Skip to main content
Open Access Publications from the University of California

Volume 10, Issue 2, 1988

Issue cover


Tizon Brown Ware and the Problems Raised by Paddle-and-Anvil Pottery in the Mojave Desert

This paper has been primarily concerned with Tizon Brown Ware and Lower Colorado Buff Ware, but Great Basin Brown Ware (Bellinger 1986) also occurs, primarily north of the Mojave River. We have much to learn about the distributions of these three wares, and the implications of assemblages that include more than one of them. We can characterize the materials of the sherds in each ware, and ask if they are consistent with the proposition of localized production. If we keep to a rather narrow definition of Lower Colorado Buff Ware, we can distinguish some of the "intrusive" pottery, vessels that were moved, by transport or by exchange, some distance. In the groups of brown ware sherds, we can look for clues to vessel form, and perhaps function; we can examine the roles that ceramics played in different kinds of sites in the Mojave Desert and in different areas of the desert. And as we acquire more dated contexts for pottery in the Mojave Desert, we can begin to examine these issues in a temporal framework. But for now, the context will have to date the pottery: The temporal range of, and time-sensitive changes within, Tizon Brown Ware remain almost unknown.

Two Nineteenth-Century Reports of Great Basin Subsistence Practices

This paper concerns two Nineteenth Century ethnographic accounts of subsistence practices of native groups in the Great Basin. The first is a letter written by John Muir (Muir 1918), the eminent conservationist and naturalist. The second (Anonymous 1881) was published in The West Shore, a journal of the time. To my knowledge, neither account has received notice by Great Basin anthropologists, though Muir's discussion was noted in passing by Fleck (1985). Because "new" ethnographic information about Great Basin Indians is somewhat rare, such early reports are of interest to current studies of the anthropology of this region, and of hunter-gatherer studies in general. Both accounts are quoted at length; to each I append a brief analysis of their significance to current Great Basin anthropological research.

Two Proposed Projectile Point Types for the Monterey Bay Area: Ano Nuevo Long-stemmed and Rossi Square-stemmed

Recently Dietz et al. (1988) have made some headway toward development of a chronology for the central California coast. Based on their assessment of radiocarbon dates, obsidian hydration readings, and grave lots from the Monterey Bay area, they proposed a chronological framework in which the 10,000 years of Monterey Bay area prehistory are assigned to five periods, each of which is marked by distinct artifacts. Projectile point types are included in the chronology but, due to the constraints of the project in which the authors were involved, the point types are not fully defined. In this paper we build on that foundation by advancing the beginning of a projectile point typology for the Monterey Bay area. Specifically, we formalize two projectile point types that are readily definable in local collections: the Ano Nuevo Long-stemmed and the Rossi Square-stemmed. The morphological distinctiveness of these points has been recognized in preliminary, site-specific typologies (Gerow [1968]: Type I from CASMA- 77 for the Ano Nuevo type; and Roop [1976]: Type CS-7 from CA-SCR-20 for the Rossi type; see Fig. 1 for site locations). Our objective has been to identify the attributes that define these types with the hope that they will eventually prove useful as time markers.

Formation of the Pyramid Lake Paiute Tribal Council, 1934-1936

The Pyramid Lake Paiute Tribe is today recognized by the federal government as a semi-sovereign society within the American polity. Its government, the Pyramid Lake Paiute Tribal Council, is acknowledged to be the governing body of the tribe and to have jurisdiction over the Pyramid Lake Reservation in northwestern Nevada, except where that jurisdiction has been eliminated or weakened by explicit action of the Congress of the United States (Cohen 1982). Before the 1930s, however, although the courts in theory recognized the semi-sovereign status of the tribe, in fact, the United States government and state and local governments did not acknowledge the existence of a genuine government within the tribe. Both the present government and recognition by Congress and the executive branch of the federal government date from the Indian New Deal. This paper examines the formation of this government in the light of what is known of previous governing structures and the perception of these structures by the surrounding society. Failure to acknowledge a government of the tribe, or to recognize it clearly, has been a significant element in the history of the tribe since the arrival of Euroamericans in the Pyramid Lake Paiute territory in the middle of the nineteenth century.

On the Nature and Antiquity of the Manix Lake Industry

Unfortunately, much of the debate between these two positions is characterized by preliminary research reports, hasty examinations of sites, a near absence of published data, and unsystematic and incomplete analyses. This is particularly true when the debate is over claims for early occupation in southern California, a region that has produced more purportedly early material than any other part of North America (cf. Moratto 1984). The purpose of this paper is to present recent data bearing on one of these claims, the Manix Lake Industry (Simpson 1958, 1960, 1964).

