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Open Access Publications from the University of California

Volume 19, Issue 2, 1997

Issue cover


Memorial to Wick R. Miller

Wick R. Miller, widely respected anthropological linguist, pioneer in acquisition studies, and benefactor to our discipline, was gravely injured in a bicycle accident in Hermosillo, Sonora, on Saturday, May 7, 1994. He was flown to a hospital in Phoenix, Arizona, where he died on May 9 at the age of 62. Friends and family gathered to honor his memory in Salt Lake City on Sunday, May 15, 1994.


Church and State in the History of Southern Paiutes in Cedar City, Utah

In the twentieth century, Indian communities most often live on land held in trust by the federal government, which then uses that trust obligation to justify management of tribal affairs. There are exceptions to this relationship, however, and one of the rarest is a native community residing on land privately owned by a church absent of any federal oversight. It was precisely this latter relationship that Southern Paiutes experienced throughout much of this century at Cedar City, Utah, where they lived on land owned and managed by the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. The development of this situation in a series of federal and church actions and decisions reflected the power of the two bureaucracies as they challenged each other for control over Paiute lives. Mormon oversight has had numerous long-term impacts on the Cedar City Paiute community, as well as implications for issues of church and state in American Indian policy.

Inferring Settlement Systems for the Prehistoric Hunter-Gatherers of San Diego County, California

Recent discussions of prehistoric settlement systems have often been framed in terms of a simple typological contrast between ''foragers'' and ''collectors.'' This dichotomy does less than full justice to the potential complexity of prehistoric adaptive systems and to their expression in the archaeological record. Settlement systems are proposed to vary in several partially independent dimensions. A number of variables in the archaeological record may be argued to reflect aspects of this variation. The potential, the difficulties, and some partial successes in inferring settlement systems from the prehistoric archaeological record of San Diego County are discussed.

The Relative Importance of Lacustrine and Estuarine Resources to Prehistoric Hunter-Gatherer Populations: A View from Southern Santa Clara Valley, California

Data from excavations at five sites in southern Santa Clara Valley provide several interesting insights regarding the relative importance of lacustrine and estuarine resources to prehistoric hunter-gatherer populations. The sites are located 20 to 26 km. inland from the saltwater estuary of Elkhorn Slough, but only between 0.3 and 9.0 km. from San Felipe Lake and its adjacent marshlands. Essentially ignoring the local lacustrine-marshland resource base, early populations (ca. 4,200 to 2,500 B. P.) employed a mobile subsistence-settlement strategy that included transport of estuarine resources (largely bay mussel) to interior residential bases located far from Elkhorn Slough but relatively close to San Felipe Lake. This general adaptation continued until ca. 1,000 B.P., when a simultaneous increase in population density and territoriality appears to have restricted access to Elkhorn Slough, forcing interior populations to move their settlements closer to San Felipe Lake and intensify their use of the local lacustrine resource base.

Return to Chetlessenten: The Antiquity and Architecture of an Athabaskan Village on the Southern Northwest Coast

Radiocarbon dates for the historic village of Chetlessenten (the Pistol River site) suggest that the numerous features and artifacts excavated by Hefiin (1966) from this Oregon coast site date primarily between about A.D. 1600 and A.D. 1856. In this paper, we summarize the historical importance of this well-known site, describe poorly documented investigations of the site by University of Oregon archaeologists between 1960 and 1961, report on architectural details for a semisubterranean wood plankhouse that may have been typical of precontact dwellings at Chetlessenten, and discuss the evidence for the antiquity of the site.


Population Dynamics on the Northwestern Great Basin Periphery: Clues from Obsidian Geochemistry

The source direction of obsidian artifacts from archaeological contexts in Drews Valley, located on the northwestern Great Basin perimeter, provides evidence for an east-to-west shift in procurement or interaction spheres from Middle to Late Holocene times. For Elko and earlier periods, sources located to the northeast, in Oregon 's Chewaucan Basin, are predominant, and most of the remaining exotic obsidian is from other Great Basin sources, primarily from the Goose Lake basin to the southeast. Within the last ca. 1,300 years, sources on the Modoc Plateau to the southwest predominate, while sources in the Chewaucan and other easterly basins are rare. This shift, precipitated by a combination of factors that may have included environmental stress, conflict, and changing economic opportunities, may mark the initiation of the ethnographic pattern.

