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by Gary S. Breschini and Trudy Haversat

Appendix 1. Vertebrate Animal Remains from CA-FRE-1333, Western Fresno County, California, by P.E. Langenwalter II

Appendix 2. An Analysis of the Flaked Stone Assemblage from CA-FRE-1333, Western Fresno County, California, by Michael F. Rondeau and Vicki L. Rondeau

Appendix 3. An Analysis of Shell and Stone Beads from CA-FRE-1333, Western Fresno County, California, by Robert O. Gibson


by P.E. Langenwalter II


One of the largest fractions of debris recovered during the excavation of CA-FRE-1333 was vertebrate animal remains. A total of 16,432 specimens were recovered from Units 3 and 4 during a test level excavation of the site. Most of the remains recovered are the result of human procurement and utilization. However, a significant portion of the sample originates from the natural activities of the species which have inhabited the site.

CA-FRE-1333 is located on the south side of Joaquin Ridge in an east trending valley on the eastern slope of the Coast Range, approximately 40 km northwest of Coalinga. The site boundaries include four rockshelters. Evidence of human occupation at the site consists of midden located in one rockshelter and a small open midden fronting a second rockshelter, with an adjacent slopewash deposit. Analysis of artifacts and other data from CA-FRE-1333 indicate that the site was a camp occupied during the late period. The size and location of the site suggest that it was probably occupied for limited periods for the extraction of local resources.

An objective of this study is to document the kinds of animal-oriented behavior which occurred at the site, particularly the hunting activity and species selection conducted from the site. Additional domains of human behavior considered in this study are habitat usage, processing and manufacturing activities, and the periodicity of occupation. The configuration of the local environment during the period of occupation is considered. Since the site use is related to the rockshelter(s), a physiographic feature which often provides shelter and living quarters for animal species other than man, the genesis of the assemblage was studied to determine if it originated as the result of primarily human activity, or if other species made significant contributions.

The analysis of the CA-FRE-1333 vertebrate sample confirms that the composition of the assemblage is a mixture of remains from occupation by man, wood rats, vultures, and other species. This mixture of cultural and noncultural material causes difficulty in determining which of the smaller species were utilized by man and what fraction of each species were of natural origin. The sample provides evidence of some processing and manufacturing of animal resources. A broad-based resource extraction pattern is seen in the sample in which a combination of small, intermediate, and large vertebrate species were used. Aquatic species were unimportant, although some fish were utilized. The composition of the faunal sample suggests that the site was a base for extraction-related activities. Animal remains and products related to sociotechnic and ideotechnic activities are absent. The environmental setting of the site in the past was similar to the vegetation and physiography of the area today. Seasonality studies for the site indicate occupation or occupations during the middle Summer through early Winter and middle Winter.


Sampling the site consisted of excavation of four units (one of which was non-productive). The sampling methodology is described by Breschini and Haversat (this volume). The matrix from each unit was passed through 1/8 inch mesh screen to recover all cultural residuum, including vertebrate remains. All materials retained by the screen were bagged and processed in the laboratory, where they were washed, dried on 1/16 inch screen, and sorted. Faunal specimens were catalogued in lots by unit level. The data are summarized in Tables 2 through 4. Taxonomic identifications, excepting fish, were made by the author. Fish were identified by P.D. Schulz.

Taxonomic classification of specimens was based on external macro-morphological attributes following the principles described by Simpson (1945). Assignments were made taking into account similarities resulting from convergent evolution and common ancestry. Animals of genera represented by a single species in the region were assigned specific status although the remains may not have possessed species-specific attributes.

In addition to assignment of taxon, each specimen was identified as to element, portion of element, symmetry, age, and sex wherever possible. Each specimen was examined for evidence of cultural modification, such as burning, butchering and manufacturing marks, asphaltum staining, painting, and unusual breakage.

The identification of animals which died in a burrow and other intrusive specimens was attempted to reduce bias in the sample. Although it is impossible to separate out all specimens present due to natural occurrences, it is often possible to identify and remove a significant number of noncultural specimens from the analysis of remains attributed to human activity. This was done by identifying animals which died in a burrow, unstained specimens, or specimens less completely stained than identifiable refuse, and those containing bone oils indicating recent age.

Specimens that were too fragile to have remained complete when exposed to disposal on an activity surface, or to have survived site formation processes, were removed from consideration as well. In each case, a combination of these attributes was considered in identifying specimens not associable with the human occupation.

Quantification of the sample is based on two calculations: the minimum number of individuals identifiable per taxon (MNI), and the total number of specimens identifiable per taxon (NISP), listed as total specimens (TS) in the text. MNI was calculated using the most abundant skeletal element and portion of that element per taxon, with symmetry and age taken into account (specific individual paired elements). Fish and snakes were exempted from MNI calculation because of the direct dependence of the MNI calculations on the size of the NISP (Klein and Cruz-Uribe 1984), which is not in parity with the MNI calculations for other taxa. The NISP calculation used in this study is the sum of all specimens representing a specific taxon.

The Sample

The vertebrate sample used in this study consists of 16,432 specimens recovered from excavation Units 3 and 4, and selected remains from Unit 2. Unit 2 was located inside Rockshelter C. Units 3 and 4 were located on the slope below Rockshelter B, which is adjacent to Rockshelter C. Unit 3 was located in a midden concentration which was approximately one meter deep. Unit 4 was located slightly downslope in an area containing midden redeposited by slopewash, and was about one half meter deep.

The Unit 2 sample was found to be unsuitable for analysis. During periods when Rockshelter C was not occupied by man, it was inhabited by several animal species which contributed to and, in some cases, disturbed the vertebrate assemblage. The shelter is currently occupied by bats and wood rats. The bats have added remains to the deposit. The wood rats have added their own bones and probably additional small animal bones scavenged from the area. These two sources of bias do not present insurmountable problems for analysis. However, egg shell and feather fragments indicate that the shelter was also used as a nesting site by vultures. These scavengers would have added considerable bone from small and intermediate sized animals to the deposit, resulting in considerable biasing of the sample. In addition, it appears that the shelter was used for refuge by one or more species of mice. The activities of these animals has contributed greatly to the vertebrate assemblage in the shelter.

The extent of the additions to the rockshelter by animal activity is not determinable, rendering the Unit 2 sample unsuitable for the study of most aspects of animal use during the aboriginal occupation. Thus, the vertebrate assemblage from the shelter was not analyzed as were the samples from Units 3 and 4. Instead, the Unit 2 sample was inventoried to identify the species present in the shelter without identifying and cataloguing each specimen (Table 1). The sample was examined to identify any bone tools or ornaments, and to examine any specimens identifiable as originating from human activity, the study of which would be valuable.

Table 1. List of Vertebrate Taxa Identified from Unit 2 at CA-FRE-1333.

 Common NameScientific Name
AmphibiansUnidentifiable FrogRanidae
 Unidentifiable ToadBufonidae
 Constricting SnakesColubridae
 Unidentified SnakesSerpentes
BirdsCalifornia QuailLophortyx californica
 Unidentified Perching BirdPasseriformes
 VultureCathartes aura
 Unidentified BirdAves
MammalsBroad-handed MoleScapanus latimanus
 BatMyotis sp.
 Brush RabbitSylvilagus bachmani
 Rabbits, sp. indet.Sylvilagus sp.
 Black-tailed JackrabbitLepus californicus
 California Ground SquirrelCitellus beecheyi
 Pocket GopherThomomys bottae
 Pocket MousePerognathus sp.
 Deer MousePeromyscus sp.
 California Meadow MouseMicrotus californicus
 Wood RatNeotoma sp.
 CoyoteCanis latrans
 Dog or CoyoteCanis sp.
 Canid, gen. et sp. indet.Canidae

The vertebrate assemblage from Unit 3 (Table 2) appears to have originated from human and animal activity. The representation of wood rats, mice, and other rodents is very high. In this respect, the Unit 3 sample is similar to the Unit 2 sample, and assemblages from many rockshelters and caves with wood rat habitations, suggesting that many of the rodent remains are of natural origin. Many of the specimens, including some of the wood rat remains and the remains of other species, are burned, suggesting association with human activity. However, it is possible that the wood rat nest burned at some time (see Driver 1937:62; Aginsky 1943:397), resulting in the burning of all kinds of bone in the shelter. These problems make it difficult to determine which remains should be attributed to human activity and which should be considered noncultural. Since this cannot be determined, the analysis of the small animal remains will remain clouded.

Table 2. List of Vertebrate Taxa Identified from Unit 3 at CA-FRE-1333
given by total specimens (TS) and minimum number of individuals (MNI).

 Common NameScientific NameTSMNI
FishSharkIsurus sp.1---
 Sucker or MinnowCatostomidae/Cyprinidae3---
 Freshwater Boney FishTeleostei1---
AmphibiansUnidentifiable ToadBufonidae1---
 Constricting SnakesColubridae2---
 Unidentified SnakesSerpentes5---
BirdsCalifornia QuailLophortyx californica41
 Unidentified Perching BirdPasseriformes2---
 Unidentified BirdAves7---
MammalsBroad-handed MoleScapanus latimanus11
 BatMyotis sp.11
 Unidentified BatChiroptera1---
 Brush RabbitSylvilagus bachmani1(1)
 Rabbits, sp. indet.Sylvilagus sp.323
 Black-tailed JackrabbitLepus californicus152
 Rabbits, gen. et sp. indet.Leporidae40---
 California Ground SquirrelCitellus beecheyi51
 Unidentifiable SquirrelSciuridae1---
 Pocket GopherThomomys bottae72
 Pocket MousePerognathus sp.142
 Deer MousePeromyscus sp.21
 Wood RatNeotoma sp.20115
 Cricetid RodentsCricetidae1---
 Unidentifiable RodentRodentia126---
 Dog or CoyoteCanis sp.11
 Grey Fox?Urocyon cinereoargentus?41
 Canid, gen. et sp. indet.Canidae2---
 Unidentifiable CarnivoreCarnivora12---
 Black-tailed DeerOdocoileus hemionus342
 Unidentifiable ArtiodactylArtiodactyla2---
 Unidentifiable MammalsMammalia832---
 Unidentifiable VertebrateVertebrata7,714---

The Unit 3 material, recovered from an open area in front of Rockshelter B, appears to represent activity from inside a rockshelter, as well as activity in the open where the midden is located. The abundance of wood rat remains and the preservation of some specimens are similar to samples seen from rockshelters, including Rockshelter C. It is possible that debris from one of the rockshelters was deposited in the open midden where Unit 3 was located, perhaps in the process of cleaning out the shelter to make it more habitable.

