The Parman Localities

By Geoff Smith

Parman Locality1In 2004, a Sundance crew revisited the Parman Localities, four Pre-Archaic sites originally recorded by archaeologist Tom Layton in the 1970s. During our visit, we mapped the sites and collected 1,000 lithic tools including nearly 200 stemmed and concave base projectile points. These artifacts indicate that the sites were occupied sometime prior to ca. 7,500 14C B.P.

Mapping at Parman Locality

Mapping the assemblage at Parman Locality 1, June 2004.

Subsequent analysis of the Parman assemblages showed that the occupants of the sites ranged throughout northwest Nevada, northeastern California, and southern Oregon. The Parman Localities appear to have been repeatedly occupied but only for brief periods. Groups there do not appear to have shifted from a strategy of provisioning individuals to provisioning places - a hallmark of extended occupations. This lack of evidence for longer stays may be a function of the small size of pluvial Lake Parman, which may not have been large enough to support sufficient wetland resources. Instead, the relatively small Lake Parman may have served as a "way station" for groups moving between the larger resource patches of the Lahontan and Fort Rock basins, located to the south and north, respectively.

Paleoindian stemmed points

Paleoindian stemmed points from the Parman Localities.