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Open Access Publications from the University of California

Ovate Pestles and an Isolated Processing Station in Interior Southern California


This report describes a small undistinguished bedrock processing station located on an unnamed drainage tributary to Tucalota Creek. The feature is situated at an elevation of 2,140 feet above sea level east of Colt Road not far from the junction of Colt and Barranca roads in western Riverside County (Fig. 1). It is proposed that this site has three characteristics worthy of comment: 1. As of the late 1970s the pestles used in the processing were still in situ. 2. The number of pestle-like artifacts present on this rock exceed the number of mortars by a factor of four to one (nine pestles to two mortars). 3. The pestle forms are ovate to nearly round in outline as opposed to the elongate forms often associated with bedrock mortars in the region at large. In addition to this difference in outline form, several of the pestles are characterized by multiple pounding surfaces, and all have clearly defined rubbing wear on one or both sides.

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