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Open Access Publications from the University of California

Volume 16, Issue 1, 1994

Issue cover


Community and Wilderness in Pomo Ideology

The Pomo Indians of northern California perceived their villages as being separate from, but connected with, the wild places surrounding them, resulting in structurally differing interpretations for Community and Wilderness. The village and its fringe served as the focus of the woman's world, while the man's world often focused more on the wilderness. Power, an essential part of the Pomo experience, could be gained in both worlds. In the village, power was often of a communal nature, and its acquisition involved elaborate rituals enacted by numerous people. In the wilderness, however, power could be gained alone by way of supernatural experience. In order to acquire and maintain these powers, a spiritual balance was sought to connect the natural and cultural orders. This paper is a discussion of Pomoan thought and an examination of the relationship of the Pomo to Community and Wilderness.

The Possibilities of Women and Men: Gender and the California Milling Stone Horizon

Traditional formulations of gender, as they have been applied to prehistoric subsistence practices and work organization in California, have sometimes served to mask or obfuscate aspects of adaptive variation. This is particularly true of more ancient lifeways, such as those subsumed under the Milling Stone Horizon, that are not so easily recognized in the cultural landscape of ethnographic California. In this paper, it is argued that gender organization was much less circumscribed during the Milling Stone Horizon; the procurement and processing of major plant and animal staples were the domain of comparatively heterogeneous task groups, incorporating men, women, and children. In the face of mid-Holocene environmental stress, and dispersed but increasingly dense populations, a demographically inclusive, low-bulk foraging strategy may have provided a reasonable solution to the challenges of food gathering. Further, this lack of polarity in gender relationships had social and ideological dimensions, manifested in the absence of explicit gender referents in burial associations. The dynamics of gender and its relationship to work organization are considered crucial to the understanding of prehistoric culture change in California.

The Challenge of Archaeological Research in the Colorado Desert: Recent Approaches and Discoveries

Colorado Desert archaeological studies over the last 20 years are reviewed to discuss how some of the major research issues pertaining to the region have, or have not, been successfully addressed. Regional culture history and adaptation to environmental change have been the particular focus of many studies that are not widely known outside the local CRM community. Among the key questions are defining an early man phase of occupation, characterizing the Paleoindian and Archaic period occupations, and interpreting Late Prehistoric adaptations to the infilling and final recession of Lake Cahuilla.

Morphological and Temporal Projectile Point Types: Evidence from Orange County, California

Investigators in southern California often employ Great Basin and Mojave Desert projectile point chronologies to date their prehistoric assemblages. This approach is tested using atlatl darts from five Newport Coast sites. In an attempt to partition the Orange County Middle Holocene into discrete temporal segments, the projectile points are classified, where possible, using Great Basin and Mojave Desert point typologies. The Middle Holocene occurrence of a great variety of forms, a consequence of rejuvenation and other factors, complicates the effort. No clear, precise temporal markers emerged from the study, and the data do not support the atlatl point chronology proposed by Koerper and Drover (1983). On the basis of these results, it is concluded that Great Basin and Mojave Desert atlatl dart types cannot be applied indiscriminately to projectile points for chronological control in coastal southern California.

A Descriptive Reanalysis of the Leporid Bones from Hogup Cave, Utah

A total of 18,208 leporid bones from Hogup Cave was analyzed. Approximately 1% of the assemblage bore clear evidence of human modification (cut-marks and breakage patterns) while 8% showed clear evidence of nonhuman modification (digestive damage, presence in scat and pellet matter, and puncture marks). Raptors probably modified the majority of the latter group. The culturally modified bone pattern was consistent through time, suggesting a consistency of behavior throughout the occupation of the site, as predicted by the Desert Culture concept.


Intersource and Intrasource Geochemical Variability in Two Newly Discovered Archaeological Obsidian Sources in the Southern Great Basin

Two newly discovered sources of archaeological obsidian in the southern Great Basin (Devil Peak, Nevada, and Bristol Mountains, California) are described. Geological, geochemical, and archaeological data are presented on these sources in an effort to aid in the elimination of spurious source assignments in regional archaeological contexts.


Comments on the Presentation of Data in Archaeological Monographs

In his review of Margaret Lyneis's "The Main Ridge Community at Lost City," David Madsen (JCGBA 14[2]:271-273) commends the author for her scholarship and the University of Utah Press for its production standards. He finds fault with the presentation of tables on a disk formatted for Macintosh. We agree on all points.

Further Comments on Publishing Large Compilations of Archaeological Data

As members of the advisory board of the University of Utah Anthropological Papers, Duncan Metcalfe and James O'Connell point out that the University of Utah Press cannot afford to publish the reams of data that accompany some submissions of monograph-length reports, even though the stated goal of the series is to publish research "in full." Recognizing the value of making data available to interested researchers, they offer two solutions: (1) publish only those data "needed to insure basic comprehension" and encourage authors to make the complete data available for the asking in machine-readable form, or (2) publish the data in a "highly compressed format" with the paper. These two proposals do not limit the possibilities, and I offer here a third.


Smith: Shoshone Tales

Shoshone Tales. Collected by Anne M. Smith, assisted by Alden Hayes, foreward by Catherine S. Fowler, with an afterword by Beverly Crum. Salt Lake City: University of Utah Press, 1993, xxxv + 188 pp., $29.95 (hard cover).

Crum: Po'i Pentum Tammen Kimmappeh: The Road on Which We Came: A History of the Western Shoshone

Po'i Pentum Tammen Kimmappeh: The Road on Which We Came: A History of the Western Shoshone. Steven J. Crum, University of Utah Press, Salt Lake City, 1994, vii + 240 pages, index, bibliography, $29.95 (cloth).

Erlandson: Early Hunter-Gatherers of the Califomia Coast

Early Hunter-Gatherers of the California Coast. Jon M. Erlandson. New York and London: Plenum Press, 1994, 336 pp., 73 tables, 47 figs., bibliography, index (hard cover), $45.00.