Please join the SCA on Thursday, October 29th from 5:30 p.m. to 7:30 p.m. for a Live Virtual Data Sharing Event at the link here: https://zoom.us/j/99253347716. This event will consist of live presentations and an opportunity for questions and discussion with Dr. Colleen Delaney, Dr. Sarah Heffner, Dr. Kate Magargal, and Dr. Shannon Tushingham.
Please see the abstracts below. This evening we also announce the 2020 Orphaned Collection grant, this year given to Susan Gilliand and Joan Schneider for their project: Curating the Blue Goose, a UCLA collection.
Also, be on the lookout throughout Archaeology Month for recorded presentations available for viewing for a limited time at the SCA homepage https://scahome.org/
Recorded Presentations include the following and more:
- “A Gift for the Weary Traveler: The Harrison Spring on Palomar Mountain” by Shannon Farnsworth and Seth Mallios;
- “Using Social Media to promote Public Archaeology” by Craig Lesh and Margie Valdez;
- “50 Shades of Clay: The geoarchaeology of dune-playa complexes on Edwards Air Force Base” by Jeff Baker, Kaitlin Ruppert and Elizabeth Celentano; and
- “What Could Possibly Make Beefamato Better? Plastic!” by Kimberly Wooten.
Participants for the Live Virtual Event October 29th from 5:30 p.m to 7:30 p.m.
Colleen Delaney, PhD
Out of the Ashes: Archaeological Investigations of a post-WWII structure at Camarillo State Hospital
The California State University Channel Islands campus buildings were originally constructed when Camarillo State Hospital was opened in the 1930s. In addition to a medical hospital and patient wards, the hospital included a working farm with row crops and orchards, as well as a dairy and piggory. During archaeological surveys of campus after the May 2013 Springs fire, students and faculty located a small structure built on a hillside near the former farm/dairy. This structure is a mystery, as it is not identified on any hospital plans or maps, and is not visible in aerial photographs from the 1930s-1970s. This presentation focuses on the results of our summer 2019 excavation of the structure, outlining the artifacts recovered and our interpretation of this enigmatic structure.
Sarah Heffner, PhD
Excavating a Community: Telling the Story of Yreka’s Chinese Community Through an Archaeological and Historical Lens
In the spring of 1969, through constant snow and freezing temperatures, archaeologists with the Department of Parks and Recreation, local volunteers, and college students, excavated the remains of Yreka, California’s, third Chinatown, occupied from 1886 through the 1940s. It was a large-scale salvage excavation designed to recover as much archaeological evidence of the Chinatown prior to its destruction by the construction of I-5. After three months of excavation, archaeologists had dug 73 units and two trenches, identified nine features, and recorded over 5,000 artifacts. Artifacts include both Chinese (porcelain, medicine vials, eating utensils, coins, opium pipes) and non-Chinese (liquor bottles, patent medicine bottles, toys). When combined with historical research and archival information, these artifacts help tell the story of Yreka’s Chinese community and provide a glimpse into their daily lives and struggles.
Kate Magargal, PhD:
Forests of fuel: Firewood harvest as a driver of social and ecological change
Surface-harvested biofuels, of which firewood is a major constituent, comprised the major fuel source for all humans until very recently. Even today, roughly one-third of the global population depends on surface fuels harvested daily from woodlands and forests. This economic relationship forms the basis for a long and continuing connection between humans and arboreal ecosystems. With data collected among contemporary Diné ‘wood haulers,’ I employ an ethnoarchaeological approach to explore the dynamics between prehistoric fuel use as a driver of settlement patterning and ecological change.
Shannon Tushingham, PhD and Tiffany Fulkerson:
Geophyte Field Processing: Experimental and Theoretical Approaches to Understanding Front-Loaded Plant Storage Strategies
Geophytes provide an important source of food in many parts of the world, and archaeologists are gaining a greater appreciation for their importance in the past. Although geophyte processing and storage is often portrayed as a relatively straightforward endeavor, requiring less coordination (and labor) than other front-loaded foods such as salmon, many traditional processing methods could be quite complicated, required a great deal of coordination and work, and involved decisions about when, how, and where to process and store the food. Understanding the logic behind how these decisions were made can have broad implications for understanding settlement-subsistence patterns on the landscape scale. Geophyte storage and field processing decisions involved several alternative strategic outcomes, which were heavily influenced by how far people had to travel to get geophytes back to central places, processing time, and geophyte utility before and after processing. We present a geophyte field processing model developed for the Plateau and discuss potential applications of the model for California archaeology. We also address gaps in key nutritional data—for instance, little information exists about how different traditional food preparation methods alter the nutritional value by volume or weight (and hence, utility), of geophyte foods—and ways in which experimentation and collaborative research can fill knowledge gaps while also serving descendant communities.