Mark Hylkema: “Perils of a Leeward Shore: Franklin Point Historic Shipwreck Cemetery, Año Nuevo State Park”

Join SCAS for “Perils of a Leeward Shore: Franklin Point Historic Shipwreck Cemetery, Año Nuevo State Park,” a talk by Mark Hylkema, Santa Cruz District Archaeologist & Tribal Liaison, California State Parks. The talk will be held on December 14, 2017, 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).

Sailing on Windward Tack

Three consecutive shipwrecks occurring along the rocky coast of Año Nuevo State Park between 1865 and 1867 resulted in the loss of many passengers and sailors as their sailing ships miscalculated their positions and “struck the rocks.”  Many of the victims were buried in a small area of sand dunes at Franklin Point that has since been designated as archaeological site SMA-307/H.  In response to these maritime tragedies, Pigeon Point Lighthouse was built in 1871.  Over the past thirty years, the sand dunes containing the burials eroded and deflated, exposing multiple sets of skeletal remains.  These remains were recovered during several different episodes; however, they remained archived for many years, until funding was acquired and directed to conducting detailed forensic studies. Afterwards, State Parks returned the bones back to where they had been excavated, and stabilized the site.  This presentation focuses on the histories of the wrecks, the archaeological investigations and findings from the analytical studies, and the methods used to stabilize the cemetery.

Mark Hylkema 2011Mark Hylkema is the Santa Cruz District Archaeologist for State Parks and has 37 years’ experience studying California archaeology and Native American culture.  He has interacted with many different tribal communities, particularly in central and northern California, and did his graduate research on the archaeology of the San Mateo and Santa Cruz County coasts.  Mark has directed excavations throughout the greater San Francisco and Monterey Bay area, and works part-time as an adjunct professor of Anthropology at Foothill College.  Mark has also taught undergraduate and graduate classes at Santa Clara University, University of California at Santa Cruz, De Anza College, Ohlone College, and Cabrillo College. Additionally, he was President of the Society for California Archaeology during the 2015/2016 term.

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