The Unit 4 sample was recovered from a point 10 to 12 meters below Rockshelter B. The species representation and proportions parallel those seen in Unit 3 (Table 3). The specimens in this sample seem to have the same origins as the Unit 3 sample, and thus the same interpretive problems.

Table 3. List of Vertebrate Taxa Identified from Unit 4 at CA-FRE-1333
given by total specimens (TS) and minimum number of individuals (MNI).

 Common NameScientific NameTSMNI
 Constricting SnakesColubridae14---
 Unidentifiable SnakesSerpentes46---
BirdsUnidentified OwlStrigidae11
 California QuailLophortyx californica51
 Unidentifiable BirdAves4---
MammalsBrush RabbitSylvilagus bachmani1(1)
 Rabbits, sp. indet.Sylvilagus sp.533
 Black-tailed JackrabbitLepus californicus151
 Rabbits, gen. et sp. indet.Leporidae31---
 California Ground SquirrelCitellus beecheyi152
 Pocket GopherThomomys bottae31
 Pocket MousePerognathus sp.102
 Heteromyid RodentsHeteromyidae2---
 California Meadow MouseMicrotus californicus1---
 Wood RatNeotoma sp.766
 Unidentifiable RodentRodentia119---
 Dog or CoyoteCanis sp.11
 Grey Fox?Urocyon cinereoargentus?51
 Canid, gen. et sp. indet.Canidae3---
 Striped SkunkMephitis mephitis21
 Unidentifiable CarnivoreCarnivora3---
 Black-tailed DeerOdocoileus hemionus242
 Unidentifiable ArtiodactylArtiodactyla3---
 Unidentifiable MammalsMammalia766---
 Unidentifiable VertebrateVertebrata6,147---

Table 4 lists a total of 39 taxonomic categories representing at least 25 species identified from Units 3 and 4. Among these are a minimum of 10 species attributed entirely or in part to human activity: shark, freshwater fish, quail, rabbit, jackrabbit, ground squirrel, wood rat, dog or coyote, grey fox, and deer. Several species are wholly attributed to natural occurrences not associated with the human occupation: the amphibians, reptiles, owl, mole, bat, gopher, pocket mouse, deer mouse and meadow mouse, and striped skunk (probably a natural occurrence). Species which are attributed in part to natural occurrences and in part to human activity include rabbit, jackrabbit, ground squirrel, and wood rat. Unfortunately, the problems discussed above and the uniformity of preservation in the sample make this separation subjective.

Table 4. List of Vertebrate Taxa Identified from CA-FRE-1333 Given in Aggregate
by total specimens (TS) and minimum number of individuals (MNI).

 Common NameScientific NameTSMNI
FishSharkIsurus sp.1---
 Sucker or MinnowCatostomidae/Cyprinidae3---
 Freshwater Boney FishTeleostei1---
AmphibiansUnidentifiable ToadBufonidae1---
 Constricting SnakesColubridae16---
 Unidentifiable SnakesSerpentes51---
BirdsUnidentified OwlStrigidae11
 California QuailLophortyx californica92
 Unidentified Perching BirdPasseriformes2---
 Unidentified BirdAves11---
MammalsBroad-handed MoleScapanus latimanus11
 BatMyotis sp.11
 Unidentified BatChiroptera1---
 Brush RabbitSylvilagus bachmani2(1)
 Rabbits, sp. indet.Sylvilagus sp.855
 Black-tailed JackrabbitLepus californicus303
 Rabbits, gen. et sp. indet.Leporidae71---
 California Ground SquirrelCitellus beecheyi202
 Unidentifiable SquirrelSciuridae1---
 Pocket GopherThomomys bottae102
 Pocket MousePerognathus sp.244
 Heteromyid RodentsHeteromyidae2---
 Deer MousePeromyscus sp.21
 California Meadow MouseMicrotus californicus11
 Wood RatNeotoma sp.27718
 Cricetid RodentsCricetidae1---
 Unidentifiable RodentRodentia245---
 Dog or CoyoteCanis sp.2---
 Grey Fox?Urocyon cinereoargentus?91
 Canid, gen. et sp. indet.Canidae5---
 Striped SkunkMephitis mephitis21
 Unidentifiable CarnivoreCarnivora15---
 Black-tailed DeerOdocoileus hemionus582
 Unidentifiable ArtiodactylArtiodactyla5---
 Unidentifiable MammalsMammalia1,598---
 Unidentifiable VertebrateVertebrata13,861---

The sample is well preserved. Several feather shafts, egg shell fragments, and a deer hoof sheath (toe nail) were recovered from Rockshelter C. There is no evidence of natural, chemical, or mechanical degradation which would have significantly biased this sample.

The characteristics of preservation of bone at the site, including alteration of the bone composition and the amount of mineral staining, are variable. Many specimens from the rockshelter are well preserved and are unstained, suggesting recent origin. Other specimens are well preserved, little stained, and look modern except that the fatty oils have dried out of them. Other bone from the rockshelter is slightly to moderately stained, suggesting greater age. The bone collected from the slope in front of Rockshelter B is preserved differently. Some of it is little altered, indicating recent origin. Most of the bone is slightly to moderately stained and some of it has considerable staining. Nearly all of this bone exhibits slight degradation of the mineral fraction and leaching of the soluble organics which is common in open sites.


The objective of the paleoenvironmental analysis in this study is to reconstruct the local environmental setting during the period of occupation of the site. This analysis uses habitat data of selected species found in the assemblage. Inferences about the environmental setting in the immediate vicinity of the site are based on small animal species with restricted home ranges and having fairly specific habitat associations. The species which are most likely to have been captured near the site, or within the several square kilometers surrounding it, are rabbits and rodents. These are assumed to have been procured locally rather than hunted at a distance, therefore representing local environmental conditions.

The rabbit species have fairly specific habitat associations, while the rodents and other species have less specific associations. Brush rabbits occur in brushed habitats (Orr 1940). In the study region, this would have been the local chaparral community. In contrast, the jackrabbit is a grassland associated species which is only found in small numbers in heavily brushed areas (Orr 1940). The relative abundance of Sylvilagus at CA-FRE-1333 is significant. Of all rabbits at the site, rabbits of the genus Sylvilagus (which may all be brush rabbits) comprise 62.5 percent (based on MNI). This suggests that the site was located in or immediately adjacent to fairly heavy brush such as the chaparral which covers slopes and unaltered flat areas in the region today. The proportion of jackrabbits is large enough to suggest that there were local clearings or grassland with sufficient food to support them. The relative abundance of the rabbit species could have resulted from local interdigitation of grassy open space with brush which was not very dense to considerable tracts of grassland. These data pertaining to relative abundance do not suggest either large tracts of open grassland or complete covering of the area by brush.

Today the area is covered by Chaparral and Blue Oak-Digger Pine Forest (Breschini and Haversat, this volume). The immediate area of the site is situated in chaparral which is broken by moderately open grassland along White Creek, several hundred meters downslope. The forest is generally restricted in the region. The species composition of the CA-FRE-1333 vertebrate sample suggests that the local habitat distribution is the same today as during the occupation of the site.

Species Selection

The array of species represented in the CA-FRE-1333 sample and the relative abundance of each (Table 4) form a pattern which can be attributed to a number of factors. One factor is the economic behavior common to most hunter-gatherers. Another factor is local environmental conditions. Other factors influencing species selection are the function of the site, and the specific activities which occurred there.

Environmental factors are the most basic constraints which shape the composition of archaeofaunas. In the case of CA-FRE-1333, the local environmental setting included both aquatic and terrestrial habitats which were easily accessible to the site. Similarly, the apparent extensive brush cover with a limited band of grassland along White Creek, below the site, would limit the terrestrial fauna, both in species represented and local population densities to mostly brush dwelling species. This is the most likely factor in determining the relative proportions of rabbits seen at CA-FRE-1333. Jackrabbits which inhabit grassland comprise only 37.5 percent of the assemblage--the bulk of the rabbit species represented are associated with brush habitats.

Another dimension of the structuring of selection is the operation of maximization strategies (maximum return for time and energy invested), both implicit and explicit, many of which control optimum foraging adaptations (cf. Winterhalder and Smith 1981). In several faunal studies of sites in California, the author has attributed the gross composition of vertebrate species arrays to selection by optimal size range, ease of capture, capture focused on species with multiple uses, or a combination of these factors (Langenwalter 1978; Langenwalter et al. 1983). These principles presumably played a major role in shaping the selection of species represented at CA-FRE-1333.

The selection of species which exceed a minimum size is apparent in the terrestrial vertebrates by the small number of animals represented in the sample attributed to human activity which are smaller than wood rat size (approximately 450 grams). Ease of capture is another dimension which presumably influenced the species captured. This is reflected in the large proportion of rabbits whose relatively large populations and behavior make them easy prey to men with hunter-gatherer technology. By comparison, animals such as the carnivores, which have much lower population densities, and species which are more wary of predators (e.g., deer), are represented by comparatively few individuals. Some species have multiple uses, thus are favored prey species (Langenwalter 1978). The rabbits, carnivores, deer, and birds fit into this category because they would have been sought for several raw materials (flesh, fur or features, bone, etc.).

The use of vertebrate resources varied between species. The shark could not have been procured in the vicinity of the site, and the tooth is probably the only part brought to the site. The tooth was probably used as an ornament, curio, or perforating tool. The other fish species may have been taken in the vicinity of the site and used for food. The Yokuts used quail as a food source and their feathers were used in basketry (Gayton 1948; Latta 1949, 1977; Driver 1937). Rabbits were captured for both flesh and fur, while ground squirrels, wood rats, and mice were primarily a food source (Gayton 1948; Latta 1949, 1977; Driver 1937). The grey fox would have been captured for food and fur (Gayton 1948; Latta 1949, 1977; Aginsky 1943; Driver 1937). Coyotes may or may not have been eaten (Aginsky 1943; Driver 1937), but would have been captured for their fur. Among all of the animal species found at CA-FRE-1333, the deer was probably the most useful. Deer was a major food source. Deer hides, sinew, bone, hoofs, and other parts were used in the manufacture of many items of material culture (Gayton 1948; Latta 1949, 1977; Aginsky 1943; Driver 1937).

