Volume 11, Issue 1, 1989
This paper describes an experiment in which the Bustos site is treated as if it were an ethnoarchaeological situation in addition to being an interesting example of a late prehistoric site in the Great Basin. Ethnoarchaeological studies of site formation processes shaping the structure of sites (e.g., Kent 1984, 1987; O'Connell 1987) have been important to our understanding of site function, task organization, duration of occupation, seasonality, and the role of storage. The archaeological visibility of lightly constructed, perishable structures is another issue. A high percentage of past hunter-gatherer residential behavior has likely left archaeologists with a disproportionate number of lithic scatters, while decayed structures, requiring far more attention to locate, go unrecognized. Inferences from ethnoarchaeology conducted in other regions of the world have been applied to a case in the northeastern Great Basin to help identify the location of small structures whose superstructures have vanished (Simms and Heath n.d.). These kinds of studies hold implications for the use of negative evidence (i.e., the absence of residences) to interpret site function, as well as the assessment of significance, and policies for survey and test excavations in cultural resource management.
The aboriginal native leadership pattern, then, was headmanship, rather than chieftainship. In the central and western portions of the Great Basin, political issues less often involved matters of how to retain and protect strategic resources, than how to find them. Great Basin headmen who retained the position developed reputations for being knowledgeable and successful; competence was more critical than inheritance in determining leadership. This was so even in the band societies that existed in some regions, in which chiefs did exercise authority over some decisions, rather than guiding merely through suasion. Yet, in the bands the authority of chiefs and their counsels was noncoercive and was restricted to the periods during which the bands were convened. Families usually were free to leave bands or camps, moving on and attaching to a new camp following a collective fishing venture, a successful antelope drive, or "a pleasant round dance" (Jorgensen 1980:220; cf. Bunte and Franklin 1987:11). The southern and eastern Ute and eastern Shoshone groups had band-level political organization with single leaders, sometimes assisted by councils. Among the Northern Paiute, Southern Paiute, and Western Shoshone groups, leadership under a single headman developed only where resources permitted long-term residence over several generations and favored some collective ownership of resources (Jorgensen 1980:316- 317, 488-489; Eggan 1980; Stewart 1980).
This paper reports subterranean, or subfloor, rock-lined cache pits built in sheltered places by aboriginal peoples in the California deserts. These features have received almost no attention in California because excavations traditionally have emphasized the recovery and analysis of portable artifacts. Studies in which nonportable structural features of any kind have been discovered, exposed, and systematically investigated in California are few. Failure to more consistently investigate nonportable facilities has hindered interpretation of the archaeological record in the desert region.
The purposes of this paper are: (1) to discuss the organizational strategies of hunter-gatherers that are likely to have resulted in the construction and use of rock-lined cache pits; (2) to determine if possible whether, in hunter-gatherer contexts, food, equipment, or raw material likely would have been stored in such cache pits; (3) to report a group of rock-lined cache pits discovered in excavations at Indian Hill Rockshelter in southeastern California; (4) to review the reported occurrence of similar features elsewhere from the California deserts; and (5) to compare and contrast the use of rock-lined cache pits in the California deserts with that in Southwestern contexts, primarily on the Colorado Plateau; and (6) to suggest how and why caching technology may have changed over time.
Discrete assemblages, or clusters, of bifaces in mortuary association are a relatively rare phenomenon throughout the greater San Francisco Bay area (cf. Contreras 1957; Wiberg 1988:23). This paper presents a formal description, trace element analysis, and interpretation of two such clusters found close together in a prehistoric cemetery in Santa Clara County, some 30 km. south of San Francisco Bay (Fig. 1).
In the Spring of 1983, a fluted Clovis-like projectile point of obsidian was discovered on the surface of site CA-KER-300, located at an elevation of 3,100 ft. (940 m.) in the southern Sierra Nevada northeast of Bakersfield, California (Fig. 1). The site consists of numerous loci including bedrock milling stations, midden areas, lithic concentrations, house pits, hearths, burials, and several rock shelters with pictographs, all distributed over an area of approximately 80 acres.
Alice Putnam, who followed her father's career closely, recorded in her diary that, "Of all of his students and assistants Kroeber was one of the most faithful to F. W. Putnam." The relationship between Putnam and Kroeber over many years was always respectful and to mutual advantage. They complemented each other - the administrator on one hand and the researcher-teacher on the other hand. They always supported each other to the fullest extent, and together they established the science of anthropology in California.
A complete crescent was discovered in the Elk Hills, California (Fig. 1), just north of Buena Vista Lake in the southern San Joaquin Valley. The specimen was found in the berm of a bladed road and not in association with a known archaeological site. It therefore is recorded as an isolated find (IF-KER-388). The location of the discovery is on a generally north-facing, and badly eroded, slope of the Elk Hills at an elevation of 115 m. (380 ft.), some 27 m. (90 ft.) above the nearby valley floor. Its precise provenience is unknown but presumably it was deposited in the immediate vicinity of the place of discovery.
While distant peoples undoubtedly procured obsidian from sources in central Oregon, it is likely that this activity was largely restricted to informal trade between individual hunters or small hunting groups during most of the prehistoric past. Certainly, there currently is no evidence that an exchange system on the scale envisioned by Scott et al. existed in this area during the time periods they suggested.
