Prehistoric mankind arrived in the Great Basin near the end of the last major Ice Age. The melting glaciers and the moist climate of the time created Ancient Lake Lahontan and a vast network of lakes and marshes teeming with fish and waterfowl. The early inhabitants lived along the shores of the lakes and marshes, fishing and hunting mammoth, mammals and the abundant waterfowl.
Archaeologists and anthropologists have determined about 7,000 years ago, the entire region entered a period of hot, dry weather that lasted more than 2,000 years. Scientists refer to this period of time as the Altithermal stage. During this time, drastic climate changes caused some of the human population to migrate away from the area. This was global warming on a scale we can’t imagine in a modern world. More about the ancient climate changes in Nevada can be found in my book, “Preserving Traces of the Great Basin Indians.”
Once the Altithermal stage set in, changes occurred that significantly altered the lifestyle of the scattered bands of human inhabitants. The human population was no longer able to depend upon the water and wildlife associated with marshes, lakes and rivers for their survival. An incredibly harsh desert environment emerged where game was scarce or nonexistent and vegetation ceased to survive.
During this time, Lake Lahontan, Walker Lake, Washoe Lake, Great Salt Lake and others completely dried up. Pyramid Lake shrank to a dangerously low level, since there was no water flowing down the Truckee River. Even the level of Lake Tahoe dropped several hundred feet during this lengthy dry cycle. Evidence of this is the underwater forest of trees divers have seen and photographed on the bottom of Lake Tahoe and Fallen Leaf Lake. This forest grew when the level of the lakes was so far below the rim no water flowed down the Truckee River for more than 1,000 years. The events of this hot, dry period in our ancient history have been studied and documented as scientific fact by the Desert Research Institute at the University of Nevada, Reno, and by other leading scientists.
As we look back on this horrible time in the history of the region, who can we blame for causing this drastic climate change to occur? We could speculate the campfires the human population used to keep their caves warm and cook their food emitted vast amounts of greenhouse gasses. We could surmise that there was enough flatulence released into the atmosphere from the herds of buffalo and the woolly mammoth to pollute the air with methane.
None of these explanations can account for such a dramatic warming of the climate to end the Great Ice Age. I have pondered for years about how such a tragedy could have happened. Then, at last, I made a discovery out on a remote hillside between Lovelock and the Black Rock Desert that seems to explain this phenomenon in terms modern man can understand. What I discovered and photographed with me seated at the controls, appears to be the remains of a Prehistoric Sport Utility Vehicle (SUV). As we all know, modern vehicles such as this are blamed for modern global warming. Now, I have discovered evidence of Prehistoric vehicles that must have caused the Altithermal stage 7,000 years ago.
The vehicle is mostly intact, including doors, windows and remnants of the dashboard and control mechanisms. Traces of carbon footprints were seen nearby. Obviously, hundreds of these crude vehicles spewed forth the greenhouse gasses required to create the worst global warming in the history of the earth. This also explains how the ancient Indians were able to cross the Bering Land Bridge and populate both continents of North and South America within just a few years. Who knows, perhaps someone may just nominate me for a Nobel Prize for making this amazing discovery. After all, these seem to be handed out to all sorts of numbskulls for coming up with ideas no more worthy than mine.
Dayton author and historian, Dennis Cassinelli, can be contacted at email@example.com or on his blog at denniscassinelli.com. All Dennis’ books sold through this publication will be at a 50 percent discount to reduce inventory and Dennis will pay the postage.