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

Volume 18, Issue 1, 1996

Issue cover


Serpent in Eden: Dispersal of Foreign Diseases Into Pre-Mission California

The purpose of this paper is to show that California was in close and intimate proximity to the germs and vectors required for pre-mission pestilence. In addition, the perception of California's geographic immunity will be revealed as unwarranted owing to the multiple pathways available for conveyance of microbial infection into the state. This examination will trace the routes which may have channeled exotic diseases into pre-mission California and illuminate the dispersal mechanisms that transported them. Once California specialists are convinced of the probabilities of pre-mission pestilence, they may be motivated to more confidently search for new evidence of its arrival and reevaluate the old. The goal of this geographic assessment is to stimulate these long overdue efforts.

The Baker Village Teachers' Archaeology Field School: A Case Study of Public Involvement in Archaeology

The overall goals of this program were to make Project Archaeology workshops available to a nationwide audience, and to provide teachers with experiences in the field, including working with archaeologists, in hopes of fostering responsible and thoughtful actions toward our archaeological heritage.

Recent Archaeological and Geological Investigations at the Sunshine Locality, Long Valley, Nevada

This paper reports the authors' assessment of these issues and considers the occupational record of the Sunshine Locality in light of the environmental and cultural history of the region.

Debating Prehistory in Coastal Southern Calfiornia: Resource Intensification Versus Political Economy

Although the interpretations offered in this paper are exploratory, they demonstrate that existing political economic models are seriously flawed. These models are based on demonstrably unrealistic assumptions and are increasingly out of step with current empirical and theoretical studies. Alternatively, models of intensification point to productive new research directions. Equipped with these models, southern California researchers can enter global discussions about post-Pleistocene cultural change, including the origins of social complexity, sedentism, and other important cultural developments. There is every reason to suppose that southern California coastal research will be an important voice in these discussions.

Resource Intensification in Prehistoric Central California: Evidence from Archaeobotanical Data

The purpose of this paper is to attempt to apply archaeobotanical data to intensification models that have been developed to explain subsistence and settlement pattern shifts observed in prehistoric central California.

Evaluating Flake Assemblage and Stone Tool Distributions at a Large Western Stemmed Tradition Site Near Yucca Mountain, Nevada

This paper presents the results of in-field data analysis of stone artifacts from the surface of 26NY7920, a large WST site near Yucca Mountain on the Nevada Test Site (Fig. 1). Examination of the spatial dispersion of stone artifacts allowed the site to be partitioned into three clusters based upon tool and flake densities from across the site. The kinds of stone artifacts found within the clusters were compared with each other and with the rest of the site assemblage found in a nonclustered context, in order to make inferences regarding the segregation of activities at the site. This analysis included evaluating lithic reduction strategies, stone tool content, and toolstone selectivity.

Analytical Perspectives on a Protohistoric Cache of Ceramic Jars from the Lower Colorado Desert

It is clear that Protohistoric Period ceramic jars were necessary for adapting to the harsh conditions of the Lower Colorado River Valley and its adjoining deserts. Although it remains to be conclusively demonstrated whether the Trigo Mountains cache also reflected ritual behavior, such analyses merit further exploration, given the ethnographic insights on this issue. Despite the fact that noneconomic activity is difficult to document archaeologically, ceramic design iconography is a promising and largely untapped avenue for considering this dimension of native survival in the Lower Colorado Desert. Analysis of the Trigo Mountains cache contributes new perspectives on this and related topics.


A Late Archaic Burial from the Thursday Site, Utah

The discovery of a Late Archaic burial at the Thursday Site in west-central Utah has contributed new information about the health, genetic haplotype, and environmental conditions for this temporal period. The microbotanical, geomorphological, and osteological data from the burial strongly suggest that an environment rich in lacustrine/freshwater resources near the mouth of the Sevier River provided a broad spectrum of subsistence options. The mtDNA analysis performed on well-preserved bone has established the presence of the Group B Amerindian genetic haplotype. This genetic information is particularly significant since it represents the first mtDNA analysis from the Archaic period in west-central Utah, predating other temporal periods and cultures in the Great Basin for which similar studies have been performed.


Walker and Hudson: Chumash Healing: Changing Health and Medical Practices in an American Indian Society

Chumash Healing: Changing Health and Medical Practices in an American Indian Society. Phillip L. Walker and Travis Hudson. Banning: Malki Museum Press, 1993, xv -I- 161 pp., 38 figs., glossary, index, $16.95 (hard cover), $12.95 (paper).

Witherspoon, ed.: Conversations with Connor Chapoose, A Leader of the Ute Tribe of the Uintah and Ouray Reservation

Conversations with Connor Chapoose, A Leader of the Ute Tribe of the Uintah and Ouray Reservation. Y. T. Witherspoon, ed. University of Oregon Anthropological Papers No. 47. Recorded in 1960, published in 1993, v -I- 240 pp., $12.00 (paper).

Sherer: Bitterness Road, The Mojave: 1604-1860

Bitterness Road, The Mojave: 1604-1860. Lorraine M. Sherer, with comments by Frances Stillman, a Mojave Elder. Completed and edited by Sylvia Brakke Vane and Lowell John Bean. Ballena Press Anthropological Papers No. 41, 1994, 125 pp., 3 illus., references, index, $13.95 (paper).