Situated adjacent to a Native American archaeological site, Nevada’s Lost City Museum focuses on the history of the region, most importantly the cultural artifacts that would otherwise have been lost as Lake Mead was created. Currently owned and maintained by the State of Nevada as one of its seven state museums the collection focuses on the history of the region as far back as 8000 BCE, though most specifically on the nearby Pueblo Grande de Nevada site the bulk of which was flooded under an arm of Lake Mead. The artifacts here paint a vivid picture of a culture who’s remains in part have been literally drowned by history.
Originally opened as the Boulder Dam Park Museum in 1935, The Lost City Museum was built to house the finds being unearthed at the Pueblo Grande de Nevada site, an important site of Anasazi artifacts. As Lake Mead filled with water held back by the newly created Boulder (now Hoover) Dam, the deepening reservoir began to submerge archaeological sites dating into prehistory. It’s impossible to say exactly how much was lost beneath the waters of the man-made lake, but the museum saved what it could by housing both artifacts from excavations of the Pueblo Grande de Nevada site and by collecting donations of artifacts found by local ranchers on their properties. In addition to the wealth of objects displayed inside the museum, the museum’s most iconic feature is a replica Anasazi pueblo cluster built directly on the foundation of an excavated archaeological site from which many of the artifacts were collected.