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

Volume 6, Issue 1, 1984

Issue cover


Memorial to Mrs. Rosalie Pinto Robertson

Those of us who worked with Rosalie Pinto Robertson were privileged to know a woman who would arise from the sick bed to help another person and who saw neither tribe, race, creed, nor national boundary if a call came for help. She worked consistently to improve understanding and justice for all peoples.


Miwok Dancers of 1856: Stereographic Images from Sonora, California

Five stereographic views of Miwok people (Figs. 1-5) made in Sonora, California, during the 1850s are apparently the earliest photographic representations of Sierra Miwok people, and perhaps the earliest such images of any Indian people in northern California. Primarily showing individuals in ceremonial regalia, these photographs provide us with an unparalleled view of California Indians at the end of the Gold Rush period in the Mother Lode region of the Sierra Nevada.

Paleoenvironmental Change at Elkhorn Slough: Implications for Human Adaptive Strategies

In this paper we will discuss the implications of small-scale paleoenvironmental change on prehistoric human populations residing in the coastal zone of central California. The subject area is central Monterey Bay; specifically, Elkhorn Slough, an estuary situated midway between Santa Cruz and Monterey, the mouth of which now forms part of the Moss Landing Harbor (Fig. 1). Although the slough is currently classified as an estuary, it has a complex hydrographic past related partially to sea-level rise and partially to other natural events. Over 40 sites have been recorded in the Elkhorn Slough area, all of which can generally be classified as shell middens, with shellfish remains constituting the bulk of cultural deposits. Analysis of data from two of these sites reveals a changing pattern of shellfish exploitation through time which correlates with the slough's hydrographic history.

Obsidian Hydration and the Pinto Chronology in the Mojave Desert

This paper is an evaluation of three different chronological placements of the Pinto Period in light of obsidian hydration readings from the Stahl, or Little Lake, site (Harrington 1957; Meighan 1981) and the Awl site located at the west end of Drinkwater Basin on Fort Irwin (Fig. 1). The three chronologies selected are representative of different views concerning the beginning and ending dates for the Pinto Period and its cultural relationship to the earlier Lake Mojave Period (Fig. 2). Wallace's (1962) chronological placement of the Pinto Period sets a terminal date of A.D. 1 and an initial date of 2500 B.C., with a cultural hiatus separating the Lake Mojave and Pinto periods. Bettinger and Taylor (1974) place their Little Lake (Pinto) Period between 1200 and 4000 B.C., immediately following the Lake Mojave Period. Warren and Crabtree (in press) date the Pinto Period between 2000 and 5000 B.C., immediately following the Lake Mojave Period. These proposed beginning and ending dates for the Pinto Period, and the presence or absence of a preceding cultural hiatus, can be evaluated with data that include obsidian hydration measurements from the Little Lake and Awl sites, and available radiocarbon dates pertaining to the outset of the Gypsum (or Newberry) Period

Prehistoric Human Land-use Patterns in the Alvord Basin, Southeastern Oregon

In summary, the projectile point distributions recorded in the Alvord Basin have led this paper to discussion of patterns and proposals that can be divided into three major categories, ranging from the data-oriented to the theoretical.

Demographic Patterns in the Missions of Central Baja California

The analogy of the European city from 1500 to 1800 applies to the case of the missions of central Baja California. Unhealthy conditions in the cities contributed to high mortality rates, rates higher than birth rates. Immigration from the rural hinterland, however, maintained and continued to expand urban populations. Overcrowding, poor diet and sanitation, and epidemics of smallpox and measles all contributed to high mortality in the cities (Flinn 1981: 22-23).