By looking at the biomass resources represented in the CA-FRE-1333 sample, the relative contribution of species can be estimated. Deer is clearly the most important vertebrate resource used at the site. Two deer would have contributed approximately 108 kg of usable biomass (cf. Langenwalter 1978: Table 2), more or less. About 60 percent of this would have been edible. By comparison the canids would have contributed perhaps half that much (cf. Langenwalter et al. 1983), and all rabbits (5 individuals) would have contributed about 10 kg, or one tenth as much, to the total biomass. If all of the wood rats (15 individuals) are included, they would only contribute about 6 kg. Other species would have contributed smaller, essentially insignificant, amounts of biomass and food to the CA-FRE-1333 economy.

The species array indicates that vertebrate procurement from the site was broad-based, utilizing a wide range of animal resources available in the dominant habitats most accessible to the site. This kind of resource selection is common to most hunter-gatherer sites, but is not seen in specialized work stations.

Habitat Use

The modern habitat associations of the species identified at CA-FRE-1333 are used in this section to infer some of the habitats exploited by the inhabitants of the site. Some of the species in the sample have narrow habitat associations. These can be used to infer some of the habitats used for procurement. However, most of the species represented in the sample occupy several habitats, and are not good indicators for this type of analysis. This type of reconstruction does not fully document the range of habitat use or necessarily the relative importance of one habitat over another.

In general, the combination of species represented in the sample (Tables 1 and 4) suggests that hunting was conducted in or adjacent to brushed areas. Rabbits (Sylvilagus sp.) are found in the greatest concentrations near the edge of brush, adjacent to open areas which contain the food plants they feed on, and are most efficiently hunted there. In contrast, the jackrabbit dwells primarily in open grassland or treed parkland and would have been hunted in the open. The rabbit species and their relative abundance suggests that much of the hunting could have been accomplished within a few hundred meters of the site, particularly in the open area along White Creek. Fishing would have taken place in White Creek or another local creek. All other animal species attributed to human activity could have been procured in the same areas, or nearly anywhere in the region.

Procurement Techniques

A variety of procurement techniques were used to capture the species represented in the CA-FRE-1333 sample. Each major group of animals would have required somewhat different capture methods because of differences in body form, behavior, and habitat. The following is a summary of probable capture techniques primarily based on ethnographic analogy. The techniques described are an estimation of the technology required for captures. They are not a demonstration that a specific technique was used since primary evidence to document any specific capture technique is absent in the sample. The variety of techniques described overlaps but demonstrates that a number of techniques and tool types would have had to have been used to capture the species represented in the sample.

Fishing, which was apparently not a significant activity at CA-FRE-1333, would have required techniques adapted to the relatively fast-moving waters of the local creeks. Poisoning, which is well documented among the Yokuts (e.g., Gayton 1948), would have been ineffective. Instead angling, spear fishing, or use of a trap would have been the probable methods of capture. Gayton (1948) describes the fishing spear and weir used by the Yokuts (see Latta 1949, 1977; Driver 1937).

Trapping is the most frequently described method for quail procurement among Yokuts and adjacent tribes (Gayton 1948; Driver 1937; Aginsky 1943). Gayton (1948:75) and Spier (1978:472) describe the spring pole snare, or noose trap, method of quail trapping. Nets and fences are sometimes mentioned in conjunction with quail trapping by the Yokuts when the activity was operated as a larger community undertaking (Aginsky 1943:396; Spier 1978:472). Quail were sometimes shot out of trees, while resting, with bow and arrow (Spier 1978:472). Otherwise, bow and arrow hunting would not have been a good method of procurement because of their size, flight behavior, and association with brush, all of which serve to make them difficult targets.

The rabbits could have been captured using techniques ranging from a cast stone to the bow and arrow. Although the communal hunts with nets are the subject most reported for Yokuts rabbit hunting (Gayton 1948; Latta 1949; 1977), drives would not have been suitable for hunting in the vicinity of CA-FRE-1333 because of limited open space. Rabbits and other small game were caught with traps, clubs, throw sticks, spring pole snare, and fences with noose snares (Gayton 1948; Latta 1949; 1977; Aginsky 1943; Driver 1937). Mice were captured using a deadfall baited with an acorn (Gayton 1948). Ground squirrels were captured by smoking them out of their burrows using a feather fan (Gayton 1948:75), and by channeling rain water into their burrows during the winter months (Gayton 1948:183), and then hooked or clubbed as they emerged. Presumably, they were shot with arrows also (cf. Latta 1949:53). Wood rat nests were sometimes burned and the rats killed as they tried to exit or prodded out of their nests with a stick and killed (Driver 1937:62; Aginsky 1943:397).

The carnivores were taken with a variety of techniques. Bow and arrow hunting was probably the principal method used (Latta 1949:53). Dogs were used to drive foxes and other species until cornered or treed (Gayton 1948:183).

Deer hunting is the most studied of all hunting activities among the Yokuts (Gayton 1948; Latta 1949; 1977; Aginsky 1943; Driver 1937). Deer were captured by stalking with deer head decoys, ambushed, or tracked (Gayton 1948; Latta 1949; 1977; Aginsky 1943; Driver 1937). Wounded animals often had to be tracked because Yokuts' arrows could not inflict a wound serious enough to kill the animal outright (Latta 1949:53). Snares set along trails were used (Aginsky 1943; Driver 1937). The bow and arrow was probably the principal weapon used.

This summary shows that the vertebrate assemblage at CA-FRE-1333 is probably the result of a variety of hunting activities which utilized a number of tools and techniques. All of the animals represented could have been captured with relatively few tools. If taken in the narrowest sense, the entire assemblage could have been accumulated using a fishing spear or hook and line, bow and arrow, and a few traps, if slight variations on the techniques were used with different species. The mammals would have required the use of several techniques. Bow and arrow could have accounted for most mammal captures except for the smallest rodents which would have been trapped or caught using other techniques.

Processing and Manufacturing

Some evidence of processing and manufacturing technology was found in the collection. The evidence includes three tool fragments and three pieces of production waste from tool or ornament manufacture. A bone awl was found during the excavation and is described in the main body of the text. The tool fragments are all small pieces of large mammal bone. All bear surface polish which appears to result from abrasion during use, as well as partly obliterated tool scars on curved edges, which result from shaping or reshaping the tool.

Two of the three pieces of production waste are limb bone shaft fragments from large or intermediate size animals. On both specimens wide-angled, grooved cuts run perpendicular to the long axis of the bone shaft. The grooves have sides which slope at approximately 45 to 55 degrees. Neither of the grooves appears to have penetrated the marrow cavity. Grooves like these would have separated the blank (part of the bone to be made into a tool or other object) from the production waste (unused part of the bone). The third piece of production waste is a fragment of deer temporal including the pedicel, or antler base. The upper part of the antler has been cut away, leaving a nearly flat plane of cutting perpendicular to the antler shaft. The objects that were manufactured cannot be determined from these specimens. However, these specimens do indicate that manufacturing of bone tools or ornaments was an activity that occurred at the site.


Evidence which could be used to determine seasonal activity at CA-FRE-1333 is minimal. The only evidence which indicates the parts of the year when the site was occupied is two deer temporals bearing antler bases. These specimens represent two individuals which were killed during different parts of the year. One specimen, recovered from Unit 3, represents an animal that was killed sometime after its antlers had fully ossified and before the antlers were shed. This deer was killed between the end of the velvet stage and the onset of shedding, or approximately between August and December (Sheldon 1933). The second specimen, recovered inside Rockshelter C (Unit 2), represents an animal that was killed during the period after its antlers were shed, and before significant new growth had appeared. In Odocoileus hemionus, this stage occurs during the months of January through March (Sheldon 1933). This implies that the site was occupied during several parts of the year or perhaps that Rockshelter C was occupied during a different part of the year than the midden in front of Rockshelter B. The evidence is insufficient to determine whether the site was used continuously, during two parts of the annual cycle of a single occupation, or if it was inhabited at different times during successive occupations. The possibility that the site was occupied during other parts of the year cannot be ruled out.

References Cited

Aginsky, B.W. 1943. Culture Element Distributions: XXIV. Central Sierra. University of California Anthropological Records 8(4).

Driver, H.E. 1937. Culture Element Distributions: VI. Southern Sierra Nevada. University of California Anthropological Records 1(2):53-154.

Gayton, A.H. 1948. Yokuts and Western Mono Ethnography. University of California Anthropological Records 10(1-2):1-302.

Klein, R.G. and K. Cruz-Uribe. 1984. The Analysis of Animal Bones from Archaeological Sites. University of Chicago Press, Chicago.

Langenwalter, P.E., II. 1978. The Zooarchaeology of Two Prehistoric Chumash Sites in Ventura County, California (Ven-125 and Ven-293). Monographs of the University of California, Los Angeles, Institute of Archaeology 5(2):163-201.

Langenwalter, P.E., II, R.E. Langenwalter and J.G. Strand. 1983. Analysis of Vertebrate Remains and Implications for Aboriginal Subsistence. In: Archaeological Studies at Oro Grande, Mojave Desert, California, C.H. Rector, J.D. Swensen, and P.J. Wilke, eds. San Bernardino County Museum Association.

Latta, F.F. 1949. Handbook of Yokuts Indians. Bear State Books, Oildale.

Orr, R.T. 1940. The Rabbits of California. Occasional Papers of the California Academy of Sciences 19.

Sheldon, H.H. 1933. The Deer of California. Santa Barbara Museum of Natural History, Occasional Paper 3.

Simpson, G.G. 1945. The Principles of Classification and a Classification of Mammals. Bulletin of the American Museum of Natural History 85.

Spier, R.F.G. 1978. Foothill Yokuts. In: Handbook of North American Indians, Vol. 8, California. Smithsonian Institution, Washington D.C.

