Southern Nevada. These are framed within the Archaic Period (extending nearly 10,000 years) until Euro-American contact. In general they reflect climatic adaptation, settlement subsistence changes and group migrations and they are associated with technologies that are identified in their projectile point styles, ceramics (in some areas), basketry and architecture.
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