Desert Peoples / Native Peoples

Pinto Point

Pinto Point

Pinto Culture
BCE 10,000 – 5,000

Cahuilla: sivat
Chemehuevi: wűnŭpi
Mojave: ‘ipa chu’uuly

These projectile points and other associated tools were found at the oldest archeological sites in the park, and provide tangible archeological evidence of the longevity of human occupation in the area. Pinto points, first identified in Joshua Tree’s Pinto Basin, date from 5,000 – 10,000 years ago. They are often associated with ephemeral lakes and now-dry streams, rivers and springs throughout the southwestern Great Basin and Mojave Desert. This suggests a wetter environment dominated by big game hunting with limited seed processing, a later cultural adaptation to desert living as the climate became drier.

Archeologists have developed typologies of projectile points to classify and date physical evidence recovered at archeological sites. Native American communities may have different ways of understanding these materials.

Jasper. L 4, W 2.2, T 0.8 cm
Joshua Tree National Park, JOTR 6018b