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October is California Archaeology Month!

Click here for Archaeology Month events

October through December 2014

Old Sacramento Underground Tour

Historic Old Sacramento Foundation

Sacramento History Museum

Sacramento, CA

Days & times are for October. Check back for Winter days and times.

Thursday-Friday 11:00am, 12:30pm, and 2:00pm

Saturday and Sunday 10:30am-2:30pm, Departing every half hour

Hidden beneath the city for nearly 150 years, Old Sacramento’s
underground has long been the capital’s best-kept secret. Today, you
can join thousands of residents and visitors in uncovering the facts
behind the legends that lie below our buildings and sidewalks. Explore
excavated foundations and enclosed pathways while your tour guide
recounts the tales of devastation, perseverance, and determination that
led to California’s only successful street-raising project.

These hour-long guided walking tours check in at the Sacramento
History Museum before heading out into Old Sacramento and
descending below historic buildings. Be prepared to walk in areas with
uneven surfaces and low ceilings and get ready to learn and have fun all
along the way! During the summer months, please plan for very warm
temperatures, as a portion of the tour is conducted outdoors and the
underground spaces are not temperature controlled. Tours run rain or
shine. Adults $15 Youth $10

For more information

October 25 through November 29, 2014, 9:00am 

Saturday Morning Fall Hikes

Red Rock Canyon State Park

Learn about natural and cultural history as knowledgeable docents tell you about the unique features of Red Rock Canyon State Park. Meet at the Visitor Center on Abbot Road. The trail is an easy walk on sand.

The park is 25 miles northeast of Mojave on Highway 14, near Cantil. 

November 1, 2014

San Diego’s 39th Annual Rock Art Symposium

Mingei Museum auditorium, Balboa Park

San Diego, CA

The San Diego Rock Art Association (SDRAA) announces Rock Art 2014, San Diego’s 39th Annual Rock Art Symposium, to be held on Saturday, November 1, 2014. After the San Diego Museum of Man announced it would discontinue its sponsorship of the meeting, SDRAA has taken over as host with a new lower price for registration. The Call for Papers on any aspect of rock art research has been issued and papers may be submitted for publication. Send Abstracts by October 26 to gro.trakcorogeidnasnull@muisopmys. Full information and online registration is at

November 1, 2014, 9:00am

CVAS Field Trip to Pipes Canyon Area

Coachella Valley Archaeological Society

On Saturday, November 1, we will be going into the beautiful country of the Serrano Indians near Pipes Canyon north of Yucca Valley to see some amazing sites. The field trips are free for members; guests and non-members must pay $5.00.

At 9:00am, we will meet at the dirt lot at the southeast corner of Highway 62 (Desert Hot Springs area) and Pierson Blvd.  As always wear appropriate clothing, bring water and snacks/lunch. We will drive approximately 30 minutes to the trail head where parking is limited so carpooling may be necessary.

The first site on the tour is a gentle 1/3 mile hike. The next site is another ½ mile hike beyond the first site. This segment is also gentle but with a small drop in elevation. Those who don’t want to hike the second segment may return the 1/3 mile back to the vehicles or wait in the shade of the massive boulders in the area. We should be back to the vehicles by 12:30 p.m. The last 1 ½ miles to the parking area is a dirt road but passenger car passable. People drive cars all the time on this dirt road so unless there has been recent storm damage, it should be fine.

After the field trip, folks may wish to stop by the Hi-Desert Nature Museum in Yucca Valley which has an exhibit on the local Indians.

PLEASE RSVP to moc.liamtohnull@55nosliwttirB no later than October 27th if you plan on attending.

November 2, 2014, 10:00am

Living History Sunday

San Pasqual Battlefield Volunteer Association

San Pasqual Battlefield State Historic Park

Escondido, CA Learn about the history of the Mexican American War as it pertains to our region. There will be a military encampment, black powder demonstration and shooting of an 1841 howitzer reproduction.  Free admission.

November 7, 2014, 5:00pm-8:00pm

Friday Night Liberty at NTC Liberty Station

Barracks 26: California State Parks- Special Event!

San Diego, CA


Stop on by Barracks 26 and celebrate with California State Parks staff! View beautiful photographs by Brian Lahitte, featuring our wonderful California State Parks system, in our rotating exhibit space; get a behind-the-scenes tour highlighting new Park exhibits, resource studies, and other park projects; or relax and watch a video about the first 150 years of California State Parks.

Free Parking and Admission

For more information


November 9-16, 2014

Mission, Art, Architecture and Cultural Heritage of Southern Baja California Sur, México

Corredor Historico Carem, A.C.