Winterhalder, B. and E.A. Smith. 1981. Hunter-Gatherer Foraging Strategies. The University of Chicago Press, Chicago.


by Michael F. Rondeau and Vicki L. Rondeau


The collection analyzed for this report was recovered in three stages. A projectile point base fragment (Cat no. 20) was collected by Jim Woodward when he recorded the site in May of 1980. The flaked stone from TP1 and TP2 was recovered in September of 1980 by Bruce Crespin and Don Manuel during a test excavation at the site. The vast majority of the collection was secured by excavation during September of 1986 by Archaeological Consulting.

Appreciation is expressed for the help and encouragement received from Gary Breschini and Trudy Haversat during the course of this study. The analysis found that the collection from CA-FRE-1333 contained an interesting array of flaked stone artifact types (Tables 1 and 2) for such a small collection (839 pieces including debitage and formal artifacts). A technological attribute analysis of the debitage and artifacts was undertaken, along with microscopic observations, to develop information on manufacture and use of flaked stone tools at CA-FRE-1333.

This system of study was developed specifically for cultural resource management assessments in that it seeks to maximize the information gathered with a minimum of time and effort. This is accomplished by a simple, quickly executed tabulation of a limited number of attributes diagnostic of various chipping techniques and their stages of reduction for the debitage (Rondeau 1982a) and key descriptive, technological and edge damage attributes for the formal artifacts.

This approach to lithic analysis also seeks to maximize the behavioral inferences that can be generated from the resulting data. This is done by applying the general understanding of analytical results gained through various flintknapping experiments and a variety of other sites analyzed in a similar manner (Rondeau 1982a, 1982b, 1984a, 1984b, 1984c, 1984d, 1985a, 1985b, 1985c, 1985d, 1985e, 1985f, 1985g, 1986a, 1986b, 1986c).



Crabtree has stated that the most informative data set for the understanding of lithic technologies is the waste flakes (1972, 1975). This is due to the repeated observation during replication studies that chipping waste contains the remains of the entire manufacturing process. Muto has written that "the process of manufacture is more diagnostic than any stage or final product" (1971:93-94).

That repeatable tests on debitage from different sites can be conducted is based on several principles. One is that the physics of conchoidal fracture of the raw material provides both morphological and behavioral parameters within which stone age techniques had to operate to achieve preplanned goals (Collins 1975). Another consideration is that debitage is usually of sufficient sample size to adequately characterize the behaviors that it represents. Another principle here is that "any one flake can be aberrant but populations of flakes seem to maintain a constant relationship to mode of manufacture" (Muto 1971:98).

This study proceeds with two levels of observation. The detailed observations are in the form of tabulated attribute counts designed to provide documentation of extant patterns indicating behavioral trends. The general observations are based on untabulated identifications of attributes that are usually of lesser interest.

The detailed attribute analysis proceeded with the identification of technique-diagnostic debitage attributes. Both archaeological studies reported in Rondeau (1982a) and extensive replication experiments support the conclusion that the various stone flintknapping techniques produce polythetic sets of nearly exclusive debitage attributes reasonably diagnostic of each technique. These studies have also indicated that no more than several carefully selected attributes need be used for the characterization of each technique. While there are a range of attributes that can and have been employed in this system of attribute analysis, only those of importance for this study are described below.

These attributes proved to be diagnostic of two different techniques that were used to flake stone prehistorically at CA-FRE-1333. The value of these attributes has been discussed elsewhere (Rondeau 1982a, 1984c, 1985a, 1986b) and need only brief discussion here. The attributes are: 1) the biface edged striking platforms; 2) the cortex; 3) the angular waste; 4) the single facet striking platforms; and 5) the multiple facet striking platforms. A final attribute type is flake fragments lacking striking platforms.

The biface edged flake represents a minority of the biface thinning flakes since it is only a minority that retain a portion of the edge of the biface from which they were struck. However, this attribute serves as an actual demonstration of the presence of biface manufacture. The percentage of such pieces in the collection, relative to other tabulated attributes, allows inferences about the extent and stages of biface production at the site. A 16x hand lens was used in identifying the smaller biface edged flakes.

In addition, the multiple facet striking platform also usually indicates biface thinning. The original bifacial nature of the striking platform is not always identifiable due to such factors as platform preparation (edge grinding of the biface prior to flake removal), collapse of a portion of the platform during flake removal, or the irregular flake scar morphology of that portion of the biface edge.

Other studies, reviewed in Rondeau (1982a), concluded that the percentage of biface edges can indicate the relative amount of biface production to primary reduction. Generally, 0 to 5% suggests a strong dominance of primary reduction, above 5 to 10% suggests a relatively equal mix of the two reduction strategies, and above 10% suggests a dominance of biface production although other, generally lesser factors can also influence the percentage (Rondeau 1982a). Even higher percentages, sometimes exceeding 20% are indicative of the dominance of advanced stages of biface manufacture in debitage collections. However, since the presence of cortex and angular waste can be measures of primary reduction, these indicators should be compared with the biface edged percentage for a comprehensive check.

The flakes retaining cortex or single facet striking platforms and the angular chunks are diagnostic of the typical core-platform technology used for primary reduction in many areas of California. The absence of attributes indicating any other primary reduction techniques, such as percussion blade manufacture or bipolar percussion, constitutes additional support for the assignment of direct free-hand percussion as the method of primary reduction.

The general material type of each flake was also used in this analysis. The technological attributes were recorded separately for the chert, obsidian, and a generalized igneous category. This allowed for the potential to isolate variations by material type for 1) differences in flaking techniques, 2) differences in the reduction stages even when the same techniques were used, and 3) differences in end products.


The method of study for the flaked stone artifacts included first placing them in one of the artifact types described below. Second, there was the identification of additional artifact attributes (Table 2) that would aid in addressing the research concerns discussed for each artifact type below, as well as to describe or interpret other observed features of the collected specimens.

Bifaces: For this study the term "biface" refers to a class of flaked stone artifacts that exhibit two faces, both of which exhibit intentional flaking. Bifaces include such finished pieces as projectile points, ceremonial blades, drills, crescents, and knives, as well as unfinished pieces and manufacturing failures.

Around the turn of the century extensive studies of various quarry-workshop sites in North America were undertaken by Holmes (1890, 1894a, 1894b, 1919). Unfortunately, his work was largely forgotten by the archaeological community for three quarters of a century. While Holmes was mainly concerned with disproving the claims that "quarry blanks" were hand axes from a time comparable to the European Paleolithic, he also developed data indicating that 1) bifaces are not crude tools (although a very limited number of exceptions exist), 2) that they are unfinished items in almost all cases, and 3) that biface reduction, as a behavior, occurs overwhelmingly in and near the source localities.

As a result, past archaeological literature has often incorrectly considered biface manufacturing failures to be tools and to account for the substantial numerical presence of such items at biface workshops as indicative of a massive manufacturing industry aimed at producing items for export. It has only been in the last two decades that biface reduction industries have come under adequate study and interpretation (Sharrock 1966; Muto 1971; Callahan 1979).

As a result of these studies it has been learned that most unfinished bifaces are manufacturing failures and that the vast majority of the failures would have been made into projectile points. While manufacturing failures at a source locality cannot indicate an intent to trade or export, archaeological research has also found that many bifaces were removed from source areas and underwent further reduction at other sites. Thus, in any given lithic assemblage, there is the potential for bifaces of different material types to arrive at the site in different stages of reduction. For this study, the analysis focused on determining the techniques of manufacture and what reduction stages the bifaces were at when they arrived at CA-FRE-1333.

Cores: This study uses the definition that a core is the nucleus that remains after the removal of flakes (Crabtree 1972). For this study, however, bifaces as defined above are not included in this artifact class. Since cores retain evidence of the ways in which those flakes were removed, it then follows that the study of this artifact class may provide information addressing a number of archaeological research questions (Rondeau 1979). If it is accepted that differences in the manner of flake removal might be reflected in the morphology of the cores, then the construction of a typology that reflects their techno-morphological attributes might yield information on such behavioral subjects as stone tool manufacturing and use as well as changes in these activities across space and through time.

A consideration of factors important to the formation of core morphologies is basic in any attempt to discern behavioral meanings from observed differences in archaeological specimens. These factors include, but are not necessarily limited to, 1) flaking techniques, 2) type and morphology of the raw material, and 3) the intent of the flintknapper, especially in terms of the goal(s) of his stone working.

Techniques of primary reduction recognized as having most commonly occurred during California prehistory include 1) direct free-hand percussion and 2) bipolar percussion. Variations of these techniques may occur depending on the intent of the flintknapper. This intent may have included the production of flakes to be manufactured into bifaces, unifaces, or flakes to be used-as-produced and the production of cores to be used as tools (e.g., choppers). It should be remembered that none of these factors may stand alone for any given collection, but most often they interact with one another. In addition, rarer primary reduction techniques also occurred, including flake blade (Rondeau n.d., 1985h) and bladelet production (Arnold 1983, 1985a, 1985b), as well as anvil techniques.

Complicating the analysis of core forms is the fact that flaked stone assemblages that contain cores often also contain core fragments and misshapen cores that represent failures to achieve the intent of the flintknapper. Such pieces, along with artifacts such as early stage, misshapen biface failures, percussion retouched hammerstones, and use modified core tools can contribute to the difficulty in constructing a typology that is indicative of primary reduction activities. Careful attention was given to the above considerations, both those determining the nature and extent of the core reduction sequence(s), as reflected by core morphology, as well as to those factors that might serve to obscure them.

Unifaces: For this study they are defined as artifacts that have been flaked on only one face (Crabtree 1972). In North America nearly all specimens of this artifact class have been worked on the dorsal flake face, although rare exceptions on the ventral face do exist. Even more rare are unifaces that are not a retouched flake (e.g., percussion flaked pebble). The working edge(s) are most often convex although straight, concave, serrated, and irregular forms also occur. They are flaked most often by pressure although percussion manufactured specimens also exist. They often exhibit use wear. Their presence in a flaked stone collection allows for additional inferences about flaking behaviors and other activities that took place on the site under study.

