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Open Access Publications from the University of California

Volume 16, Issue 2, 1994

Issue cover


Jose Panto: Capitan of the Indian Pueblo of San Pascual, San Diego County

The history of San Diego County has been sorely deficient in recording the account of a remarkable man. Jose Panto, the capitan of the Indian pueblo of San Pascual, led his people over a period of at least 37 years through the last decade of the Mexican rule of California and into the era of American dominance. By turns a fighter and a peacemaker, Panto was a highly respected man, both by his own people and by the dominant power of the time, whether it be a Mexican governor or an American Indian agent. As later history has been written, Panto has been largely ignored, perhaps because he did seek the way of peace rather than rebellion. His trust in the authorities was sadly misplaced, as the onslaught of the American frontier prevailed to destroy his village and rout his people from their land.

Surprise Valley Projectile Points and Their Chronological Implications

Great Basin archaeologists continue to dispute important aspects of the regional projectile point sequence. Two alternative models are evaluated (the so-called "short" chronology originally developed by Heizer and others, and the "rejuvenation" model recently proposed by Flenniken and Wilke) in light of data from three sites in Surprise Valley, northeast California. All points in the sample were classified using a modified version of the Monitor Valley Key and their stratigraphic distributions assessed in light of predictions derived from the two models. Results support the "short" chronology; predictions derived from the Flenniken/Wilke model are rejected. Further tests involving obsidian hydration analysis are proposed. Implications for point typologies, stratigraphic interpretation, and regional sequences are discussed.

Evidence of the Domesticated Dogs and Some Related Canids in the Eastern Great Basin

This paper synthesizes the data on prehistoric dogs (Canis familiaris) and other related canids in the eastern Great Basin. Data presented here suggest that domesticated dogs were relatively rare in the eastern Great Basin throughout the Holocene. Skeletal remains of dogs appear to be more commonly associated with sites in wetland habitats, a pattern previously identified in the western Great Basin. In these habitats, dogs may have been able to subsist with little or no assistance from humans.

Archaeological Investigations at Pintwater Cave, Nevada, During the 1963-64 Field Season

Pintwater Cave is a large, stratified, dry cave near Indian Springs, Nevada. As part of preliminary work conducted in 1963-64, surface artifacts on the cave floor were collected and a single test pit was dug without reaching noncultural deposits. A significant number of artifacts was recovered, but they have not been described until now. The collection is dominated by wooden dart and arrow shafts and fragmentary projectile points of the Elko series. Radiocarbon dates range from 9,300 to 3,000 B. P. Systematic multidisciplinary research by the Desert Research Institute at the cave may provide answers to several problems, including the as yet unresolved chronological and subsistence issues in southern Great Basin prehistory and the local effects of Holocene environmental fluctuations.

Advances in Southern Channel Islands Archaeology: 1983 to 1993

A summary of research in the southern Channel Islands of California is presented. This research shows that these islands have been occupied for nearly 10,000 years. Residential structures and the distribution of a type of marine shell bead suggest that sedentism and a regional interaction sphere arose in this region as early as 5,000 years ago. Additional information is presented on chronological trends and the impact of humans on nearshore ecosystems, including fish and shellfish populations. These data are leading archaeologists to reassess the age and origins of marine cultural traditions in southern California.


A Reanalysis of Four Northern Great Basin Atlatls

This paper reports on the reanalysis of four atlatls from Plush Cave and Roaring Springs Cave in southeastern Oregon; three are effectively complete and one is a spur only. At present, no meaningful chronological data are available on these artifacts. However, based on comparisons with artifacts from site deposits of known age, it can be minimally stated that they are of Middle Archaic age.


Wiberg: The Santa Rita Village Mortuary Complex (CA-ALA-413): Evidence and Implications of a Meganos Intrusion

The Santa Rita Village Mortuary Complex (CA-ALA- 413): Evidence and Implications of a Meganos Intrusion. Randy S. Wiberg. Coyote Press Archives of California Prehistory, No. 18, 1988, vi + 99 pp., 8 tables, 35 figures, appendix, $5.95 (paper).

Pavesic and Studebaker: Backtracking: Ancient Art of Southern Idaho

Backtracking: Ancient Art of Southern Idaho. Max G. Pavesic and William Studebaker. Idaho Museum of Natural History, 69 pp., 1 map, 57 figs. (42 in color); with a foreword by Catherine S. Fowler, $21.95 (paper).

Beck: Ethnobotany of the California Indians, Vol. 1: A Bibliography and Index; and Strike: Ethnobotany of the California Indians, Vol. 2: Aboriginal Uses of California's Indigenous Plants

Ethnobotany of the California Indians, Vol. 1: A Bibliography and Index. Beatrice M. Beck. Champaign, Illinois: Koeltz Scientific Books USA/Germany, 1994, iii + 165 pp., 1 map, bibliography, index. Ethnobotany of the California Indians, Vol. 2: Aboriginal Uses of California's Indigenous Plants. Sandra S. Strike. Champaign, Illinois: Koeltz Scientific Books USA/Germany, 1994, ii + 210 pp., 1 map, 18 illus., 1 appendix, bibliography, index, $80.00 (2 vol. set, paper).