CAREM is pleased to announce a tour of southern Baja California Sur! The Tour will be led by the noted historian of art and architecture and specialist in mission history, Dr. Pamela J. Huckins. The Tour will include –  Misión Santa Rosa de las Palmas (Todos Santos), Misión San José del Cabo Añuiti, Misión Santiago El Apostol Aiñiní, and Misión Nuestra Señora del Pilar de la Paz Arapí as well as museums and other cultural sites. Join us as we savor delicious regional foods and enjoy the cultural and social history of the region.  Additionally, tour guests will view beautiful architecture in every city, the Regional Museum of Anthropology and History in La Paz, other local museums, cultural centers, art galleries, an historical mining town and gardens, and beautiful beach community of Los Barriles.

For pricing and reservation availability

November 13, 2014, 7:00pm

From Coast to Coast: New Insights into the First Peopling of the Americas

Dr. John D. Cooper Archaeological and Paleontological Center

Fullerton Arboretum

Fullerton, CA

Dr. Jon Erlandson, University of Oregon is the speaker for the evening. The origin of the first humans to appear in the Western United States has produced numerous theories. Many archaeologists believe that the first peoples arrived in North America between 15,000 to 13,000 years ago traveling overland from Northeastern Asia. Another theory suggests that North America’s first humans reached the continent by boat from Asia perhaps as early as 16,000 years ago.  John Erlandson, PhD believes that if humans migrated from Asia to the Americas along Pacific Rim coastlines near the end of the Pleistocene era, kelp forests may have aided their journey. Dr. Erlandson will share new evidence for his theory known as the “kelp highway”. 

For more information

November 13, 2014, 7:30pm

The Peopling of the Americas: Current Perspectives

Pacific Coast Archaeological Society

Irvine Water District Community Room

15500 Sand Canyon Road

Irvine, CA

Dr. Michael Moratto is the November speaker. Until recently the story of America’s initial colonization seemed well understood. At the end of the Ice Age (Pleistocene), humans from Siberia crossed the Bering land bridge, made their way southward through an ice-free corridor separating the Cordilleran and Laurentian ice shields in Canada, and then spread gradually through North, Central, and South America, extinguishing animal species in their wake. Biologically, the founder population was uniformly Mongoloid; archaeologically, it was recognized by distinctive fluted (Clovis) spear points; and economically, the first Americans operated as small bands of big game hunters. The only problem with this tidy model is that it now appears to be completely wrong.

New discoveries in the last few decades have revolutionized our views. We now know that: people were living in both North and South America thousands of years before Clovis; early settlers arrived by boat and migrated along the Pacific coast and islands as well as overland; the Bering “land bridge” (Beringia) may have been a refugium for human populations from 25,000 until 15,000 years ago; and the Canadian ice-free corridor may have been occupied initially from south-to-north instead of vice-versa. These and other current views will be discussed in Dr. Moratto’s presentation.

Michael J. Moratto (Ph.D., RPA; Principal Archaeologist, Applied EarthWorks, Inc.) has directed hundreds of anthropological projects in the western U.S. Among his interests are peopling the New World, the American West, cultural ecology, California anthropology, and linguistic prehistory.

For more information

November 14, 2014, 7:00pm

Glimpses of the Gobi Desert as seen from Ikh Nart Nature Reserve at the northern margin of the Gobi in Eastern Mongolia: Archaeology and Wildlife Conservation

The 29 Palms Historical Society 

Old Schoolhouse Museum
Twentynine Palms, CA

Joan Schneider, Ph.D. Archaeology Team Leader, Earthwatch Institute

For more information

November 15-16, 2014, 10:00am-4:00pm

Ridgecrest Petroglyph and Heritage Festival

City of Ridgecrest

Coso Mountains, China Lake, Ridgecrest, CA

Petroglyph guided tours, street festival, film screening, Inter-tribal Pow Wow and dedication of Petroglyph Park are among the 16 events surrounding the Ridgecrest Petroglyph and Heritage Festival.

For more information

November 15, 2014, 4:00pm-6:00pm

Hailstone Exhibit Reception

Clarke Historical Museum

Eureka, CA

The Clarke Historical Museum is honored to be the recipient of the Hailstone Collection of Native American baskets. We invite you and your family to come down and enjoy this new exhibit with a special reception November 15, 2014 from 4 – 6 p.m. The Clarke Museum would like to honor our generous donor and to share a special video presentation about Vivien Hailstone “Through the Eyes of a Basketweaver”.

For more information

November 19, 2014, 12:30pm

Tule Balsa Boats and the San Francisco Bay Economy

UC Santa Cruz, Social Sciences 1 Room 261

Santa Cruz, CA

Mark G. Hylkema, California State Parks archaeologist, is the speaker for the November Archaeological Lunch Talks.

