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Mojave River Valley Museum
Prehistoric Cultures in the Death Valley Region
Pinto Period, 5000–2000 B.C.Dramatic environmental changes came to the Mojave Desert with the end of the Pleistocene Era, characterized by harsh climatic conditions with higher temperatures and lower precipitation. Lakes and rivers dried up, and resources available were much reduced. Human adaptation to these new environmental conditions appears to be represented by the Pinto period assemblages.
The Pinto sites are most often limited to surface manifestation or have poorly developed middens with relatively low artifact density. They appear to be seasonal camps by small groups of highly mobile people. The small number of Pinto period sites, together with their apparent temporary occupation of hunting large and small game and collecting vegetable resources, suggests that the population was sparse and poorly adapted to the increasingly arid conditions of the desert environment. During particularly arid periods, they probably withdrew to the margins of the desert and to perennial springs and microenvironments less affected by the overall climatic deterioration, and during more moist periods they likely expanded their territory in the lower desert areas to take advantage of the shallow lakes, marshes, and springs. During the later part of the Pinto period, when the Mojave Desert was at its most arid, the population of the Mojave Desert seems to have decreased, although a mosaic of microenvironments permitted localized habitation throughout the desert.
(source - NPS)
A small area with physical and ecological characteristics that distinguish it ...
Hidden Valley - A Relict Population
The Mojave Desert as we know it is probably less than 10,000 years old. ...