Findings Relating To San Bernardino County To Be Presented At Archaeolgists Convention

Several San Bernardino County archaeologists will present papers this week in San Francisco.
Pertinent to the study of archaeology in San Bernardino County’s desert region, the Society for American Archaeology (SAA) is holding its 80th Annual Meeting this year in San Franciso from April 15 – 19, 2015, this week.  Among the featured topics for the San Bernardino County area are presentations touching on San Bernardino County prehistory including evidence concerning climate change.
The Sentinel’s SBC’s Glimpse of the Past columnist, Ruth Musser-Lopez of the San Bernardino County Archaeological Heritage Association will present her summary paper on the link that can be made using rock art style patterns and linguistics that indicate archaic abstract petroglyphs, the very oldest rock art in the Mojave Desert were likely made by ancestral artists of the Mojave people of the Lower Colorado River or their Yuman-Hokan speaking cousins.
Other presenters from our neck of the wood presenting one of the # papers in one of the 418 sessions of the five day conference include Dr. Edward Knell of Cal State Fullerton who will be presenting findings from surveys of the playas around Soda and Silver Lake near Baker.  His findings indicate that from the end of the Pleistocene (roughly 10,000 years ago) to the time Native Americans had contact with Europeans,  there appears to be a gradual shift of human occupation on these playas downward farther into the basin which would indicate a receding water level or shoreline. His conclusion are based on evidence from archaeological surveys and the relative physical location of datable concentrations of artifacts through time. The findings are important reflections upon long term global warming and receding water levels in the Mojave Desert over at least the past 10,000 years.
From the University of Nevada, Las Vegas, we have Aaron Woods, Barbara Roth, Katelyn DiBenedetto also evaluating prehistoric subsistence, settlement and land use in San Bernardino County.  These researchers will report on a recent field survey that they conducted where they found  “multi-component artifact scatters, lithic reduction areas and hunting blinds.”  The researchers assert that these newly discovered sites provide new information on the prehistoric use of Afton Canyon, and patterns of prehistoric occupation in the Mojave Sink also suggesting that site type locations pertains to the function of the site.
“A Biface Cache from Paradise Springs, Central Mojave Desert” is the topic of Dr. Jeanne Binning, a Regional Archaeologist with CalTrans, Jill Minar of Fresno City College, Clifford Walker of the Mojave River Museum and an Stueber of Archaeological Investigations Northwest. A type of dating technique called Obsidian Hydration dating was used on two Humboldt bifaces in the cache indicating the artifacts are 1,400 years old.  Since there were six chert dart-point “preforms” thought to be roughed out for future use with an atlatyl, the evidence of their recent age, because they were found with the 1,400 year old bifaces, suggests that Native Americans used the atlatyl even after bow and arrow technology was acquired.
Coming from Fort Irwin, thirty-seven miles north east of Barstow, Archaeologists Katherine Brunett, Armando Abeyta and Amber Fankhauser will be presenting their findings from two “multi-component” archaeological sites, Bitter Spring and Drinkwater Spring, used over a long period of time as stopping points along migration and “interaction” routes, and also likely used during more recent times in association with historic mining activities.

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