CARSON CITY – Mary Beth Timm grew up in the urban areas of Washington, D.C. and Chicago, but found her calling in some distinctively remote places.
With degrees in archaeology and Spanish, Timm has participated in excavations in Peru, Alaska, Arizona and, most recently, Nevada, where she has been serving as the curator of archaeology and collections at Lost City Museum in Overton since August 2016.
“My various changes in career location have been focused on the adventure,” said Timm, who earlier this week was named director of Lost City Museum. “I studied abroad and participated in excavations in other countries because of my enjoyment of the Spanish language. That I could study anthropology, which includes archaeology, in foreign countries was a bonus.”
“Mary Beth Timm has been a member of the professional team at the Lost City Museum and she also served as acting director for a time in 2017,” said Peter Barton, administrator of the Nevada Division of Museums and History. “That, together with her previous experience dealing with diverse collections, populations, archeological and anthropological collections, has her well-prepared to lead The Lost City Museum into the future.”
Timm said she was drawn to the Lost City Museum because it is unique not only among the seven Nevada state museums, but among museums anywhere.
“We are located on top of a prehistoric settlement,” she said. “We are on the National Register of Historic Places because we were constructed in 1935 in a Pueblo revivalist style. Anyone who walks in the front door can recognize that we are a special museum and have good stories that are worth knowing.”
The museum’s mission is the study and preservation of archaeological sites and prehistoric and historic artifacts found in the Moapa Valley and adjacent areas, and interpreting this history through exhibits and public programs, assisting researchers, and educating and inspiring visitors.
Timm, a native of Bethlehem, Pa., earned her BA in anthropology and Spanish at Beloit College in Wisconsin and her MA from Western Michigan University. She moved to Las Vegas in 2009
and attended PhD courses in bioarcheology at UNLV while working at Lake Mead National Recreation Area as an archeologist/museum technician.
In 2013, she moved to Barrow, Alaska to work at the Inupiaq Heritage Center as a museums collections technician before returning to Southern Nevada in 2016 to join the staff at Lost City.
“My vision for the Lost City Museum is to continue to generate and cater to a specialized audience that is interested in archeology,” Timm said. “My aim is to hone all of our activities to focus on our specialty – interpreting Ancestral Puebloan (Anasazi) native cultures and habitations.”