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Open Access Publications from the University of California

Volume 3, Issue 1, 1981

Issue cover


Memorial to Ronald D. Douglas (1954-1981), Edward C. Gardner (1946-1981), Bruce A. Jenkins (1953-1981)

Ronald D. Douglas, Edward C. (Ted) Gardner, and Bruce A. Jenkins died tragically August 28, 1981, in the crash of a light plane shortly after takeoff from the Seiad Valley Airport in the Klamath National Forest. They had just completed an archaeological and historical survey of an area along Grider Creek in the Klamath wilderness area prior to a planned timber sale and were returning to their homes in southern California when the accident occurred.


How to Classify the Projectile Points from Monitor Valley, Nevada

My aim is to review and revise the post-Mazama (i.e., post-5000 B.C.) projectile point chronology for a portion of the Great Basin. The evolution of this chronology is considered briefly, and the current problems in its application are highlighted. Two kinds of new data are then brought to bear on the problems.

Problems of Ethnohistorical Research in Baja California

For a relatively small, isolated, and arid geographical area, sparsely populated by some of the reportedly most marginal peoples in the Americas prior to extinction, and lacking in great part historical continuity, Baja California is extraordinary rich in historical documentation in the form of diaries, descriptive texts, reports, and correspondence. The famous Mexican historian, Miguel Leon-Portilla, has often remarked that "probably there are more historical documents relating to Baja California than there are Baja Californians." This documentation has been put to good use by ethnologists and historians for some years. Nevertheless, most of these writers have relied solely upon eighteenth century documentation, primarily the writings of Jesuit missionaries, while earlier documentation has been overlooked. My purpose here is to call attention to some of these overlooked sources and a few of the evident enigmas and contradictions in these documents.

Ord Shelter

This paper reports the excavation and analysis of the archaeological deposit in Ord Shelter (CA-SBr-2846), located in the south-central Mojave Desert, California. The site was excavated in October, 1971, by a field party from the University of California, Riverside. It contained a small bed of bunch grass, adjacent to and under which were found three fragments of basketry, a bone tool, miscellaneous fragments of sinew and cordage, pieces of a carrying net, and a cache containing two bundles of snares. The site is of interest because its well-preserved assemblage was left there perhaps by only a single individual nearly 2000 years ago.

Notes on Yana Ethnobotany

During a recent inventory of anthropological archival material at the University of California, Berkeley, a list of plants collected in Tehama County, California, in or before 1914 by T. T. Waterman (1914-1918) was encountered. This, taken in conjunction with a field check list by C. H. Merriam (1979), consisting in part of native names of plant species collected in Shasta County to the north of Tehama, from Yana Indian residents, may form the basis of at least a partial summary of plant usages by the Yana which has heretofore been lacking. Several other published but scattered sources, especially that of Sapir and Spier (1943) may serve to round out the picture of possibly all that can ever be known, ethnobotanically, for the Yana region.

Rock Art Research in the Great Basin: Some Historical Comments

To conclude with a positive suggestion: perhaps it is time for rock art researchers to organize a session at a regional meeting and produce a standard textbook chapter for Great Basin rock art that could be used as an adjunct to other texts and reference materials. Such a piece could serve to stimulate acceptance of rock art studies by anthropologists. To not do so will ultimately cause the neglect of rock art as art in and of itself, as anthropological data, and as worthy cultural resources.

Archaeological Investigations in Northern San Diego County, California: Frey Creek

The immediate goal is to present here some data relative to one aspect of the little known San Luis Rey I phase of the San Luis Rey Complex. We are not proposing a synthesis of all available San Luis Rey I data for San Diego County nor are we suggesting that the handful of artifacts described herein is a sufficient basis for any in-depth discussion of either the settlement pattern or the specific activities of site occupants. We have included, however several theoretically oriented observations that are best seen as tentative hypotheses. In our opinion these suggestions, though not yet testable, are not inconsistent with the available data and may have meaningful implications in the eventual understanding of the local archaeology. It is hoped that more significant data and somewhat more definitive theoretical contributions will be forthcoming as the data base is expanded and refined. Continuing investigations toward this end are now in progress.

The Rock Art of Soxtonocmu, an Inland Chumash Village

The purpose of this paper is to describe the unusual variety of rock art associated with an inland Chumash village (CA-SBa-167), known historically as Soxtonocmu. The site is located in the eastern foothills of the Santa Inez Valley, Santa Barbara County, California. To the north is Zaca Peak; Figuroa Mountain is to the east. Birabent Creek, a perennial surface-flow stream, winds through the site.

