Join SCAS on October 13, 2016, for “Disability and Care in California Prehistory: Interpreting Social Roles of Individuals with Disabilities from Santa Clara Valley (CA-SCL-38),” a talk by Karen Gardner. The talk will be held at 7:30 pm at the Santa Cruz Live Oak Grange Hall at 1900 17th Ave, Santa Cruz, CA 95062 (click here for Google Maps directions).
What was life really like in the Santa Clara Valley between 1000AD and the Mission era? In this talk, Karen Gardner will use evidence from the Yukisma Mound, a mortuary site in Santa Clara Valley (CA-SCL-38, ~1000AD-1720AD). Of the 248 individuals recovered during excavation, 25 had skeletal indications of a condition which would have prevented them from participating in subsistence activities in the same way as others: either developmental anomalies, traumatic injuries affecting mobility, or prolonged illnesses. This presentation will combine evidence from skeletal analysis with information about burial-associated artifacts and individual dietary patterns to understand the implications of disability in this community. How was the social identity of these individuals affected by their conditions? Were they eating the same foods as other people? Were they more likely to be wealthy or poor? Were they more likely to hold ritual roles? And what does their condition tell us about the community? Come to this talk and find out.
Karen Smith Gardner received her BA in Anthropology from UC Santa Cruz in 1990, and her MA in Anthropology from CSU Chico in 2013. She has worked as an archaeologist for 12 years, including research in many parts of Peru and California, and is currently an Osteologist/Archaeologist for GEI Consultants, Inc. Her research interests include reconstructing social identity, reconstructing dietary patterns, skeletal analysis (both human and faunal), and radiocarbon dating. She also loves photography, camping, hiking, cooking, and travel.
*The Muwekma Ohlone Tribe of the San Francisco Bay Area has approved this research and presentation.