Exhibits / Collections
The entrance to the Lost City Museum opens into the 1935 Gallery. This space exists within the original adobe brick museum built by the Civilian Conservation Corps, and is now listed on the National Register of Historic Places. The gallery has been restored to look very much as it did during the 1930s.
The current exhibition features historic materials dating to the discovery of the Pueblo Grande de Nevada, also known as the Lost City. The room contains a wide range of artifacts representing the material culture of the prehistoric Ancestral Puebloans.
Through the Museum Shop and on the right is a small video viewing room. We encourage all guests to watch some or all of the two videos. These short films feature information about the Ancestral Puebloans, the Paiutes, Moapa Valley archaeology and the intriguing story of the people and events that led to the discovery of Lost City.
The perimeter of the adjacent large gallery is lined with display cases housing the exhibition Southern Nevada: Landscapes of Change. It documents the dramatic transitions in the area’s climate, flora and fauna, stone technology and human activity from the Late Pleistocene (around 15,000 years ago) to the current century.
In the middle of the gallery are pedestals supporting historic and recent Native American baskets and pottery. Among them are baskets from the Joseph F. and Kathryn A. Perkins Collection, originally owned by Fay and Richard Perkins. In 2017, additional pieces of this collection were transferred to Lost City from the Nevada State Historical Society, returning them to Clark County as the donors wished.
The Fay Perkins Gallery is the largest of the museum’s exhibition halls. The center of this space is an actual archaeological site, originally excavated during the 1930s. The display is meant to show the various stages of an excavation, with the suggestion that as the site is revealed, time rewinds. A Native American woman grinding corn recreates a typical activity from hundreds of years ago.
On the far wall of the Perkins Gallery is Uncovering the Past: Archaeology of Lost City. These cases are best viewed from left to right. They tell the story of how Lost City was revealed in the 20th century. Several important people involved in the dig, and some of the objects they unearthed, appear in this narrative. Several temporary exhibitions are often installed in this gallery as well. On display now is a light-hearted What Is It? case which challenges visitors to identify rare and puzzling objects.