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Open Access Publications from the University of California

Volume 8, Issue 1, 1986

Issue cover


The Pahoehoe Site: A Lanceolate Biface Cache in Central Oregon

A chipped stone artifact cache recently recovered from the Pahoehoe site (35DS268) in the Cascade Mountains of Oregon offers an opportunity to: (1) demonstrate the culturally determined reduction system employed to manufacture the lanceolate-shaped biface artifacts found in the cache; (2) compare this production technology and biface cache with current interpretations of lanceolate biface assemblages; and (3) discuss the possible function of this biface cache technology.

Salt Pomo: An Ethnogeography

Recent research in Salt Pomo territory has produced new ethnogeographic data to add to the named villages identified in much earlier studies (Barrett 1904, 1908; Merriam MS, 1966, 1977). This new information is of particular interest because it significantly increases our general knowledge of the Salt Pomo, about whom little is otherwise known, and because it contributes to an understanding of their settlement pattern as well as to broader, regional land-use analyses. In addition, the study allows for comparison between the old and new data and thus a fuller evaluation of both is possible. The research also illustrates methodological problems and limitations encountered in attempting to elicit these kind of data, but it also emphasizes that valuable, new ethnographic information still exists and should be sought in every possible circumstance.

An Experimental Study of Projectile Point Fracture Patterns

Projectile point fragments can represent a significant percentage or even exceed the number of diagnostic specimens recovered at a given site (Aikens 1970:34; Ames et al. 1981:79; Plew 1981:146). This paper is an effort to contribute to our ability to obtain useful information from projectile point fragments. Specifically, we attempt to present a means of determining causes of projectile point damage and particularly to differentiate use-related breakage from manufacturing-induced breakage. This determination may ultimately offer additional data relative to site function, identification of task-specific loci within sites, and other avenues of inquiry. Toward that end, we propose descriptive terminology and present data from an experimental study involving the manufacture, use, and breakage of a specific Great Basin projectile point type.

Chia and the Chumash: A Reconsideration of Sage Seeds in Southern California

The arguments in this paper address the Chumash in the historic and late prehistoric periods. As of now, there is no real evidence that the Chumash ate seeds of any species of Salvia other than S. columbariae (chia) and perhaps S. carduacea (thistle sage). This is not a mystery. Preferential selection of foods with better flavor-which in turn is related to nutritional factors-has been included in some general models of hunter-gatherer subsistence, but has been largely ignored in the literature on southern California prehistory. It may be particularly relevant among groups like the Chumash, where the economic base was secure enough to permit the luxury of choice.

Warfare and Expansion: An Ethnohistoric Perspective on the Numic Spread

The purpose of this paper is to document population movements by Numic peoples during the ethnohistoric period. That they appear to have been expanding at the time of historic contact all along their perimeter may reflect a continuation of a general expansion through the Great Basin which may have begun in antiquity (within the last millennia [cf. Lamb 1958]). Further, it appears that Numic populations of the ethnohistoric period (at least on their perimeter) were militarily aggressive and inclined to exploit their non-Numic neighbors. The fact that the Numic groups did not generally fight among themselves but were at war with virtually all their neighbors supports this contention. This territorial expansion appears to have predated the acquisition of the horse although horses were a very important factor in some of the expansions of Numic populations, especially the Comanche.

Newspaper Accounts of Indian Women in Southern Nevada Mining Towns, 1870-1900

I shall discuss here the limitations of the sources and explore the available data. While detailed data are irritatingly few, they are sufficient to show that native women were active participants in the historical adaptive process. Their role was more than simply intercalary (Martin and Voorhies 1975: 250), for they were not passive pawns bridging the gaps between two groups of competing males. While retaining vital relationships with native men, Indian women interacted with Anglo men, who controlled access to the novel goods and opportunities provided by the intrusive Euroamerican culture. Within a matter of a few years, a regional interethnic and sexual hierarchy of economic and political dominance/subordination was created in which Indian women had a definite and distinctive status.

Archaeology of the Humboldt Lakebed Site

The Humboldt Lakebed site, designated as 26-CH-15 by the University of California Archaeological Survey in its work in the Humboldt Sink in the 1950s and 1960s, includes three sites first investigated by L. L. Loud in 1912 and designated sites 13, 14, and 15 (Loud and Harrington 1929:132). This large site, the object of several subsequent field investigations, is the type site for Humboldt series projectile points (Heizer and Clewlow 1968; Bettinger 1978), and, in conjunction with Lovelock Cave, plays a major role in the controversy regarding prehistoric lacustrine adaptations in the western Great Basin. However, until now there has been no published report describing the salient features of the site. Here I review the work conducted at the Humboldt Lakebed site and describe the results of those investigations.

Glass Trade Beads from Two Shasta Sites in Siskiyou County, California

Glass beads are found in nearly all contact-period archaeological sites in North America, and they occur in greater quantity and have a wider geographical distribution than any other artifact type. Much can be learned from the occurrence of glass beads at aboriginal sites in terms of temporal affinities, trade, status (through burial offerings or accompaniments), and aesthetics. Two protohistoric cemeteries (CA-SIS-168 and CA-SIS-837) in the Klamath Mountains of Siskiyou County, in extreme northern California, provide an opportunity to study these aspects of glass bead distribution. Also, in this examination a check and, in several cases, a refinement of the temporal position of some glass bead types is possible through cross-dating and study of bead co-occurrence. Finally, intrasite variability of a sampling of Shasta sites is examined for evidence of ethnic differences and similarities.


A Luiseño Sweat House in Northern San Diego County, California

This short report provides information on what may be one of the last surviving Luiseno sweat house structures in northern San Diego County. The general location of this feature is shown in Figure 1.

A "Battle Scene" Petroglyph Panel in the Coso Range, California

In their work, Rock Drawings of the Coso Range, Grant et al. (1968:70) described a site in Sheep Canyon (which they called INY-9A [S-151]) containing some 744 drawings. In association with that site, Grant et al. (1968) noted evidence of a sheep corral (which they thought dated to the historic period), a cave site, hunting blinds, and cairns. They further noted (1968:70) that over half of the design elements recorded in Sheep Canyon were of bighorn sheep. That site has been revisited several times, most recently by the senior author in 1985, and is formally recorded as CA-INY-1375 (Fig. 1). Of particular interest is a panel depicting what appear to be 12 opposing bowmen. That panel is described herein and comparisons to other such (rare) occurrences are made.


Kroeber and Fontana: Massacre on the Gila: An Account of the Last Major Battle Between American Indians, with Reflections on the Origins of War

Massacre on the Gila: An Account of the Last Major Battle Between American Indians, with Reflections on the Origin of War. Clifton B. Kroeber and Bernard L. Fontana. Tucson: University of Arizona Press, 1986, viii + 231 pp., $26.50.

Sampson: Nightfire Island: Later Holocene Lakemarsh Adaptation on the Western Edge of the Great Basin

Nightfire Island: Later Holocene Lakemarsh Adaptation on the Western Edge of the Great Basin. C. Garth Sampson, with contributions by C. Melvin Aikens, James A. Bennyhoff, Ruth L. Greenspan, Richard E. Hughes, and Joanne M. Mack. University of Oregon Anthropological Papers No. 33, 1985, 553 pp., 241 figs., 52 tables, $15.00 (paper).