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

Join SCAS for a talk by Breck Parkman entitled “Digging the Sixties: An Archaeology of Hippies and Marines” The talk will be held on June 13, 2019, 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).

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. Contemporary archaeology searches for new meaning in the recent past: Mr. Parkman’s work has examined the archaeology of The Chosen Family, a famous, Grateful Dead – associated hippie commune in Marin County that existed from 1967 to 1969, as well as a training ground in Sonoma County, used by the U.S. Marine Corps Reserve from 1961 to 1969. Numerous artifacts recovered from these two places are useful in examining cultural stereotypes. He will present some of those artifacts, including 94 vinyl records and 360 spent cartridge cases, and explore how they might challenge our memories and expectations of that dynamic and challenging time.

Breck Parkman is recently retired from 37 years as a Senior State Archaeologist in California. His award-winning work has also spanned Kodiak Island, Alaska; the Canadian Plains; the South Coast of Peru; and Central Siberia. Breck earned B.A. and M.A. degrees in Anthropology at CSU – Hayward. He is former Director of the UNESCO-sponsored Fort Ross ~ Global Village Project, a Past President of the Society for California Archaeology, and a former Research Associate at UC Berkeley. Currently, he sits on the Board of Directors of two non-profits: The Olompali People, and the Sonoma Ecology Center. Breck’s research interests include rock art, shamanism, Rancholabrean megafauna, Russian America, Native American resistance movements, and contemporary archaeology. Many of his publications address these topics. His work has been featured in several hundred newspaper, radio, and TV interviews, and he has appeared in various films and documentaries on PBS, BBC, Amazon Prime, and the History and Discovery Channels. Breck lives in the hills above the Valley of the Moon with his 13-year-old son.

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