The Cassinelli-Perino Artifact Collection: a compelling exhibit

blood-red projectile point with quartz vein
This incredible blood-red projectile point found near the Carson River in Carson City appears to have a small crack running up the middle when held up to the light. What appears to be a flaw in the rock is actually a tiny vein of clear quartz in the dark-red rock. This projectile point is included in the Cassinelli-Perino Artifact Collection, which is on permanent display at the Carson Valley Museum and Cultural Center in Gardnerville, Nevada.

If you’re fascinated by American Indian history, then you’re sure to enjoy the Cassinelli-Perino Artifact Collection.

Now on permanent display at the Carson Valley Museum and Cultural Center in Gardnerville, Nevada, the collection comprises a colorful array of American Indian stone tools. 

You’re find such remarkable items as Great Basin crescents, a mammoth tooth, a face-paint finger bowl, and an arrow-shaft straightener — in addition to scores of knives and scrapers.

Northern Nevada author Dennis Cassinelli inherited the collection from a relative in the early 1990s. He spent countless hours typing and dating the artifacts so that they could be donated to a museum for the public to enjoy. The experience led him to write his first book, 1996’s Gathering Traces of the Great Basin Indians. The book is now in its second edition with the new title of Preserving Traces of the Great Basin Indians

Whether your interest lies in the history of the American West, Great Basin archaeology, or American Indian culture, the Cassinelli-Perino Artifact Collection is a compelling exhibit. Be sure to visit the Carson Valley Museum and Cultural Center to see the display in person, as well as the museum’s many other fascinating exhibits.

  • Learn more about the Cassinelli-Perino Artifact Collection here.
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About Dennis Cassinelli

Dennis Cassinelli is a Nevada author, historian and outdoorsman. He’s written extensively about American Indian culture and Comstock history. His book, Preserving Traces of the Great Basin Indians, contains up-close photographs and detailed pen-and-ink drawings of American Indian stone artifacts. It also contains a fold-out chronology chart showing projectile points across a 12,000-year time scale. The book is a must-have for every enthusiast of Great Basin archaeology. Dennis’s website is