Modified Flakes: Identification of edge modified flakes requires the observation of crushing, nibbling, rounding, or micro-flaking on one or more flake margins. Micro-flaking is defined as any form of flake scar too small to have been produced by pressure retouch. Nearly all forms of edge modification, as discussed in the section directly below, can result from use or trampling. The main research concern here is to determine, for any given flaked stone assemblage, how many, if any, of the edge modified flakes exhibit edge rounding or other patterns of edge damage that can be inferred to have resulted from use.

Edge Modification

Even though the analysis of use wear patterns has been recognized for several decades as having the potential to make substantial contributions to the understanding of prehistory (Semenov 1964), this field of research is often misunderstood and incorrectly applied. As a result, most cultural resource management studies shy away from such analyses and the few that have pursued this sort of research have generally produced questionable results.

Two problems have contributed to this situation. First, there has been a poorly developed sense of what can reasonably be called use wear. Secondly, there has been little thought as to what sorts of questions might be addressed by the use of such analysis. Thus there has been a tendency to produce data without seeking to develop insights into past behaviors.

This situation is partly a result of extremes. On the one hand are investigators that, on the basis of unaided visual inspection, assign such edge damage forms as nibbling, crushing, scalar scarring, step scarring, and striations to the use wear category. These investigators are correct in the idea that those edge damage forms can result from use, but they fail to address the fact that they also result from accidental damage. This situation can lead to the production of useless data and incorrect interpretations about past cultures. At the other extreme are those who will settle for nothing less than high power magnification to identify use wear. The facilities, time, and money for high power microscopy, however, are not usually available to cultural resource management projects. These two schools of investigation often give a mistaken impression that there is no middle ground; that it has to be the either/or proposition. Acceptance of either view can lead to data loss.

With the current emphasis on studying changes in adaptive strategies through time, the nature and extent of used tools during different periods remains a largely unexplored potential for research. Before major research contributions can be made to the understanding of the prehistory of the region by use wear analysis, an accurate data base reflecting the structure of use wear at different sites and for different periods must be developed.

A number of recent studies have contributed to the development of a middle ground in the study of use wear (Flenniken and Haggarty 1979; Knudson 1979; Rondeau 1980; Tringham et al. 1974). The findings of Tringham et al. (1974), however, have only partly withstood the test of time. Their trampling experiments concluded, for example, that such accidental damage only takes random forms in terms of flake scar shape, size, and distribution along the flake edge (Tringham et al. 1974).

Uncritical acceptance of these findings (Tringham et al. 1974) has led some investigators to incorrectly conclude that all forms of edge damage on chipped stone artifacts that exhibit symmetrical flake scar shapes, symmetrical patterns, and uniform sizes are the result of intentional activities (e.g., Patterson 1984). Much of the uncritical use of their findings by other investigators that has produced questionable use wear information could have been avoided if Tringham's results had been taken as a hypothesis for repeated testing. The conclusions that trampling damage produced only random forms has been rejected as a result of other studies (Flenniken and Haggarty 1979; Rondeau 1980). However, Tringham and others did clearly document that random damage is one product of trampling (Tringham et al. 1974).

A more recent trampling experiment found that numerous uniform flake scar patterns of shapes, sizes, and sequences that result from use, also result from the trampling of flakes (Flenniken and Haggarty 1979). Remarkably similar results were obtained from the study of an archaeological site heavily trampled during recent decades (Rondeau 1980). Both studies concluded that rounding was the only sure form of use wear edge modification that did not also result from this kind of accidental damage. Knudson (1979), in a study of trampled bottle glass, found that striations can also result from trampling.

The selection of flaked stone from CA-FRE-1333 for edge modification analysis focused on formal artifacts and debitage specimens that exhibited edge damage that might be the result of use wear. These specimens were subjected to low power inspection of up to 50x.

An important caution is required with the use of rounding as a diagnostic trait for use wear. Various forms of weathering including sand blasting and water wear also produce rounded edges. The point here is that when a rounded edge is observed, it is necessary to inspect other elements of the piece such as the arris (ridge) between flake scars to determine if the rounding is pervasive or localized.


Debitage Analysis

A total of 821 pieces of debitage from CA-FRE-1333 were analyzed. Of these, 790 (96.2%) were identified as chert, 29 (3.5%) as igneous, and 2 (0.3%) as obsidian. The vast majority of the chert was clearly from the Franciscan Formation. No clearly non-Franciscan cherts were identified. The majority of the igneous materials flaked prehistorically appears to have been basalt while several porphyry varieties were also present. The material type of a small minority of debitage pieces was difficult to ascertain due to having been burned.

The chert had the only adequate sample size for interpretation. Thus, the following discussion will briefly review the findings for the other material types and then concentrate on the chert debitage.

The two obsidian debitage specimens represent the only flaked stone items of this material recovered from CA-FRE-1333. Both are quite tiny, each weighing less than one tenth of a gram. One is a flake fragment and the other retains a faceted platform. These two pieces hint that a very limited reworking of obsidian tools took place at the site. However, it should be remembered that only a small minority of pressure flaking debitage is recovered by 1/8 inch screen. No firm conclusions can be offered about this minuscule sample.

The igneous specimens (29) also comprise a collection too small to offer any clear conclusions. Over half of the pieces, 15 (51.7%), were flake fragments. Only one specimen exhibited a biface edged striking platform and another a faceted platform. A slight amount of biface tool manufacture may be indicated. With 12 pieces (41.3%) retaining single facet platforms and 6 (20.7%) exhibiting cortex, a dominance of primary reduction would be suggested if the sample had been larger. The fact that this collection totally lacks any pieces of angular waste would usually argue against a primary reduction interpretation. In this case, however, the lack of angular waste may be a function of the small sample size.

For the 790 chert specimens only 52 (6.6%) retained biface edges and 42 (5.3%) exhibited faceted striking platforms suggesting that a minority of the debitage was produced by biface manufacture. An additional chert specimen, listed on Table 1 under miscellaneous (Ms), is an overshot flake that retains a biface edge on the distal end of the flake. On the other hand only 18 pieces (2.3%) were identified as retaining cortex, 79 (10.0%) were classed as angular waste, and 111 (14.1%) were found to have single facet platforms.

The data seem to indicate that only a limited amount of the chert debitage resulted from biface manufacture while a clear majority was produced by the direct free-hand percussion technique of primary reduction.

This interpretation appears solid. However, a number of factors may detract slightly from its accuracy. First of all, a minority of angular waste was clearly the result of thermal fracture as, secondly, was a small percentage of the flake fragments. (However, almost all of the flake fragments from the L 1/3 of Unit 2 were due to fire fracture.) Thirdly, a few of the biface specimens (Cat. nos. 14, 15, and 22) suggest that percussion biface thinning during the early stages of the reduction sequence may have produced some debitage at CA-FRE-1333. Early biface thinning tends to produce a lower percentage of biface edged flakes than later thinning stages and can contribute a limited increase in the number of single facet platform flakes. If this is the case, then there may be more biface thinning debitage in the collection than is readily apparent.

Finally, there is the hint that a second primary reduction technique may have been used prehistorically at CA-FRE-1333. A core platform rejuvenation flake of red Franciscan chert (Cat. no. 29) was recovered from the 40-50 cm level of Unit 3. The flake was removed by a blow to the side of the core, just below the edge of the striking platform. While the ventral flake surface is a typical interior flake face, the dorsal face of the flake was the striking platform of a core. The core platform exhibits two or three thin platform modification scars.

The maximum dimension of the striking platform was 1.75 cm. The flake edges are thick and exhibit the initiation of no less than six flake scars around the edge of the core platform. These flake scars are parallel and suggest a unidirectional pattern of flake removal. While this piece has all the attributes of a "core tablet" flake from lithic assemblages that demonstrate prehistoric blade or micro-blade manufacture, the term will be avoided in this report since such a stone working industry remains unproven for CA-FRE-1333.

This core platform rejuvenation flake is quite similar to a small core fragment (Cat. no. 25) discussed in the next section. It also argues for unidirectional flake removal. These two small specimens seem to suggest a micro-blade like primary reduction technique. However, the debitage does not support such an interpretation. Only two small flake fragments might be construed as being micro-blade fragments, but neither could positively be identified. Another six specimens were blade-like, but too crude and are just as likely the products of either direct free-hand percussion or biface thinning.

One piece was suggestive of a flake fragment from the face of a blade core. It's identification was not conclusive. Also, it was removed from a piece much larger than the size of the two cores suggested by the pieces noted above. The data present in the collection did not even remotely begin to meet the criteria for demonstrating that there had been flake blade or micro-blade production at CA-FRE-1333 (Rondeau n.d.).

The other possibility, given the small core size, is the use of bipolar percussion as a means of primary reduction. The rejuvenation flake and the core fragment mentioned above, each representing only a single end of the original specimens, do not provide information on this possibility. Only two flakes, subsumed in the miscellaneous chert category (Table 1), were recognized as exhibiting bipolar attributes. The presence of only two such specimens is probably accidental and cannot be taken as definitive evidence that the bipolar technique was used at CA-FRE-1333.

The other two chert flakes (Cat. nos. 30 and 31), listed under miscellaneous (Table 1) were typed as uniface retouch flakes which are essentially the same as those identified by Frison (1967, 1968) as scraper retouch flakes. Such flakes tend to exhibit a very limited number of larger flake scars on the dorsal flake surface and a striking platform faceted by numerous flake scars created by pressure retouch and/or edge damage. This flake type is thought to have been created by striking a blow to the edge of the uniface in order to rejuvenate the piece by removing the worn edge.

Table 1. Debitage from CA-FRE-1333.
Chert Debitage
Rockshelter B3.110100000
Unit 2102.26674427630
Unit 3127.84253827333592191
Unit 481.02512516413341263

Igneous Debitage
Unit 313.42301319050
Unit 41.860203110

Obsidian Debitage
Unit 3<0.110100000
Unit 4<0.110000100
Wt = Weight in grams
AW = Angular waste
Co = Cortex
BiE = Biface edged platform
Ms = Miscellaneous flakes
SF = Single facet platform
FP = Faceted platform
FF = Flake fragments

Artifact Analysis

A total of 18 artifacts were included in the flaked stone assemblage. All specimens were chert. The pieces reviewed here include nine biface fragments, one core, four core fragments, one uniface fragment, and three edge modified flakes.