Geologic Setting and Prehistoric Settlement Patterning in the Central Sierra Nevada, California

This paper reports a study of geologic/hydrologic environmental association in the central Sierra Nevada and corresponding implications for prehistoric settlement patterning. Archaeological data suggest that native American populations in parts of the central Sierra Nevada situated most settlements along perennial steams and at midslope localities along the exposed contact between two superimposed geologic units: Pliocene volcanics resting atop Mesozoic granitic rocks of the Sierra Nevada batholith. Groundwater emerges as springs and stream flow along, or just downslope from, the contact. Above this geological nonconformity groundwater is not reliable year round. Thus, knowledge of the approximate location of the geological nonconformity effectively alerts the archaeologist to an environmental zone in which water sources (and sites) are likely to occur.

Reassessing the Chronology of Glen Annie Canyon Site (CA-SBA-142)

Although his interpretations of the adaptation represented by the CA-SBA-142 data have been disputed (e.g., Curtis 1965; Warren 1967), to our knowledge Owen's chronology for the site has never been questioned. Our recent research at several early sites of the Santa Barbara Channel (Glassow 1981; Colten 1987; Erlandson 1988a) led us to suspect that aspects of the Glen Annie assemblage derived from a much later occupation. We evaluated this possibility by radiocarbon dating additional shell samples from the site and examining aspects of Owen's data. The results indicate that a number of traits that Owen (1964; 1967), Curtis (1965), and others attributed to the Millingstone (or Early) Horizon probably are associated with occupation dating to the late Holocene. In this paper, we present our evidence for a revised site chronology and examine the implications of the data for understanding early adaptations on the California coast. To place our discussion in perspective, a brief review of the CA-SBA- 142 research and the debate that followed is required.

A Culture-Historical Model for the Klamath Mountain Region of Southwest Oregon and Northern California

The purpose of this study (cf. Connolly 1986) is to organize the archaeological data from the region into an explicit, and broadly applicable, culture-historical model.


A Test of Three Shellfish Seasonality Methods: Preliminary Results

This paper reports preliminary results of investigations into the use of bivalves as seasonal indicators in archaeology. Specifically, it addresses three proposed methods used for deriving seasonality for the southern California coastal region (Drover 1974; Lyons 1978; Macko 1983) based on external shell features. Basic to each of these seasonality methods is the premise that each year, usually during winter, Chione species bivalves will form an externally visible growth-cessation band (often termed the "winter" or "annular" break ring or band) along the outermost margins of their shells. As the bivalve resumes growth during the remainder of the year, this "annular" band is incorporated as a feature of the external shell structure of the bivalve. It is assumed that these "annular" bands therefore are permanent marks recording each year in the life of a bivalve across the surface of its shell from the hinge to the margin, and that the growth between each band occurred in one year. Based on this premise, three methods (each simply variations on the same theme) have been proposed to obtain seasonal data from shell remains recovered from archaeological sites on the southern California coast. A fourth method (Weide 1969) employing Pismo clams is not considered here because that species is somewhat sparse in most southern California shell middens.

Salinan Linguistic Materials

In summation, then, a modern linguistic analysis of Antoniano Salinan has been possible based on the work of Mason, Harrington, and Jacobsen, with the aid of, principally, Fr. Sitjar, Frs. Cabot and Dumetz, and Henshaw. Mason was the only one to record texts, Harrington to record phonetic detail of previously elicited vocabulary, and Jacobsen to record completely reliable modern phonetic transcriptions of extensive vocabulary and paradigms of both nouns and verbs.

Exwanyawish: A Luiseño Sacred Rock

This report presents ethnographic testimony collected 30-40 years ago by the senior author which pinpoints the location of Exwanyawish, and provides additional information concerning the pictographs located thereon. Initially, we had some concern about publicizing the exact location of this important feature, but we realized that although the site had been recorded archaeologically many years ago, its ethnographic significance had become confused. Many of the Luiseno elders who knew the details connected with the rock, its pictographs, and its mythological connections have since passed away, so it is important from an ethnographic perspective to fill in as many gaps as possible while the remaining carriers of this knowledge are alive.

A Quantitative Anatomical Study of Basket Fragments from Lovelock Cave, Nevada

The identification of the constituent materials of a basket usually is made by the educated scrutiny of their surface characteristics. However, when these criteria yield results that are confusing or without precedent, other methods sometimes may be employed. It therefore was decided to macerate and section the fragments; identification would be attempted on the basis of a detailed analysis of the wood anatomy of the fragments. The anatomical characteristics recorded were then compared with published anatomical descriptions of possible plants as well as dried herbarium samples of known composition.


Oppelt: Southwestern Pottery: An Annotated Bibliography and List of Types and Wares

Southwestern Pottery: An Annotated Bibliography and List of Types and Wares. Second edition. Norman T. Oppelt. Metuchen: The Scarecrow Press, Inc., 1988, 333 pp., $35.00 (hardbound).

Breschini et al.: California Radiocarbon Dates (Fifth edition)

California Radiocarbon Dates. Fifth edition. Gary S. Breschini, Trudy Haversat, and Jon Erlandson, Compilers. Salinas: Coyote Press, 1988, vi -i- 119 pp., 30 figs., 1 table, $5.95 (paper).