Early historic accounts describe the use of tule balsa boats throughout the San Francisco Bay region.  The advantages attendant to this technology, ranging from increased access to estuarine food resources and the transportation of materials and people over a large geographic area is as monumental as the many mounded sites that once surrounded the Bay Shoreline.  This presentation will review descriptions of these boats and propose a possible connection between maritime travel, mounded sites and the economic opportunities that must inevitably have developed among the many Bay Shore Ohlone and Miwok polities that used them.

November 2014-May 2015, 7:00pm – 8:30pm

Symposium: “Challenges to Joshua Tree National Park”

Desert Institute at Joshua Tree National Park

Bell Center, Copper Mountain College

November 21, 2014 “Renewable Energy Development”

Panelists: Chris Clarke, KCET Environmental Writer, James Andre, Director, Granite

Mountains Desert Research Center and April Sall, California Desert Coalition

January 16, 2015 “Water In a Decade of Drought”

Panelists: Dr. William Patzert, California Institute of Technology, Marina West, Big­horn Desert Water District, and Kirby Brill, Mojave Water Agency

February 20, 2015 San Bernardino County Renewable Energy, Development Codes Updates

Panelists: James Ramos, Supervisor, San Bernardino County, David Lamfrom,

National Parks Conservation Assoc. and panelist to be determined.

March 20, 2015 Engaging a New Generation of Park Stewards

Panelists: Mike Chedester, The Living Desert, Caroline Conway, The Wildlands Conservancy, and Cindy Zacks, Educator, Yucca Valley High School

April 17, 2015 Climate Change Response

Panelists: Cameron Barrows, Research Scientsist, UC Riverside, Ian James, Investiga­tive Reporter, The Desert Sun and JTNP Resource Staff

May 15, 2015 Putting It All Together – Achievable Action Items

Panelists: David Smith, Superintendent, JTNP, April Sall, The Wildlands Conservancy

Each event is Free, but pre-registration is required.

Register at

December 3, 2014, 12:30pm

Archaeology for Cultural Revitalization and Ecological Conservation on the Central California Coast

UC Santa Cruz, Social Sciences 1 Room 261

Santa Cruz, CA

Rob Cuthrell, Postdoctoral Fellow, Department of Anthropology, UC Berkeley is the speaker for the December Archaeological Lunch Talks.

December 7, 2014, 9:00am-4:00pm

Geology and Cultural History of Cottonwood Spring

Desert Institute at Joshua Tree National Park

Cottonwood Visitor Center, Joshua Tree National Park
Cottonwood Exit off of Highway 10

Stretch your legs and enjoy the spectacular scenery of the Cottonwood Mountains with Ted Reeves in this all-day field class.  Reeves will discuss the rocks and minerals of Cottonwood Mountains and tell stories of the people who eked out a living in the Cottonwood Spring area during the late 1800s.  Participants will walk six miles through the rolling hills of the Colorado Desert.

For more information

December 10, 2014, 7:00pm

Archaeology, History, and the Lone Woman of San Nicolas Island

Dr. John D. Cooper Archaeological and Paleontological Center

Fullerton Arboretum

Fullerton, CA

Dr. René Vellanoweth, California State University Los Angeles, is the speaker for the evening. Since the 1960s, many have read the award-winning children’s novel, Island of the Blue Dolphins, a story about a young Native American girl who lived alone on an island for 18 years. Now, new chapters will be written with the recent finding of a shelter recognized as the home of this fabled “Lone Woman” of San Nicolas Island. René Vellanoweth, PhD was part of the team of archaeologists who discovered the cave and a box filled with artifacts that belonged to Juana Maria. Dr. Vellanoweth will share his discoveries and insights into this amazing find.

For more information

December 12, 2014, 6:00pm–8:00pm; December 13, 2014, 9:00am–5:00pm

An Introduction to the Cahuilla

January 16, 2015, 6:00pm–8:00pm; January 17, 2015, 8:00am–5:00pm

An Introduction to the Kumeyaay

Anza Borrego Desert State Park

The Cultural Landscape of Anza-Borrego Desert State Park — Past and Present

Dr. Joan Schneider

$85 / $75 for ABF Members

$160 / $140 for both classes

These classes will give students an appreciation of how the Native Peoples of the Colorado Desert and the bordering mountain ranges viewed, and still view, the lands in which they lived and live. This is a holistic look at how people who consider themselves part of the natural world use and care for that world.

For more information

December 12, 2014, 7:00pm

Mining in the Region of Joshua Tree National Park

The 29 Palms Historical Society 

Old Schoolhouse Museum
Twentynine Palms, CA

D.D Trent, Ph.D. Geology, Professor Emeritus, Citrus College

For more information

December 13, 2014, 9:30am-12:00pm

Day at the Ranch: Chumash

William S. Hart Park and Museum

Newhall, CA

Come visit and experience life in an historic Chumash village. Learn how the Chumash lived 500 years ago, including how they gathered and prepared food, how they built their homes, what they did for fun and so much more.

