Management of Subterranean Ecosystems in Extreme Environments
Baker Archaeological Site

Baker Archaeological Site may possibly be a cultural stop on our geology field trip on Wednesday during the 2025 NCKMS conference.

Audio Tour: Sacramento Pass, Baker & Great Basin National Park

The Baker Archaeological Site, also known as Baker Village, contains the remains of a Fremont Indian village occupied from approximately 1220 to 1295 CE. The Fremont lived in this well planned community of several small pit houses and granaries, surrounding a main big house, and practiced a form of agriculture.

The site was excavated by Brigham Young University's Office of Public Archaeology, in cooperation with the BLM, from 1991 to 1994. Recovered artifacts are currently stored at BYU's Museum of People and Cultures in Provo, Utah.

After the excavations, the site was backfilled (reburied with the dirt that was removed during excavation), a necessary step in protecting the cultural features that remain. As a result, the foundations of the village can no longer be seen on the surface. The walls visible today are modern walls, built in 2002. Artifacts found on the ground may be observed, but not removed, from the site.

The site is currently administerd by the Bureau of Land Management. Brochures and an information kiosk are located at the parking area. A restroom, picnic tables, and a sun shelter are available for day use. No water is available.

The Baker Archaeological Site is located on a cut-off road that runs between NV Hwy 487 at Baker, Nevada, and US Hwy 6/50. The cutoff is one-half mile north of the Great Basin Visitor Center.

NCKMS participants
Fremont Pilling Figurines

Fremont Pilling Figurines, unfired clay Fremont figurines, on display in the College of Eastern Utah Prehistoric Museum. Image by Brian Lee/CC BY-SA 3.0 (Wikimedia).

The Fremont Culture

Fremont and Ancestral Puebloan people began to incorporate farming into their hunter-gatherer lifestyles approximately 2,000 years ago. Baker Archaeological Site is the most western site attributed to the Fremont culture.

Anthropologists suggest that the Fremont were hunter-gatherers who supplemented their diet by farming corn, beans, and squash along waterways and floodplains. Edible native plants included pinyon nuts, rice grass, and a variety of berries, nuts, bulbs, and tubers. Corn was ground into meal on a stone surface (metate) using a hand-held grinding stone (mano). Deer, bighorn sheep, rabbits, birds, fish, and rodents were hunted using snares, nets, fishhooks, the atlatl (spear-throwing stick) and the bow and arrow.

Several artifacts are distinctive to the Fremont. A unique style of basketry, called one-rod-and-bundle, incorporated willow, yucca, milkweed and other native fibers. Pottery, mostly graywares, had smooth, polished surfaces or corrugated designs pinched into the clay. The Fremont made moccasins from the lower-leg hide of large animals, such as deer, bighorn sheep, or bison. Dew claws were left on the soles, possibly providing extra traction on slippery surfaces.

Details
  • Elevation: 5,278 ft

  • State: Nevada

  • District: White Pine County

  • Coordinates (WGS84): 39.03737; -114.12246

  • Nearest town: Baker, NV

  • Distance from the convention center: 62 miles

  • Topo Map

Links & Resources


Baker Archaeological Site

The Fremont culture or Fremont people is a pre-Columbian archaeological culture which received its name from the Fremont River in the U.S. state of Utah, where the culture's sites were discovered by local indigenous peoples like the Navajo and Ute.

Ward Charcoal Ovens

Ward Charcoal Ovens

Located just south of Ely, Nevada, the Ward Charcoal Ovens are associated with the silver mining ghost town of Ward. They were built in 1876 by itinerant Italian masons known as carbonari. Charcoal prepared in the ovens was used in the nearby silver smelters.

ELY, NV WEATHER

Overnight

Partly Cloudy Partly cloudy, with a low around 55. South wind around 5 mph.

Monday

Scattered Showers And Thunderstorms Scattered showers and thunderstorms between 11am and 5pm, then isolated showers and thunderstorms. Partly sunny, with a high near 91. West southwest wind 0 to 5 mph. Chance of precipitation is 40%.

Monday Night

Isolated Showers And Thunderstorms then Partly Cloudy Isolated showers and thunderstorms before 11pm. Partly cloudy, with a low around 55. East wind 0 to 5 mph.

Symposium Merchandise

Campfire Coffee Mug

Stay up all night with our personalized ceramic coffee mug. This 13oz mug is perfect for school, campfire socials, marathon thesis proofreading, and all-night grant-writing sessions.

RECENT NEWS

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JUNE 29, 2023
NCKMS Steering Committee Chooses Ely, Nevada as Host City for 2025 Symposium
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