Bifaces: The nine biface specimens were all fragmentary. The majority of these were manufactured from flake blanks. Both percussion and pressure flaking were used. Cat. no. 14 exhibits large percussion flake scars indicative of a biface still in the process of being thinned. It also has a limited amount of edge damage, the flake scars of which appear to be too small to have been made by pressure flaking. They appear to be the result of abrasion perpendicular to the biface edge. This seems to have been done in order to bevel the edge. Beveling was done prehistorically to change the angle of the striking platform to facilitate the removal of additional thinning flakes. Further discussion of this edge modification is found in the following section (Edge Modification Analysis). A portion of one lateral margin of the biface is missing.

Cat. no. 15 is a biface end fragment that exhibits percussion edge trimming around the margin of the original flake blank. A few flake scars originating from the lateral snap suggest that there was a limited attempt to rework the piece. The third biface fragment (Cat. no. 22) was worked solely by percussion. This piece is an end or corner fragment and may also exhibit edge beveling.

The other six biface fragments are thought to represent projectile point fragments. Four of these (Cat. nos. 16, 21, 23, and 24) are limited fragments retaining only a portion of one bifacial edge. The assignment as point fragments is based on the flake scar evidence of pressure flaking. Pressure flaking, in this context, is interpreted to represent a finishing technique.

The eighth point specimen (Cat. no. 8), is a basal corner fragment that appears to have a slightly concave base with a tapering stem element and an excurvate blade edge. The final specimen (Cat. no. 20) appears to have been broken and then unsuccessfully reworked. The stem element and adjacent blade faces of the piece show that percussion flaking was used during the early shaping of the piece which was then finished by pressure flaking. The piece was then broken by a somewhat diagonal, lateral snap and the shearing off of the blade edge opposite the slope of the diagonal snap. The face of the snap indicates that at least one factor contributing to the breakage was a flaw in the material. The reworking is evidenced by percussion and possibly pressure flake scars on the sheared lateral margin.

Table 2. Lithic Artifacts from CA-FRE-1333.
(Measurements are in centimeters, weights in grams).

Cat. No.ProvenienceWtLWTh Attributes
Biface Fragments
8Unit 3, 70 cm6.13.961.781.10 FB, Pr, Bcf, Pf, Ta
14TP165. FB, Pe, Em, Ets
15TP1, 40-? cm35.95.555.101.42 FB, Pe, Ef, Eto
16TP1, 40-? cm8.82.812.401.00 FB?, Pr, Pe?, Tf, Pf
20Surface24.656.004.901.20 FB, Pr, Pe, Pf, Rwk
21Unit 3, 0-10 cm1.51.701.540.92 Pr, Tf, Pf
22Unit 4, 0-10 cm4.72.911.351.00 Pe, Bcf, Ets?
23Unit 4, 0-10 cm0.30.980.730.46 FB?, Pr, Pe?, Edf, Pf, Ff
24Unit 4, 10-20 cm0.10.920.660.41 Pr, Tf, Pf
Core and Core Fragments
9Unit 2, R 1/3103.06.804.423.18 C, Co, F, Pe
10Unit 2, R 1/3154.26.385.324.01 C, Co, Wo, Pe
11Unit 2, R 1/3153.68.994.704.70 C, Co, F, Pe
12Unit 2, R 1/327.54.313.621.98 C?, F, Pe, Ta
25Unit 4, 20-30 cm2.82.351.431.10 F, Pe
Uniface Fragment
26Unit 3, 0-10 cm3.42.971.410.90 FB, Pr, Pe?, Edf, Ff
Modified Flakes
7Unit 2, R 1/35.54.511.950.68 BiE, Ta, Ed
27Unit 3, 40-50 cm12.72.791.700.95 F, Ed
28Unit 3, 40-50 cm4. F, Ed, Td
Unique Flakes
29Unit 3, 40-50 cm2.32.091.700.80 Cprf
30Unit 4, 20-30 cm0.31.540.990.25 Urf
31Unit 4, 0-10 cm0.92.601.400.31 Urf
Bcf = Basal corner fragment
BiE = Biface edged platform flake
C = Cobble
Co = Cortex
Cprf = Core platform rejuvenation flake
Ed = Edge damage
Edf = Edge fragment
Ef = End fragment
Em = Edge missing
Eto = Edge trimming only
Ets = Early thinning stage
F = Fragment
FB = Flake blank
Ff = Fire fractured
Pe = Percussion
Pf = Projectile point fragment
Pr = Pressure
Rwk = Reworked
Ta = Thermal alteration
Td = Tip damage
Tf = Triangular fragment
Urf = Unifacial retouch flake
Wo = Whole

Cores: Of the five core specimens, four were recovered from Rockshelter C (Unit 2) (Table 2). Only one (Cat. no. 10), found in Rockshelter C, is whole. It exhibits the use of a number of striking platforms and the flakes were removed in a variety of directions lacking any discernible pattern. Two core fragments (Cat. nos. 9 and 11), appear to have been associated with Cat. no. 10 in a cache. These two fragments both exhibit flake removals in several directions and the latter also has several different striking platforms. The fourth specimen (Cat. no. 12), also from Rockshelter C, exhibits several platforms and directions of flake removal.

In contrast, the core fragment (Cat. no. 25, recovered from Unit 4, 20-30 cm) is not only much smaller (Table 2), but exhibits only one striking platform and a unidirectional pattern of flake removal. The maximum dimension of the platform is 0.75 cm. The platform has crushed and stepped edges which argues for the usefulness of this piece having been expended. Unlike the rejuvenation flake (Cat. no. 29), no platform modification flake scars were observed on the striking platform. The diagonal break, relative to the plane of the platform, does not indicate that this core piece was removed as an attempt to rejuvenate the original core. Like the core platform rejuvenation flake mentioned above, this core was found in the midden in front of Rockshelter B.

Unifaces: The uniface fragment (Cat. no. 26), exhibits pressure and possible percussion retouch on its dorsal face. The modified edge is convex. It appears to have been broken by a blow to the dorsal face of the specimen.

Modified Flakes: Three edge modified flakes were recovered from CA-FRE-1333 (Cat. nos. 7, 27, and 28). All three exhibit micro-flaking in the form of scalar and/or step scars too small to have been produced by pressure retouch. Such edge modification can result form use or trampling. Cat. no. 7 exhibits bifacial modification on a lateral flake margin. Cat. no. 27 is a flake fragment that exhibits modification on the dorsal face of one margin. Cat. no. 28 exhibits modification on the dorsal face of two parallel edges ending in a modified tip. A slight amount of micro-flaking is evident on the ventral side of a concave edge of Cat. no. 28. These specimens are further discussed in the following section.

Edge Modification

A total of 21 specimens were inspected for evidence of use. The bifaces produced no definite evidence of use. Knife-like and similar uses may be ascribed to bifaces, but the rounding on these specimens (Cat. nos. 14, 15, 21, 23, and 24) are assigned to intentional abrading of the edges. Two specimens (Cat. nos. 15 and 24) exhibited planing off of portions of the biface edge in addition to rounding. Planing is a more reliable indicator of edge abrading for platform preparation. Cat. no. 23 also exhibited planing, but it is so extensive that the possibility could not be ruled out for such a tiny specimen (Table 2) that this edge modification might be due to basal grinding. Basal grinding appears to have been used prehistorically as a finishing technique for blunting a point edge prior to hafting.

Only one core (Cat. no. 10) exhibited probable use wear. Rounding was observed on the arris of a flake scar. The type of use, direction, or material which was worked cannot be suggested by this analysis. The core platform rejuvenation flake (Cat. no. 29), like the cores, lacked any evidence of modification that might indicate platform preparation.

Surprisingly, the uniface fragment (Cat. no. 26), the three modified flakes (Cat. nos. 7, 27, and 28), and the uniface retouch flake (Cat. no. 30) only exhibited unclear evidence of rounding, but exhibited definite edge crushing. The second uniface retouch flake (Cat. no. 21) only retained very heavy edge crushing. The flake with the modified tip (Cat. no. 28) exhibited fairly extensive crushing, but not as much as on Cat. no. 31. It may be suggested by this result that the use(s) and/or material(s) being worked may have been such that the working edge was broken away faster than rounding could form.


A total of 821 pieces of debitage and 18 other flaked stone artifacts, for a total of 839 specimens, were analyzed. The collection suggests, but only in a limited fashion due to its small sample size, that flaked stone came to CA-FRE-1333 in a variety of forms. Near the site locality exist geologic deposits of the Franciscan Formation which include both cherts and basalt (Jennings and Strand 1958).

The vast majority of the stone that was flaked at CA-FRE-1333 came from the Franciscan Formation. It appears to have come to the site mostly in the form of chert--flake blanks for biface manufacture, or more likely, bifaces in the early stages of manufacture. Chert projectile points in current use were brought to CA-FRE-1333. Point specimens damaged by use were discarded on-site during tool rehafting. Chert also came to the site in the form of cores, most likely as cobbles already partially reduced, to be used for the production of flakes.

These flakes could have been produced to serve as blanks for biface manufacture, as well as other tools such as unifaces and unmodified flake tools. It is unclear if heat treating was intentionally pursued at this site. While several pieces are suggestive of thermal alteration, as opposed to accidental fire fracturing (Table 2), the flaked stone sample is too small to make a clear determination.

The reduction of cores was accomplished by direct free-hand percussion although two specimens provide no more than the slightest, although provocative, hint at a second primary reduction technique. The best speculation of what sort of second technique may be hinted at appears to be micro-blade manufacture. This inconclusive result may be due to the limited size of the collection. The possibility exists that any specially manufactured flakes such as micro-blades may have been removed from rather than used on the site. Given the limited debitage sample in terms of site volume excavated, the presence of flakes indicating a second technique of primary reduction cannot be ruled out.

The manufacture and use of bifaces may have been pursued through all behavioral stages from 1) the initial edge trimming of flakes by percussion through 2) the early thinning stages by percussion to 3) the finishing of projectile points by pressure flaking and finally 4) the reworking or discard of broken points. Hunting may be inferred prehistorically in the area surrounding CA-FRE-1333 given the suggested maintenance of projectile equipment.

