A. Map boundaries: 30 to 40 degrees North; 110 to 120 degrees West
B. Countries (States): Mexico (Baja California, Sonora), United States (Arizona, California, Nevada, Utah).
C. Part II, The Cultural Landscape Expanded
This section provides an overview of National Historic Landmarks (NHLs) and other notable historic properties in the desert southwest. Part III contains a detailed listing of all sites.
The Prehistoric Landscape
Perhaps the most controversial of the sites is the Calico Early Man Site in the Mojave Desert near Barstow, California. It was made famous by Louis S.B.Leakey, the Kenyan anthropologist who discovered much evidence of early man in Africa. From 1964 until 1972, Leakey promoted the idea that the artifacts found in the American desert were similar to artifacts found in Africa. Leakey excavated an alluvial fan and considered the artifacts found to be the result of human activity. The age of the fan was believed to be over 50,000 years old (Leakey, Simpson, and Clements 1968). Today most professionally trained archaeologists question whether the alleged stone tools were manufactured by humans. However, Friends of Calico Early Man Site continues the tradition of investigating the site for evidence of early man (site 75 on map). Continue reading