Lost City 7 - Mesa House - part of the Lost City Complex

mesahouse53-006  General Information: This site is located on a single ridge overlooking the current city of Overton.  Mesa House (House 53) has 33 formal rooms enclosing its courtyard, but only 3 to 5 of these were habitation rooms, the rest being small storerooms.  Other “rooms” at the site that run the count to 84 are detached, and only 3 of those had walls and fireplaces. mesahouse53-009  Prior to getting to the main site we came across several large depressions. mesahouse53-004  When I was trying to get information on this site everything was “super secret”, but when I finally get there I find a “Welcome to Mesa House” sign right in the middle of the site, so much for secret. mesahouse53-014  The sign reprinted: This large ruin, which contained 84 rooms, was built and occupied during the Mesa House Phase by Native Americans referred to as the Virgin Anasazi.  The Mesa House Phase, AD 1100-1150, represents the last period of pueblo cultural development in southern Nevada.  This site completely excavated in 1929 by an archaeological expedition from the Southwest Museum of San Diego California.  Our understanding of the past as it relates to cultural development in the Moapa Valley is the result of early and subsequent scientific excavations.  Constructed of layered cobblestones set in adobe mud, this site was home to approximately 90 people during its greatest use.  These people were horticulturalists who farmed the valley bottom growing domesticated corn and squash.  The residents also harvested native plant resources such as screwbeans, sunflower seeds, and pinyon nuts.  Archaeological materials recovered from this ruin indicated that their diet included mountain sheep, deer, antelope, and tortoise.  Economic exchange of trade items with groups outside the immediate region is also evident.  The building location of this ruin as well as other ruins associated with this Phase appear to have been selected for ease of defense.  Mesa house has a command view of the valley; and the summit of the small hill to the southwest contained evidence of several firepits, perhaps used as signal fires.  The main rooms of this ruins enclosed a central courtyard to there were three narrow easily defendable entrances.  Despite this, there is no indication that violent confrontations ever occurred here.  Rather, this site as well as the entire valley was abandoned by the Pueblo people probably as the result of numerous variables including economic competition for dwindling resources and increased aridity.   Mesa House is eligible for listing on the National Register of Historic Places.  Please help protect and conserve America’s xxxx cultural resources.  This site is monitored for vandalism.
mesahouse53-013 mesahouseplan1  This plan of Mesa house was copied from Michael Adler’s book, “The Prehistoric Pueblo World, AD 1150 -1350”.  Mesa House (House 53) has 33 formal rooms enclosing its courtyard, but only 3 to 5 of these were habitation rooms, the rest being small storerooms.  Other “rooms” at the site that run the count to 84 are detached, and only 3 of those had walls and fireplaces. mesahouse53-016  Please Note: There are many duplicate photos in this slide show.  I decided to leave them all in because each one shows something slightly different.  There were many of these pits located at the site. mesahouse53-018
mesahouse53-020 mesahouse53-022  Pueblo ruins: Can be square, round or circular, or rectangular, and may or may not be connected with other pueblos. In Nevada they are normally single story unlike their counterparts in the four corners region of Utah, Colorado, New Mexico, and Arizona which can be multiple stories. The ruins will normally present themselves as a square, circular, or rectangular rock patterns or outlines on the ground, and they may or may not be connected to each other.  This is the first of many. mesahouse53-024 mesahouse53-025
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mesahouse53-170 mesahouse53-172  Just a reminder: There are many duplicate photos in this slide show.  I decided to leave them all in because each one shows something slightly different. mesahouse53-173 mesahouse53-175
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