You have reached the home page of CaliforniaPrehistory.com (also .net and .org).
This site is edited by professional archaeologists, anthropologists, prehistorians and other specialists, and is designed to collect and make available the results of over a hundred years of research.
We have hundreds of pages of information, all pertaining to California Prehistory and closely related subjects.
This site is still relatively new. After a hiatus, we're now (2011) in the process of extensive revision and updating. Please contact us if you find any problems, have suggestions, or would like to contribute information.
We hope you enjoy your visit to these pages and that you will take away some of the sense of wonder that professional archaeologists and other students of the past have found in our subject.
Gary S. Breschini, Trudy Haversat and Don Laylander
California's prehistory is a long and exciting one. It is the story of more than a hundred centuries, during which peoples of diverse origins migrated into California, settled throughout the state, and went about their daily lives as all peoples do: one day at a time.
During this immense time the first settlers improved upon their original technologies, adapted to diverse environments, and increased their populations many times over. But it was not all progress. Climate changes occasionally took their toll, as did floods, earthquakes and other natural disasters.
But by the time Spanish explorers pushed their way north from Mexico in 1769, California was home to perhaps 300,0000 Indians, speaking approximately 90 separate languages and belonging to perhaps 500 distinct ethnic groups (Moratto 1984:xxvii).
California's prehistory is a story loosely stitched together from bits and pieces accumulated in over a century of archaeological explorations. Spear points, fish bones, grinding slabs and other physical objects tell part of the story. But as Heinlein wrote,Piling up facts is not science--science is facts-and-theories. Facts alone have limited use and lack meaning: a valid theory organizes them into far greater usefulness.This website, then, will include both facts and theories. There is so much information available that it will be easy to overload readers who are not specialists in California prehistory, and perhaps even some who are. We will try to include overviews and theoretical essays to bring together some of the data.
A powerful theory not only embraces old facts and new but also discloses unsuspected facts [1980:480-182].
This website is sponsored by Coyote Press, which for over twenty years has been gathering and making available literally thousands of works on California prehistory. The managing editors are professional archaeologists working in California. We hope to attract a wide range of other archaeologists and prehistorians to help in this effort.
Above all we want to follow the lead of two of our professors at Washington State University some years ago.
The first, Richard Daugherty, believed in what is now often called "Public Archaeology"--bringing the esoteric things archaeologists learn and do to the public, who in the long run supports our endeavors.
The second professor, Frank Leonhardy, urged us to "Go forth and do science!"
Heinlein, Robert A. 1980. Expanded Universe: The New Worlds of Robert A. Heinlein. Ace Books, New York.
Moratto, Michael J. 1984. California Archaeology. Academic Press, Orlando, Florida. (Reprinted by Coyote Press, 2004.)
CONVENTIONS AND ABBREVIATIONS
Site numbers throughout this website are abbreviated as follows: CA-MNT-44.
The CA stands for California, the MNT refers to the county, in this case, Monterey County, and the number reflects that this is the 44th site recorded in the county. A complete list of county abbreviations can be found in the County Map.
Exact site locations are not generally included in this website, as this information is regarded as confidential at both the state and federal levels to prevent vandalism. The exact locations are available to qualified students, researchers and professional archaeologists at the Regional Information Centers of the California Archaeological Inventory.
References in the text appear in the form Moratto 1984:333, generally in parentheses. The book or article which is referred to will appear in a list at the end of the article, arranged by author and date. The number following the colon (if one is included) refers to the page number within the book or article.
Navigation can be accomplished by use of links within pages, as well as the navigation bar at the top of the page.
Most of the articles and reports can be accessed in up to three ways:
Of course, not all articles will appear in the By County index, as some pertain to much larger areas of California.
- By Author
- By Subject
- By County
As you navigate through the pages, the navigation bar at the top of the page will change. As an example, if you follow links from Home Page through Everything Else to SCA Awards the navigation bar will look like this:
The title of the page you are on is on the right in black (see above), while the pages you used to reach that point are in blue letters. Those are links which will return you directly to those pages. Throughout the site, the blue letters in navigation bars represent active links.
When you get to an article, the navigation bar will read:
This is because individual articles may be accessed from several different pages. The <==Previous Page link will return you to the page you came from UNLESS you have used the navigation links within a page; then you will have to work your way backwards one step at a time until you have backstepped your way to the beginning, then it will take you back where you came from.
- Links in the text of this website are not underlined. Rather, most links are in bold blue characters.
- We have found that in some browsers the <==Previous Page does not appear. The link will work, but for some reason the browser does not display the text.
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