We appreciate the opportunity to respond to Minor and Toepel's remarks concerning our article describing the Pahoehoe biface cache from central Oregon (Scott et al. 1986). As we understand their criticisms, they can be broken down into four issues: (1) our estimated age for the Pahoehoe cache; (2) their estimated age for the "early" habitation of Lava Island Rockshelter, as evidenced by a small lanceolate biface cache; (3) the antiquity of lanceolate biface caches in this region; and (4) the function of the Pahoehoe and related caches. Each is addressed below.
Volume 9, No. 2, of Journal of California and Great Basin Anthropology included two lengthy articles intended to clarify the nature and dating of so-called Pinto points (Jenkins 1987; Vaughan and Warren 1987). These discussions were laudable attempts to define a widespread point type in the Great Basin and to provide a dating for it. They grew out of the reality of Great Basin archaeology, which has few sites with any depth or undisturbed stratigraphy, and except for dry caves consists largely of lithic collections with few distinctive artifacts other than projectile points. The result is that the archaeology of this region is dominated by analysis of points, and to the outsider it looks as if Great Basin archaeology consists primarily of point types (cf. Michels 1965; Warren 1984; an exception is the series of reports on Hidden Cave beginning with Thomas  which incidentally provide considerable data on obsidian dating and its application to Great Basin archaeology). While these point sequences have been variously suggested to equate with climatic changes and ecological variables, the validity of such interpretations is dependent upon a reasonably precise dating of the point types, and the controversy over dating impedes the drawing of general conclusions. Efforts to improve the dating of widespread point types such as Pinto are therefore essential if interpretive efforts are to move forward. I would like, however, to point to some general problems which were not clearly addressed by the articles cited.
Indians of the Feather River: Tales and Legends of Concow Maidu of California. Donald P. Jewell. Menlo Park: Ballena Press, 1987, vi + 184 pp., $12.95 (paper).
Schiffman, ed.: Visions of the Sky: Archaeological and Ethnological Studies of California Indian Astronomy
Visions of the Sky: Archaeological and Ethnological Studies of California Indian Astronomy. Robert A. Schiffman, ed. Salinas: Coyote Press Archives of California Prehistory No. 16, 1988, xiv + 171 pp., 84 figs., 13 tables, $9.95 (paper).
Goldberg and Arnold: Prehistoric Sites in the Prado Basin, California: Regional Context and Significance Evaluation
Prehistoric Sites in the Prado Basin, California: Regional Context and Significance Evaluation. Susan K. Goldberg and Jeanne E. Arnold. Los Angeles: U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, 1988, xi + 132 pp., 4 figs., 8 tables, gratis (paper).
Cultural Resources Survey, Upper Santa Ana River, California. R. Paul Hampson, Jerrel Sorenson, Susan K. Goldberg, Mark T. Swanson, and Jeanne E. Arnold. Los Angeles: U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, Los Angeles District, 1988, vii + 150 pp., 42 figs., 7 tables, gratis (paper).
Papers on California Prehistory: 2. Salinas: Coyote Press Archives of California Prehistory No. 22, 1988, 114 pp., $11.20 (paper).
Test Excavations at the May Site (CA-SIS-S7) in Seiad Valley, Northwestern California. Joseph L. Chartkoff. Salinas: Coyote Press Archives of California Prehistory No. 17, 1988, vi + 80 pp., 2 maps, 12 figs., 31 tables, $6.20 (paper).
A Golden Journey: Memoirs of an Archaeologist. Luther S. Cressman. Salt Lake City: University of Utah Press, 1988, xviii + 506 pp., 44 plates, 1 figure, notes, index, $35.00 (cloth).
The Archeology of Mitchell Caverns. Diana G. Pinto. California Department of Parks and Recreation California Archeological Reports No. 25, 1989, 187 pp., 42 figs., 1 appendix, $5.00 (paper).
Thomas: Columbian Consequences, Vol. I: Archaeological and Historical Perspectives on the Spanish Borderlands West
Columbian Consequences, Vol. I: Archaeological and Historical Perspectives on the Spanish Borderlands West. David Hurst Thomas, ed. Washington: Smithsonian Institution Press, 1989, 503 pp., 21 maps, 12 tables, 35 figs., bibliography, $49.95 (hard cover).
Meighan and Scalise, eds.: Obsidian Dates IV: A Compendium of the Obsidian Hydration Determinations Made at the UCLA Obsidian Hydration Laboratory
Obsidian Dates IV: A Compendium of the Obsidian Hydration Determinations Made at the UCLA Obsidian Hydration Laboratory. Clement W. Meighan and Janet L. Scalise, eds. Los Angeles: University of California Institute of Archaeology Monograph XXIX, 1988, xi + 511 pp., $12.75 (paper).
An Introduction to the Archaeology of the Western Mojave Desert, California. Mark Q. Sutton. Salinas: Coyote Press Archives of California Prehistory No. 14, 1988, vi + 104 pp., 29 figs., 9 tables, appendix, bibliography, $8.70 (paper).