The uniface fragment and the modified flakes suggest the pursuit of additional maintenance and manufacturing activities common to larger base camps and village sites. How strongly this sort of behavior is represented in the general flake stone assemblage at CA-FRE-1333 cannot be suggested. The identification of uniface retouch flakes may suggest that such activities were fairly common, at least to the degree that rejuvenation of the tools was deemed necessary.

The nature of the edge damage on the tools is extensive--crushing of the working edges seems to have precluded the retention of rounding. This is pervasive in the recovered collection. This author is not familiar with any other collections that exhibit crushing as the dominant or even common form of use wear on shaped or casual tools. Whether this represents a behavioral difference for CA-FRE-1333 or a simple sampling error cannot be determined.

The range of behaviors suggested by the assemblage appears to be greater than would be expected to have occurred during temporary occupation such as at a hunting camp. Although repeated use over some hundreds and perhaps several thousands of years could certainly influence the variety of artifacts left at CA-FRE-1333. If there is a possibility that this site lies on a route traveled by prehistoric traders moving between the San Joaquin Valley and the Salinas or Santa Clara Valleys, then it might have been a stopover on such travels. Such travel may have been timed with the seasonally advantageous availability of subsistence resources such as the ripening of certain seed crops or deer migrations.

Such trading ventures could have been timed with the late spring-early summer dispersion of peoples into smaller band or family groups that moved up into the interior coastal ranges and came into contact with peoples from the other valleys. Fall could have been another period when groups with late season abundance of food stuffs and other goods may have found the time to make such journeys.

In either case, the trip would have been at a slow enough pace to allow not only for hunting and gathering activities, but routine maintenance tasks as some of the flaked stone pieces suggest. The heavily worn edges of pieces representing formal and casual tools might represent evidence of intensive labor not so much aimed at delicate finishing work that might be suggested by the lighter form of use wear, rounding, but rather a concentration on the quick manufacture of a number of unfinished items useful in trade.

The range of formal lithic artifacts and debitage types for a collection of this limited size is surprising. This collection appears to suggest that if a larger sample of the site was gathered by excavation, an even wider range of flaked stone artifacts would be secured for study. While the collection is too limited a sample to offer a firm numerical profile of the flaked stone assemblage, it is suggested by this collection that CA-FRE-1333 may have an unusually high formal artifact to debitage ratio and a high level of diversity for formal artifact types.

Ericson (1984) has suggested that the development of various lithic production indices involving ratios of tools, material types, debitage, and a variety of their subcategories has the potential to provide measures by which lithic production and use systems can be measured and compared. He has stated that:

. . . the reconstruction of lithic production systems is fully justified from a phenomenological point of view. The structure of a lithic production system will reveal a great deal about the investment of human energy involved in production and decision-making, having economic import. The nature and internal organization of these systems are important to further our understanding of production and resource utilization in the context of procurement, exchange, technology, and social organization [Ericson 1984:3].
The flaked stone collection from CA-FRE-1333 especially typifies the potential which Ericson discussed. Given the limited sample size of flaked stone, it is likely that an even greater potential may remain to be recovered from the site.

In conclusion, the lithic collection has provided a surprising amount of diversity, provided evidence of a rather high number of activities, and has raised a number of additional questions about the flaked stone assemblage and the behaviors that occurred prehistorically at CA-FRE-1333.

Figure 1. Reduction Sequence for CA-FRE-1333.


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Arnold, J.E. 1985b. The Santa Barbara Channel Island Bladelet Industry. Lithic Technology 14(2):71-80. Center for Archaeological Research, The University of Texas at San Antonio.

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Collins, M.B. 1975. Lithic Technology as a Means of Processual Inference. In: Lithic Technology, Making and Using Stone Tools, E.H. Swanson, Jr., ed. Mouton Publishers.

Crabtree, D.E. 1972. An Introduction to Flintworking. Occasional Papers of the Idaho State Museum 28. Pocatello.

Crabtree, D.E. 1975. Comments on Lithic Technology and Experimental Archaeology. In: Lithic Technology, Making and Using Stone Tools, E.H. Swanson, Jr., ed. Mouton Publishers.

Ericson, J.E. 1984. Toward the Analysis of Lithic Production Systems. In: Prehistoric Quarries and Lithic Production, J.E. Ericson and B.A. Purdy, eds. Cambridge University Press, New York.

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Frison, G.C. 1967. The Piney Creek Sites, Wyoming. University of Wyoming Publications 32(1, 2, 3).

Frison, G.C. 1968. A Functional Analysis of Certain Chipped Stone Tools. American Antiquity 33(2):149-155.

Holmes, W.H. 1890. A Quarry Workshop of the Flaked-Stone Implement Makers in the District of Columbia. American Anthropologist (old series) 3:1-26.

Holmes, W.H. 1894a. Natural History of Flaked Stone Implements. In: Memoirs of the International Congress of Anthropology, C.S. Wake, ed. Chicago.

Holmes, W.H. 1894b. An Ancient Quarry in Indian Territory. Bureau of American Ethnology Bulletin 21.

Holmes, W.H. 1919. Handbook of Aboriginal American Antiquities: Part I, The Lithic Industries. Bureau of American Ethnology Bulletin 60.

Jennings, C.W. and R.G. Strand. 1958. Santa Cruz Sheet. In: Geologic Map of California, O.P. Jenkins, ed. Division of Mines, Sacramento.

Knudson, R. 1979. Inference and Imposition. In: Lithic Use-Wear Analysis, B. Hayden, ed., pp. 269-281. Academic Press, New York.

Muto, G.R. 1971. A Technological Analysis of the Early Stages in the Manufacture of Chipped Stone Implements. M.A. thesis, Department of Anthropology, Washington State University, Pullman.

Patterson, L.W. 1984. Lithic Pseodo-Tool Analysis. American Archaeology 4(2):155-159.

Rondeau, M.F. 1978. The Sanguinetti Quarry Site, An Archaeological Excavation on the Sonora Bypass, 10204-074501, District 10, Tuolumne County, California. Ms. on file, California Department of Transportation, Sacramento.

Rondeau, M.F. 1979. Behavioral Concepts for the Formation of Core Typologies. Paper presented at the Annual Northern Data Sharing Meeting of the Society for California Archaeology, Sacramento.

Rondeau, M.F. 1980. The Archaeology of the Salmon Creek Site, Tahoe National Forest, Sierra County, California. Ms. on file, Tahoe National Forest, Nevada City.

Rondeau, M.F. 1982a. Debitage Analysis: A Basis for Site Characterization. Paper presented at the Annual Meeting of the Society for California Archaeology, Sacramento.

Rondeau, M.F. 1982b. A Lithic Seasonal Round for the Northern Sierra Nevada: A Regional Model. Paper presented at the Great Basin Anthropological Conference, Reno.

Rondeau, M.F. 1984a. A Field Analysis of Lithic Technology for Fourteen Sites on the Eastern Madeline Plains, Lassen County, California. Appendix I in First Addendum Archaeological Survey Report for the Proposed Ravendale Safety Roadside Rest Area on Highway 395, by M. C. Biorn. Ms. on file, California Department of Transportation, Sacramento.

Rondeau, M.F. 1984b. A Preliminary Attribute Evaluation of Debitage from the Pitville Site, CA-Las-973, Lassen County, California. Ms. on file, Bureau of Land Management, Susanville.

Rondeau, M.F. 1984c. An Investigation of Chipped Stone Technology at CA-SLO-186 and CA-SLO-187, San Simeon State Beach, San Luis Obispo County, California. Ms. on file, Department of Parks and Recreation, Sacramento.

Rondeau, M.F. 1984d. A Technological Analysis of a Selected Debitage Sample from the Gold Lake Site, CA-Sie-40, Sierra County, California. Ms. on file, Plumas National Forest, Quincy.

Rondeau, M.F. 1985a. Chipping Waste: An Analysis of CA-SLO-383 and A Study of Changes in Flintknapping Behavior Through Time at San Simeon State Beach, San Luis Obispo County, California. Ms. on file, California Department of Parks and Recreation, Sacramento.

Rondeau, M.F. 1985b. Lithic Production and Use in the Upper Salinas River Basin, Southern Monterey County, California. In Final Report on Archaeological Investigations at CA-MNT-1255, A Salinan Indian Quarry Site in Southern Monterey County, California. Ms. on file, Regional Information Center of the California Archaeological Inventory, Sonoma State University, Rohnert Park.

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by Robert O. Gibson

Five shell beads and three fragments of Olivella biplicata shell were individually examined and placed into one of five categories based on material, shape, and size (Bennyhoff and Fredrickson 1967; C.D. King 1981). One stone bead also was examined and is described following the description of the shell beads. Some comparative data on function of types from Chumash territory also are presented (Gibson 1976; C.D. King 1981; L.B. King 1969).

Type E1a--Olivella Thin Lipped Round; One Example

Description. This type of bead is manufactured from the callus and wall portions of the Olivella biplicata shell. The outline is generally circular to slightly oval with a cross-section being concavo-convex but showing one side thicker (the callus part of the shell), and one side thinner (the wall part of the shell). A single perforation is located on the dividing line between the wall and callus and consists of a conical perforation drilled from the ventral side of the shell. The single specimen (Cat. no. 17) has dimensions of 5.9 x 6.4 mm (length/width), 2.8 mm maximum thickness, and 2.0 mm minimum perforation diameter.

Antiquity. This type of bead is generally diagnostic of Phase 2a of the Late Period (450 to 300 years B.P.) throughout most of California.

Function. Olivella lipped beads (like Olivella callus beads) were utilized as a medium of exchange between individuals and households. C.D. King notes:

Outside the Santa Barbara Channel [Chumash area] Olivella lipped beads were more frequently used in relationship to other types of Olivella callus beads than they were in the Channel [C.D. King 1981:262].
In the Berkeley collection, Gifford (1947:35) notes that of Type X3b11 (lipped beds), 17,486 out of 19,882 came from the Delta region of Central California, while only 800 such examples came from the Southern California area. Lipped beads
. . . sometimes occur as strings of beads coiled and placed in graves, usually in small numbers, although occasionally large numbers, and occasionally may have been sewn on perishable items. The Olivella lipped beads were found in all areas of the Medea Creek cemetery (dating to Phase L2), although they were concentrated in the western portion where the wealthy high status people were interred [L.B. King 1969:55-58].

