Skip to Main Content
Menu
Contact Us Search
Parks Title

SCA 2005 SYMPOSIUM: Knowing the Best of the Past: Archaeological Studies in California's State Parks

Papers presented at the 2005 Society for California Archaeology Annual Meeting-Sacramento

TITLE:  “A Traditional Cultural Property Nomination for Patrick’s Point State Park.”

By Kathie Lindahl, Associate State Archaeologist, California State Parks

This is the story of a project with two goals, to revitalize a reconstructed Yurok village site and to look at a park unit with a new perspective.  The result is a district nomination to the National Register of Historic Places.  Now the responsibility of State Parks, the property within the boundaries of Patrick’s Point State Park was part of the traditional territory of the Yurok people. This project enabled park archaeologists to recognize and honor the living Yurok culture.  We also began the process of empowering these people in the preservation of a landscape that features prominently in their world view.


TITLE:  “Cutting the bologna:”  A reinterpretation of the Mid Holocene cultural taxonomy of the Santa Cruz District of the Central California coast.

By  Mark Hylkema, Associate State Archaeologist, California State Parks
and Richard Fitzgerald, Associate State Archaeologist, California State Parks

 With immortal words of Bert Gerow ringing in our ears about not cutting the bologna thinner and thinner, we present a new cultural taxonomic sequence for the northern portion of the central California coast.  Fresh excavation data within the Santa Cruz District of  Monterey Bay along with the analysis of several large private artifact collections has provided the basis for establishing new mid Holocene age cultural phases.  Having pushed the calendar of cultural chronology even further back in time, a comparative review of these older assemblages with subsequent late Holocene trends allows for interesting insights into coastal adaptations.


TITLE:  “The Coming and the Going”

By Jay Von Werlhof, Imperial Valley College and Museum

This paper presents an archaeological interpretation of newly discovered rock alignments on the south end of Lake Cahuilla. These rock alignments appear to be time markers used to chart the seasonal return of the lake (and therefore the fish), signaling the next phase of the native people’s seasonal round. Interestingly these alignments also seem to be oriented with the vernal and autumnal equinoxes.


TITLE:  “An Underwater Historic Landscape at Emerald Bay State Park."

By Charles Beeker, Indiana University 

Emerald Bay State Park is one of the most scenic and most frequented sites in the California State Park system. However, the park's unique resources do not stop at the water's edge.  Recent visual and remote sensing surveys document an underwater landscape that vividly represents activities which have taken place in Emerald Bay at the turn of the century. Well preserved in the cold, clear waters of Lake Tahoe, the underwater resources of the Emerald bay tell a historically important story of the life on the lake.


TITLE:  “Agave Harvesting and Processing; Experimental  Archaeology and Volunteers in Anza-Borrego Desert State Park

By Joan S. Schneider, Ph.D., Associate State Archaeologist
and Bonnie Bruce, Colorado Desert District, and members of the Colorado Desert Archaeology Society

Archaeologists working in Anza-Borrego Desert State Park and the Colorado Desert Archaeology Society (CDAS) wanted to better understand the many archaeological features and artifacts assumed to be associated with the harvesting, cooking, and processing of agave ("mescal") by the indigenous peoples of the region. Guided by ethnographic descriptions CDAS volunteers replicated the processes of agave procurement and preparation.  Agave shoots were "hunted;" and prepared; using a fire pit and replicated stone tools. The information obtained included what NOT to do.  A set of replicated stone tools that show usewear are now available.  Features and stone tools found in the field can now be better interpreted.
   


TITLE:  "History of the Pottery Sewer Pipe Plant, Tesla, California"

By Dan Mosier and Phil Hines, Associate State Archaeologist, California State Parks.

The Pottery site is located on the Tesla-Alameda County expansion property of the Carnegie SVRA, 12miles southwest of Tracy. In 1903, the Carnegie Brick and Pottery Company built a large sewer pipe factory with eight round down-draught kilns and three brick chimneys on the site. The plant produced 18,000 sewer-pipes per day, along with flues, conduits, partition tile, and figurines, using clay from the nearby Tesla coal mines. Operations ended following a devastating flood in 1911. The plant was razed in 1917 by a competing company. Recent archaeological investigations have revealed the foundations of the 100-year old sewer pipe plant.


TITLE:  “In the Shadow of their Wings”

By Jeannette R. Tobacco

Archaeological surveys in and near Ocotillo Wells SVRA revealed scattered remnants of WWII activity that was enigmatic.  Dedicated research into Federal Archives, review of period maps and pictures, and oral interviews with personnel who served in this area has begun to unravel the mystery.  The people who served here were the backbone of the war effort, personnel who helped to win the war, but not in the same style as the ‘flyboys’ they supported.


TITLE:  “The Frolic”: Setting New Standards for Marine Managed Park Development

By Sheli O. Smith, The P.A.S.T. Foundation

It has taken almost 20 years to create California's 20th Marine Managed Park but the efforts are well worth it.  The Gold Rush Era shipwreck Frolic and the surrounding cove, where it rests, have joined the impressive list of underwater parks in California. The work done in preparation for the park has set a new benchmark in the creation of underwater parks focusing on cultural and biological resources important to the heritage of California.


TITLE:  “Preliminary Result of a Cultural Resource Inventory of the New California State park in the Sutter Buttes.”

By Dionne Gruver, Associate State Archaeologist, California State Parks
and Kathie Lindahl, Associate State Archaeologist, California State Parks

California Department of Parks and Recreation recently acquired 1, 720 acres of land in the Sutter Buttes located in Sutter County.  The park property surrounds and includes Peace Valley, which is the only flat area within the 75 –square mile footprint of the Buttes.  Through funding from Cultural Stewardship bond money, a team of professionals and volunteers surveyed approximately 1,000 acres for archaeological and historical resources for a “cultural landscape” analysis.  This paper presents the preliminary findings of this investigation which suggest that the cultural landscape in the Sutter Buttes reflects a long interaction between humans and nature, a melding of natural systems and human features. 

TITLE:  “Tolowa House: The Contact Period in Northwestern California.”

By Shannon Tushingham, University of California Davis

In 2004 excavation was completed of a heavily burned, contact period semi-subterranean sweathouse with remarkably well-preserved redwood plank floors, an internal paved area and a centrally located slab lined hearth. The house is associated with the Tolowa village of Tcuncultun and represents the terminal occupation of a site inhabited for millennia on the Smith River in Del Norte County. The architectural details and associated assemblage of the house are juxtaposed with prehistoric site components, giving insight into cultural survival and continuity in Gold Rush northwestern California, a time of rapid and cataclysmic change for local Indian populations.