Cross-Cultural Folk Classifications of Ethnobotanically Improtant Geophytes in Southern Oregon and Northern California

A confusing variety of common names has been applied to "root foods" used by Native American peoples in the Far West. This analysis references many of these names to current scientific nomenclature. Such analysis provides a foundation for a better understanding of the role of these foods in the economies and cultures of indigenous peoples. This report concentrates on ethnographically recorded species in the Oregon-California border region, although the framework is more broadly applicable.


Assessing a Reassessment of Early "Pre-Littoral" Radiocarbon Dates from the Oregon Coast

Minor's (1995) efforts to invalidate the conclusions he ascribed to me regarding the prelittoral stage are unnecessary and misdirected. In misunderstanding and thus misrepresenting what I have said about that stage, he constructed straw men. In referencing faunal evidence from Tahkenitch Landing in an attempt to refute the existence of the pre-littoral stage, he failed to acknowledge the fact that various resources found in the littoral zone are also found in the open ocean and in the upstream reaches of rivers. In citing the evidence from Indian Sands in an attempt to corroborate his beliefs, he failed to consider relevant data and lost sight of the fact that radiocarbon dating is an indirect dating method that hinges on associations.

Pre-Littoral or Early Archaic? Conceptualizing Early Adaptions on the Southern Northwest Coast

It is gratifying to see that R. Lee Lyman (1997: 260) is in "general agreement" with the conclusion that "no securely dated evidence currently exists for a 'pre-littoral' cultural adaptation along the southern Northwest Coast" (Minor 1995: 271). That was the point of my article (Minor 1995). The reassessment of early radiocarbon dates from the southern Northwest Coast was prompted by the fact that die pre-littoral stage as defined by Lyman and Ross (1988) and Lyman (1991a) is not consistent with the archaeological evidence.

Lakes and Estuaries Reconsidered: A Comment on Lacustrine Resource Intensification in the Southern Santa Clara Valley, California

My primary points are that paleoenvironmental causes for apparent transitions are not considered in Hildebrandt's model, and that estuaries like Elkhorn Slough were most important not for their winter foods, but for their summer fisheries. To make these points, I reinterpret the relatively shallow cultural chronology employed by Hildebrandt and Mikkelson (1993) in the southern Santa Clara Valley, raise some concerns about sampling strategies appropriate for the characterization of wetland adaptations, and question whether die vertebrate faunal data reported by Hildebrandt truly reflect lacustrine intensification.

Lake Holocene Use of Wetland Habitats in Central California: A Reply to Jones

In this volume, Terry Jones (1997) provided a thorough critique of my summary (also in this volume [Hildebrandt 1977a]) of prehistoric hunter- gatherer adaptations in the southern Santa Clara Valley, California (also see Hildebrandt and Mikkelsen 1993). His review identified a variety of issues that warrant additional consideration, particularly those pertaining to settlement chronology, paleoenvironmental change, and Late Holocene subsistence intensification. I appreciate his comments, as my attempts to address them will hopefully improve our understanding of wetland adaptations in central California and beyond.


McGuire: Test Excavations at CA-FRE-61, Fresno County, California

Test Excavations at CA-FRE-61, Fresno County, California. Kelly R. McGuire, with contributions by Randy Bethard, Amy J. Gilreath, Krislyn Taite, and Eric Wohlgemuth, including Choinimne Ethnography and Ethnohistory by Helen McCarthy. Museum of Anthropology, California State University, Bakersfield, Occasional Papers in Anthropology No. 5, 1995, xi -I- 138 pp., 52 figs., 29 tables, 6 appendices, $10.00 (paper).

Ricks: A Survey and Analysis of Prehistoric Rock Art of the Warner Valley Region, Lake County, Oregon

A Survey and Analysis of Prehistoric Rock Art of the Warner Valley Region, Lake County, Oregon. Mary Frances Ricks. University of Nevada, Reno, Department of Anthropology Technical Report 96-1, 1996, 179 pp., 53 figs., 22 tables, 1 map, 4 appendices, bibliography, index. No price given (paper).

Henrikson: Prehistoric Cold Storage on the Snake River Plain: Archaeological Investigations at Bobcat Cave

Prehistoric Cold Storage on the Snake River Plain: Archaeological Investigations at Bobcat Cave. Lael Suzann Henrikson. Archaeological Survey of Idaho, Monographs in Idaho Archaeology and Ethnology, No. 1, Idaho State Historical Society, 1996, v + 38 pp., 26 figs., 3 tables, $10.00 (paper).