Chitactac Family Day 2019

Celebrate the Amah Mutsun culture and discover the heritage of people who lived in this ancient village site. Play traditional games, make unique crafts, and learn about native plants and wildlife along uvas creek. The event is free and fun … Continue reading

Summer Archaeology Project at the Santa Cruz Mission State Historic Park

The Summer Archaeology Project (SAP) is held in collaboration between California State Parks and Santa Clara University. We meet every Monday, between 10 am and 2 pm, for 10 weeks during summer. SAP volunteers sort through material excavated from the site of the Native American Rancheria at the Santa Clara Mission. Studying this material helps answer critical questions about daily life for Native people in the Mission system. Continue reading

Breck Parkman: “Digging the Sixties: An Archaeology of Hippies and Marines”

When people think of archaeologists, they often picture an Indiana Jones-type character toiling away amongst ancient ruins. Archaeology can be that and yet, it can be so much more. For almost 40 years, Breck Parkman has been constructing an archaeology of the 1960s – that time of tremendous social and political upheaval.

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Tait Elder: “Comparing Regional Prehistoric Archaeological Sensitivity Models: What Are We Really Modeling?”

Join SCAS for a talk by Tait Elder. This presentation explores some of the attributes that are traditionally used to develop general archaeological sensitivity models, identify post-depositional and methodological factors that can influence how site distributions are interpreted and how they may vary by region, and considers approaches to weighing these attributes and factors in order to develop region-specific models. Continue reading

Adrian Praetzellis: “Archaeology of the Despised”

Although racism and poverty were accepted parts of life in 19th century California, archaeology shows that human tenacity and the ability to adapt were alive and well. African American railway porters in post-bellum Oakland, Sacramento’s Gold Rush era Chinese merchants, and Polish Jews living in San Francisco were as culturally different as can be. And yet their varied responses to adversity—as preserved in their artifacts and history—show the common resolve to live in dignity that is part of our shared humanity. Continue reading

Cabrillo College Anthropology Club Symposium: Global Impacts of Climate Change

This symposium brings together a panel of Cabrillo College staff from four different fields to provide the community with factual information on and about the progress and impacts of climate change on a global scale.

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Tom King: “Fiction as an Archaeological Research Tool”

If an archaeologist writes fiction about the subject of his or her research, can this serve a useful purpose, or does it taint the objectivity of the archaeologist’s conclusions? This is a question that Tom King faced when he elected to write two novels about the hypothetical fate of pioneer aviators Amelia Earhart and Fred Noonan on Nikumaroro, in the Phoenix Islands. To King, imagining how the data he and his colleagues were finding might reflect what had happened to Earhart and Noonan was a way to make sense of them. To others, doing so was fatal to King’s claim to be conducting scholarly research.

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Charr Simpson-Smith will receive “The Golden Shovel Award” at the 2019 Annual Meeting of the Society for California Archaeology

The Golden Shovel Award is a special presidential commendation given to longstanding members of the Society who have made significant contributions to California Archaeology through continued efforts in the field and/or laboratory.

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Diane Gifford-Gonzalez: “Tales (and Tails) from the Bolcoff Adobe: A Zooarchaeological Analysis of Recently Excavated Fauna”

The Bolcoff Adobe is the oldest standing structure at Wilder Ranch State Park. The floor of the Bolcoff Adobe was excavated in an effort to reach the underlying, precolonial indigenous archaeological deposits. Excavators deemed this effort to have been largely unsuccessful, but zooarchaeological analysis shows that some precolonial archaeological remains were recovered.

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Jason Field: “The Doghole Ports of Big Sur: Using History and Archaeology to Explore a Frontier Maritime Cultural Landscape”

In the late 19th and early 20th centuries, industrial companies entered the rugged frontier mountains of Big Sur and the greater pacific coast in search of lumber, limestone, and other extractable resources. Reliable overland road networks and railroads were nearly nonexistent in these extreme coastal frontiers. The only economically efficient method for importing and exporting machinery or extracted resources was to use schooners and the ocean as a transportation corridor. The doghole port become the vital link between the resource extraction zones, the ocean highway, and the city markets. These constructions consist of conveyance structures, most often a wooden chute or wire cable, which delivered or received cargo from ocean vessels. Using a maritime cultural landscape perspective, this study explores the history and archaeology of doghole ports to expand understandings of settlement and industry in Big Sur. Continue reading