During Phase L2, lipped beads were used over a larger area of California than any other contemporary bead type [C.D. King 1981:263].

Type G2a--Olivella Saucers; Two Examples

Description. This type of bead is manufactured from the wall portion of the Olivella biplicata shell. It is evenly curved in cross-section and even in thickness. The periphery is generally ground and circular and has one central conical perforation, drilled from the ventral surface.

The first specimen (Cat. no. 3), recovered from Unit 3, 20-30 cm, measures 4.1 x 4.5 mm (length/width), 1.1 mm thickness, and 1.2 mm minimum perforation diameter. The irregular periphery in one area may be the result of slight over-chipping/shaping of the bead blank such that when the bead had been ground down to the desired diameter (i.e., 4.5 mm), a part of the edge of the bead still retained shipping scars.

The second specimen (Cat. no. 5), recovered from Unit 3, 50-60 cm, measures 5.4 x 5.8 mm (length/width), 1.1 mm thickness, and 1.3 mm minimum perforation diameter. The perforation is slightly biconical (ninety percent from ventral side). Some slight edge irregularities may be evidence of the type of chipping/shaping described above. All surfaces are very smooth.

Antiquity. Olivella saucers were used over a long period of time, beginning as early as Phase M1 (2800 to 3400 years B.P.). By the following phase (M2a), they had become the most common type of bead used in the Santa Barbara Channel; they continued to be the most common type throughout the Middle Period. A wide range of bead diameters were made during every phase of the Middle Period after Phase M1 (C.D. King 1981:207). They continued to be utilized during the Late Period as well, generally having ground peripheries until shortly after 1800 A.D., where the type undergoes a change from semi-ground and semi-chipped to chipped periphery (C.D. King 1974, 1981; Gibson 1976). In Central California Olivella saucers are generally indicative of Middle Period occupation, and become less frequently used during the Late Period (possibly being replaced by Olivella rectangular forms).

Generally Middle Period Olivella saucers are larger in overall diameter (often ranging to 7-8 mm in diameter), and generally have a larger perforation than later types (1.5-2.5 mm). The two specimens recovered from Unit 3 fall in the 4 to 6 mm diameter range, with a 1.2 to 1.3 mm perforation diameter, and are well within the size range for those types occurring during Phase 1 of the Late Period (or possibly later). These forms could well date circa 450-950 years B.P.

Function. Ethnographically among the Chumash this type of bead was used in bracelets--long strings of beads wound several times around the wrist. Strings of this bead were also used to decorate belts worn by chiefs on fiesta days and to make necklaces to be exchanged between chiefs and other high status individuals. Olivella saucers were not money beads, but were used to validate sociopolitical status.

Olivella saucers were "low- to medium-value forms of beads whose ownership demonstrated rights to community stores as gifts to other chiefs and as gifts to those who aided in the maintenance of community stores" (C.D. King 1974:89).

At the Medea Creek Cemetery, wall disc beads were concentrated in the west and center areas and were rare in the east area . . . . It appears that Late Period Olivella wall disc beads like their early Middle Period predecessors were associated with the segment of the economic system controlled by hereditary political leaders [C.D. King 1981:299-300].

The areas where wall disc beads were particularly important during the Late Period are the areas held historically by the Yokuts which includes the San Joaquin Valley and the area historically occupied by the Serrano, Kitanemuk, Tataviam, and Gabrielino [C.D. King 1981:301].

Type G4--Olivella Saucer with Dorsal Grinding; One Example

This type is similar to regular Olivella saucers except the dorsal face has been ground making the surface almost flat. The single specimen from CA-FRE-1333 (Cat. no. 2) was recovered from Unit 2, and measures 4.5 x 4.7 mm (length/ width), 1.0 mm thickness, and 1.4 mm minimum perforation diameter. The perforation is biconically drilled.

Antiquity. Bennyhoff notes:

Type G4 is a marker type for the Early Phase of the Middle Period (200 B.C.-100 A.D . . . Dorsally ground large saucers (Type G4b) continue through Phase M2b (200 B.C.-300 A.D.) [Bennyhoff and Fredrickson 1967].
The Olivella biplicata disc bead with the ground dorsal surface, Type G4, is not a good temporal type at this site. The perforation diameter appears larger than the earlier M2 forms noted by Bennyhoff and King and may represent a local variant (contemporaneous with the other two beads from this area). None of the other types of shell beads or the radiocarbon dates are indicative of this M2 time period (circa 2150-1850 years B.P.).

Haliotis rufescens Epidermis Disc Bead; One Example

Description. This type of bead is manufactured from the red abalone shell after the nacreous (mother-of-pearl) portion has been separated from the epidermis (periostracum). The pieces of epidermis were then chipped into generally circular rings and biconically drilled. the periphery as well as both faces were also ground smooth. The color of this type of shell varies from a deep rich red (which the Spanish called coral beads) to an almost clear color. The single example from CA-FRE-1333 came from Unit 2 (Cat. no. 1), and measures 3.8 x 3.6 mm (length/width), 1.3 mm in thickness, with a 1.1 mm biconically drilled perforation. Three areas around its periphery exhibit probable chipping/shaping scars.

Antiquity. This type of bead occurs rarely during Phase 1 of the Late Period and in Chumash territory is most frequently used during Phases 2 and 3 of the Late Period (450-150 years B.P. or later) (C. D. King 1981:303). As with other bead types, this type of bead changes size through time. The size range of the bead from CA-FRE-1333 is similar to that noted from CA-LAN-243 at Medea Creek (Phase 2 of the Late Period, 450-200 B.P.).

Function. Haliotis epidermis beads were unique because in Chumash territory they were strung in combination with all bead types commonly used during the Late Period. At Medea Creek cemetery (CA-LAN-243), Haliotis epidermis disc beads were seldom found in the eastern part of the cemetery; they were concentrated in the central and western parts of the cemetery. Their distribution indicates that they were not used by all members of the society and that they were mainly used by people who inherited political power (C.D. King 1974:87; Gibson 1976:90).

Haliotis epidermis beads were used during Phases 2 and 3 of the Late Period by all groups adjacent to the Chumash. Gifford (1947) indicates that these types of beads were used in the area historically occupied by the Yokuts all the way up to the northern boundary near Stockton. It appears that their frequency of use greatly decreased in the Plains Miwok and Patwin areas, although they have been found there in small numbers. Gifford's tabulations indicate that the Haliotis epidermis beads were not used in the San Francisco Bay area (1947:16).

Olivella Wall Fragments, Three Examples

One larger (Cat. no. 4) and two very small examples of Olivella shell were recovered from the Unit 3 area. These all have been burnt gray/black and represent wall portions of the Olivella biplicata shell. They could represent bead blanks or fragments for the manufacture of Olivella saucers, although other bead manufacturing detritus (callus, spire, orifice fragments) was not evident from the sample for this project. The extreme burning of the shells is not a by-product of bleaching or whitening the shells during manufacturing/processing but, rather, appears to represent shells which have been thrown into a hearth area and burnt, possibly as an offering or possibly accidentally.

Stone Bead, One Example

Description. A single example of a stone bead was recovered during the 1980 BLM excavation (Cat. no. 18). Its provenience has not been established. It consists of a light colored green talc schist (?) (scratches white) which is circular in outline with flat parallel ground faces and an almost straight bore, slightly conical, central perforation. The bead measures 3.9 mm diameter, 2.0 mm thickness, and 2.2 mm perforation. Changes in size and form of stone beads occurred through time but have not been well seriated at the present time. No specific temporal association can be made for this type at the present time. However, its form is very suggestive of Phase 2 of the Late Period.

Temporal Placement of Shell and Stone Beads at CA-FRE-1333

As described above, it appears as though there is good correlation between the four radiocarbon dates and the shell beads recovered during fieldwork. The Olivella thin lipped round and Haliotis rufescens epidermis, both from Unit 2, could well be contemporaneous and probably date in the time period 450-300 years B.P., consistent with the radiocarbon date of 280 B.P. from a hearth in Unit 2.

The two Olivella Type G2a saucers from Unit 3 are of a size range probably placing them in Phase 1 of the Late Period, and are certainly consistent with the radiocarbon dates between 755 and 1010 years B.P. from the 40 to 70 cm strata of the midden area.

A single stone cylinder from an unknown location cannot at this time be considered temporally diagnostic because particular sequences have not been adequately developed for stone beads in the area. The Type G4 Olivella saucer with dorsal grinding also cannot considered to be temporally diagnostic at the present time. Additional research is needed to better define temporal patterns of this type.

In general it appears as though both status and economic monetary beads were recovered from the site, with all types being common in the area north and south of CA-FRE-1333. The indication is that the occupants of this area were engaged in similar forms of sociopolitical and economic organization with those surrounding areas. However, at present specific ethnicity cannot be assigned to the beads recovered from CA-FRE-1333.

References Cited

Bennyhoff, J.A. and D.A. Fredrickson. 1967. A Typology of Shell and Stone Beads from Central California. Ms. on file, Cultural Resources Section, California Department of Parks and Recreation, Sacramento.

Gibson, R.O. 1976. The Study of Beads and Ornaments from San Buenaventura Mission Site (VEN-87). In: The Changing Faces of Main Street, R.S. Greenwood, ed. Submitted to San Buenaventura Redevelopment Agency, Ventura.

Gifford, E.W. 1947. Californian Shell Artifacts. University of California Anthropological Records 9(1):1-114.

King, C.D. 1974. The Explanation of Differences and Similarities Among Beads Used in Prehistoric and Early Historic California. In: Antap: California Indian Political and Economic Organization, L.J. Bean and T.F. King, eds. Ballena Press Anthropological Papers 2:75-92.

King, C.D. 1981. The Evolution of Chumash Society: A Comparative Study of Artifacts Used in System Maintenance in the Santa Barbara Channel Region Before A.D. 1804. Ph.D. dissertation, Department of Anthropology, University of California, Davis.

King, L.B. 1969. The Medea Creek Cemetery (LAn-243): An Investigation of Social Organization from Mortuary Practices. Archaeological Survey Annual Report 11:23-68. University of California, Los Angeles.

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