New Observations on a Clovis Point from the Central Mojave Desert, California

Although the point is too sandblasted to yield a reliable obsidian hydration measurement, Clovis points are generally associated with cultural deposits dating to about 11,000 radiocarbon years before the present. The specimen was, however, sourced by X-ray fluorescence to the obsidian deposits near Coso Hot Springs (the Coso, or Sugarloaf source; Ericson, Hagan, and Chesterman 1976) in southwestern Inyo County, about 150 km. northwest of the site where the point was found. This suggests that use of the obsidian deposits near Coso Hot Springs began perhaps as early as 11,000 years ago.

A Basket Fragment from the Lava Mountains, San Bernardino County, California

Given the available data on basketry in the general region, the Lava Mountain fragment exhibits some possibly unique characteristics, especially in regard to its provenience and composition. The Lava Mountains area was apparently rich in seed food products and this vessel, in its functional state, no doubt served as a storage container, perhaps employed by groups either from the south, or with southern connections, who were utilizing the area seasonally (cf. USDI 1976). It should be clear from the above review that the quality of regional basketry data is uneven and ambiguous, thus difficult to integrate. Hopefully, the description of this basket fragment from the Lava Mountains will add meaningfully to the data base.


The Status of California Archaeology in 1984 [Chartkoff and Chartkoff: The Archaeology of California; and Moratto: California Archaeology]

The Archaeology of California. Joseph L. Chartkoff and Kerry Kona Chartkoff Stanford: Stanford University Press, 1984, xix-l-431 pp., 3 tables, 48 maps, 107 figures, 7 appendices, bibliography, index, $32.50 (cloth). California Archaeology. Michael J. Moratto, with contributions by David A. Fredrickson, Christopher Raven, and Claude N. Warren, with a Foreword by Francis A. Riddell. Orlando: Academic Press, 1984, xxxvii-i- 757 pp., 26 tables, 173 figures, 2 appendices, glossary, bibliography, 2 indices, $68.00 (cloth), $32.50 (paper).

Brief Notes on Recent Publications

A History of the Shoshone-Paiute of the Duck Valley Indian Reservation. Whitney Mc- Kinney (with contributions by E. Richard Hart and Thomas Zeidler). Salt Lake City: The Institute of the American West and Howe Bros., 1983. 135 pp., maps, photos. $15.95.

Recent Titles

Ethnological Mitigation: Warm Springs Dam —Lake Sonoma, California. D. W. Peri, S. M. Patterson, and J. L. Goodrich (with two chapters by R. N. Lemer). Prepared for U. S. Army Corps of Engineers, San Francisco District, 1982. 134 pp. 8 maps, 29 plates, 7 tables, 2 appendices. $7.00.

Chartkoff and Chartkoff: The Archaeology of Two Northern California Sites. Excavations at the Patrick Site (4-Butte-1); and Sanburg and Mulligan: The Archaeology of the Hackney Site, Mariposa County, California

The Archaeology of Two Northern California Sites. Excavations at the Patrick Site (4-Butte-l by Joseph Chartkoff and Kerry Chartkoff, and The Archaeology of the Hackney Site, Mariposa County, California by Delmer E. Sanburg, Jr. and F. K. Mulligan. University of California, Los Angeles Institute of Archeology, Monograph 22, 1983, 92 pp., maps, photos, tables, references, $8.00 (paper).

Busch, ed.: Alta California, 1840-1842: the Journal and Observations of William Dane Phelps, Master of the Ship Alert

Alta California. 1840-1842: the Journal and Observations of William Dane Phelps, Master of the Ship Alert. Edited and with an introduction by Briton Cooper Busch. Glendale: Arthur H. Clark, 1983, 364 pp., 7 plates, 3 maps, $29.50.

Goerke and Cowan: The Pacheco Site (Mrn-152) and the Middle Horizon in Central California

The Pacheco Site (Mrn-152) and the Middle Horizon in Central California. Elizabeth B. Goerke and Richard A. Cowan with Ann Ramenofsky and Lee Spencer. Journal of New World Archaeology, Volume VI, Number I, January, 1983, 98 pp., 4 maps, 32 figures, $8.00 (paper).