Free admission, donations accepted.

For more information

December 17, 2014, Dinner is at 7pm, lecture to follow

Stagecoaches of the Central Valley

The Westeners

University Suites Hotel, Fresno, CA

Bill Secrest, Sr. is the scheduled speaker.

You must rsvp for dinner. 559-323-8282

January 21, 2015, Dinner is at 7pm, lecture to follow

History of Fresno’s Water Tower

The Westeners

University Suites Hotel, Fresno, CA

Roger Taylor is the scheduled speaker.

You must rsvp for dinner. 559-323-8282

February 18, 2015, Dinner is at 7pm, lecture to follow

History of Water in the Valley

The Westeners

University Suites Hotel, Fresno, CA

Christopher Campbell is the scheduled speaker.

You must rsvp for dinner. 559-323-8282

February 22, 2015, 2:00pm

Village Ecodynamics in the American Southwest

Archaeological Institute of America-Orange County Chapter

DeNault Auditorium in Grimm Hall, Concordia University

Irvine, CA

Tim Kohler, Ph.D., Department of Anthropology, Washington State University, Senior Principal Investigator for the Village Ecodynamics Project.

For more information

Saturday, February 28, 2015, 9:00am-4:00pm and Saturday, March 7, 2015, 9:00am-4:00pm

Native American Style Pottery

Anza Borrego Desert State Park

Instructor: Tony Soares

$160 / $150 for ABF members

Tony Soares learned pottery-making techniques from his grandmother, and has refined his skills over the years to yield beautiful ollas. Soares will demonstrate his skills and guide participants in the process of creating their own olla using hand-dug clay from the area. The first day of this two-day workshop is devoted to learning how the clay is made, how paints are made and used to decorate pottery, and building your own pot. After the pots have had a week to dry, participants return to paint their piece before the pots are fired using traditional pit firing (weather permitting).  Participants will see traditional designs used on prehistoric ollas from the Anza-Borrego region and paint designs on their pots with authentic pigments. The class will also offer the opportunity to make a supportive ring from palm fronds to stabilize your pot when on display.

For more information

February 28, 2015, 2:00pm-4:00pm

Archaeology of Asian diasporic settlements in California colloquium

Riverside & Inland Southern California Society of the Archaeological Institute of America


Riverside, CA

Presentations by

Laura Ng, National Park Service: Archaeology of Manzanar

Linda Bentz, SDSU: Chinese abalone harvesting sites in the Channel Islands

Beth Padon, Discovery Works, Inc.: Redlands Chinatown excavations

John Foster, Greenwood Associates: LA Chinatown excavations

Kholood Abdo-Hintzman, Applied Earthworks: San Bernardino and San Louis Obispo Chinatown excavations

For more information

March 6-7, 2015, 9:00am-4:00pm

Balboa Park: 1915 and Beyond

Annual Two Day History Conference

Congress of History of San Diego and Imperial Counties

Recital Hall, Balboa Park

San Diego, CA

In honor of the year-long Centennial Celebration of the first Balboa Park Ex­position, held in 1915, the theme for the two-day conference is: Balboa Park: 1915 & Beyond. Interesting videos and presentations about the history of the park have already been accepted by the Conference Planning Committee, led by President Dianne Cowen.

For more information

March 7, 2015, 11:00am-4:00pm

Arizona Archaeology Expo

Quartermaster Depot State Historic Park

Yuma, AZ

Celebrate Arizona Archaeology and Heritage Month. The Expo provides a special opportunity for visitors to learn more about why it is important to preserve archaeological sites and historic places; what archaeologists, historians, and tribal members do in their jobs; and the prehistory and history of Arizona. Archaeology- and/or history-related, hands-on activities, craft demonstrations, and other fun and educational events will be featured.

In addition, Boy Scout and Girl Scout merit badge requirements can be fulfilled at the Expo. Special displays and booths by archaeological and historical organizations, museums, Native American tribes, state and federal agencies, and others will allow you to participate as an archaeologist might in their research today, or make crafts and tools that teach how prehistoric Native Americans and other early inhabitants survived in the Southwest.

Demonstrations and interactive activities will help make the past come alive! In addition, information on archaeological sites, museums, and historical period parks in and around the local area will be highlighted.

The Expo will give visitors new insights into Arizona’s many prehistoric, historic, and contemporary cultures, and will help instill a sense of stewardship for our state’s fragile and nonrenewable heritage resources.

April 12, 2015, 2:00 PM

Recent  Work on the Peruvian Coast

Archaeological Institute of America-Orange County Chapter

DeNault Auditorium in Grimm Hall, Concordia University

Charles Stanish, Ph.D., Department of Anthropology and Director of the Cotsen Institute of Archaeology, UCLA.

For more information