NACL: Joshua Tree

Author: Ruchika Tanna

This project is using GIS technology to develop a publication revolving around the archaeological history of Joshua Tree National Park.

Native American tribes have lived and held important ritual ceremonies in and around Southern California for thousands of years. As this area continues to develop, there will be increasing interaction with Native American sites and artifacts, threatening the Native American Cultural Landscape. Through an innovative interdisciplinary effort with the USC School of Architecture, and by utilizing Polynomial Texture Mapping technology, I hope to minimize the detrimental effects of such interactions, as well as document and protect material culture for further research.

Much of my research has focused on writing a publicly accessible report about the archaeology of Joshua Tree National Park (JTNP). This report, written in collaboration with the USC School of Architecture, will be published in a book of guidelines for building and development in and around the park. It is designed to provide context for these guidelines, as well as predictive information for future development projects, so architects are aware of cultural resources belonging to the Serrano, Cahuilla, Chemehuevi and Mojave, all of whom lived in JTNP, when building.

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