Traders and Raiders: Aspects of Trans-Basin and California-Plateau Commerce, 1800-1830

This paper examines the emergence of horse-facilitated commerce and the development of trade centers and of composite predatory bands of horse nomads between 1800 and 1830. It is argued that concurrent settlement shifts occurred during this period as pedestrian Indians moved to more protected, less vulnerable locations away from the major trade routes frequented by mounted traders and raiders.


The 1781-1782 Smallpox Epidemic in Baja California

In the years 1781 and 1782, the Indian population of Baja California experienced a virulent smallpox epidemic that originated in central Mexico and then spread to the northern frontier provinces. The disease entered the peninsula by way of a group of infected families from Sonora, members of the Rivera y Moncada expedition enroute to Alta California (Sales 1956:60).

Radiocarbon dates from CA-Mrn-152

In general, excavations at Mrn-152, which were conducted in 1972 and 1973, produced few time-sensitive artifacts, but those identified range from the Early through the Late Horizon, as defined elsewhere in central California. The close agreement of the three dates reported here indicates that there may have been an early occupation of Marin County, yet to be fully discovered and described, that is comparable to that of the Berkeley facies.

New Radiocarbon Determinations from Newberry Cave

The results of this radiocarbon analysis permit the conclusion that split-twig figurines and atlatl darts were in use essentially contemporaneously at Newberry Cave. The numerous Elko series and Gypsum type projectile points in the collection were undoubtedly used with the atlatl dart shafts. It seems probable that the apparent magico-religious artifacts and unique zoomorphic pictographs present on the walls of the cave also date from this period of use. It is suggested that this magico-religious and hunting assemblage comprises a single cultural component, and resulted from the activities of a prehistoric hunters' society, who attempted to aid their pursuit of bighorn sheep through the use of magic.


Publications of Ronald L. Olson

Omer C. Stewart has kindly pointed out to us that an incomplete list of the publications of Ronald L. Olson appeared in his memorial in the preceding issue of the Journal. Unfortunately, the error occurred during composition, after a correct galley had been proofed. A complete list of the publications of Ronald L. Olson is provided here.

Corrections to "Some Aspects of Kitanemuk Prehistory"

My article, "Some Aspects of Kitanemuk Prehistory," published in the last issue of the Journal contains two errors. The legend in Fig. 1 is reversed, listing Kroeber's boundary assignment as Blackburn and Bean's, and vice versa. Rosamond Lake is also misspelled on Fig. 1. These errors were made by the author during production of the map.


Brief Notes on Recent Publications

Indian-White Relationships in Northern California: 1849-1920 in the Congressional Set of United States Public Documents. Compiled by Norris A. Bleyhl. Northeastern California Regional Programs, California State University, Chico, 1978, 106 pp. Newspaper References Concerning Indians and Indian-White Relationships in Northeastern California Chiefly Between 1850 and 1920. Compiled by Norris A. Bleyhl. Northeastern California Regional Programs, California State University, Chico, 1979, 209 pp.

Garfinkel and Cook: Aspects of Prehistoric Change in Central Eastern California: The Sherwin Grade Site

Aspects of Prehistoric Change in Central Eastern California: The Sherwin Grade Site.Alan P. Garfinkel and Roger A. Cook. Califomia Department of Transportation Occasional Papers in Archaeology No. 1, 1979, vi + 107 pp., $3.00 (paper).

Heizer and Elsasser: The Natural World of the California Indians

The Natural World of the California Indians. Robert F. Heizer and Albert Elsasser. Berkeley: University of California Press, 1980, 271 pp., 130 figs., $12.95 (cloth), $7.95 (paper).

Knack: Life is with People: Household Organization of the Contemporary Southern Paiute Indians

Life is with People: Household Organization of the Contemporary Southern Paiute Indians. Martha C. Knack. Socorro: BaHena Press Anthropological Papers No. 19, 1980, 106 pp., map, tables, references, $6.95 (paper).

Beemer: My Luiseño Neighbors: Excerpts from a Journal Kept in Pauma Valley, Northern San Diego County, 1934-1974

My Luiseño Neighbors: Excerpts from a Journal Kept in Pauma Valley, Northern San Diego County, 1934 to 1974.Eleanor Beemer. Ramona: Acoma Books, 1980, 67 pp., map and many illustrations, $9.95 (paper).

Kasper: Skeletal Identification of California Sea Lions and Harbor Seals for Archaeologists

Skeletal Identification of California Sea Lions and Harbor Seals for Archaeologists. Jan C. Kasper. San Diego Museum of Man Ethnic Technology Notes No. 17, 1980, 34 pp.