LAS VEGAS, NV - In addition to the more traditional archaeological excavation of a pre-historic pithouse currently underway at the Springs Preserve, remote sensing technologies have revealed the possible existence of two additional pithouses in close proximity. This new archaeological find indicates evidence of an ancestral Puebloan human settlement at the Springs Preserve.

"We believe we've found a small intact community near the center of Las Vegas in an area that has been virtually undisturbed by urban growth. This is a prime example of the value of protecting and preserving our links with the past," said Springs Preserve Archaeologist Dr. Patti Wright.

The partially excavated pre-historic pithouse is believed to have been a dwelling constructed by the Ancestral Puebloans. Plant charcoal remnants found in the pithouse hearth have been carbon dated at 700 AD. The excavation has also uncovered chipped and ground stone, ceramics, and a shell bead from the California coast, which indicate that these ancient peoples engaged in trade.

A noted expert in development and use of remote sensing technology Dr. Michael "Bodhi" Rogers, Professor in the Physics Department at Ithaca College is conducting remote sensing research at the Springs Preserve. "Depending on the scope of the project, we can obtain information much more quickly with remote sensing technology," says Dr. Rogers, "accomplishing in days what might take years using traditional methods."

Rarely utilized in Southern Nevada, remote sensing techniques such as ground-penetrating radar (GPR), magnetometry and electric resistivity use non-destructive energy waves to locate subterranean archaeological remnants. The process began with laying out a grid system on the ground's surface to map out their subsurface findings obtained with the remote sensing technologies.

"This collaborative effort between geophysicists and archaeologists may uncover an extremely significant find which highlights the transition from nomadic to semi-sedentary," says Dr. Alan Simmons, Professor Anthropology and Archaeology at the University of Nevada in Las Vegas.