Ontario Hosting California Archaeologists This Weekend

The Society for California Archaeology, founded in 1966, celebrates its 50th Anniversary in Ontario this weekend at the Doubletree Hotel and Conference Center.
The society will also hold a silent auction and beer and wine tasting while members and the public muse through the Planes of Fame Air Museum tonight.
The Society for California Archaeology is a nonprofit scientific and educational organization dedicated to research, understanding, interpretation and conservation of the heritage of California and the regions that surround and pertain to it.
During the various sessions at the meeting, hundreds of archaeologists and researchers will gather from regions throughout California to present their current findings and provide updates on the status of their archaeological projects.
On Sunday, March 13, from 9:00 – 11:15 a.m.in the Harvest Room, a number of San Bernardino County archaeologists will be presenting papers on subjects pertinent to the county’s history.
Ruth Musser-Lopez, occasional author of the Sentinel’s “Glimpse of San Bernardino’s Past” column. will be presenting on the subject of prehistoric rock art. The title of her presentation is Zenith Position Rock Art Along Prehistoric Trails of the Mojave Desert and Lower Colorado River as Key to Hokan Settlement Patterns prior to Uto-Aztecan Expansion. Musser-Lopez asserts that prehistoric rock art imagery, i.e., “petroglyphs,” situated at the “zenith”or top side position of naturally-occurring, patinated boulders along desert trails of the Mojave Desert and Lower Colorado River is likely associated with ancestral Mojave Indians (Aha Macav) who are included in the Yuman linguistic group of the Hokan language family. She will be presenting new evidence from numerous sites in the Mojave Desert that supports this conclusion. She asserts that the position of stylized art could be key evidence of archaic Hokan settlement patterns prior to later Uto-Aztecan expansion out of Mesoamerica perhaps as early as 4,000 years ago.
Uncovering the Life of Evelyn “Pinky” Kilgore, a 20th Century Aviator and Trailblazer is the topic of the research to be presented by Katie Crosmer, Charles W. Cisneros, Teena Apeles, and Jim Shearer. Evelyn “Pinky” Kilgore was the first woman to receive the New Civil Aeronautics Authority instructors license in 1939. The presenters will share their archaeological investigations conducted at the Silver Lake Airfield in the Mojave Desert which they assert “sheds light” on the life of this historical figure.
Cisneros and Shearer, along with Ryan Glenn also plan to provide further details with regard to their ongoing studies at the Cronise Basin in a paper titled Late Prehistoric Subsistence Practices and Landscape Archaeology in the Cronise Basin. Today the mostly dry Cronise Basin of the Mojave Sink appears an unlikely place to support human life without modern technology. However, archaeologists Malcolm Rogers and Christopher Drover have provided evidence that suggests this region had a long history of human occupation shaped by climate change. The presenters will share their own preliminary archaeological investigations which yielded information that supports Rogers and Drover’s conclusions.
Also on Sunday morning, in the Lake Arrowhead Room, is scheduled a symposium dedicated to the “Ethnography, Archaeology, and History on the San Bernardino National Forest.” The San Bernardino National Forest is a transitional area that separates the Mojave Desert and Colorado Desert from the coastal valleys and plains of the Los Angeles Basin. The Forest is comprised of three mountain ranges: the San Bernardino, San Jacinto, and Santa Rosa Mountains. To date, most of the research in the Forest has been published in gray literature supporting federal projects. This symposium deals with the results of recent and past work in the Forest to better understand the area and to describe its use and importance in both history and prehistory. Topics include the archaeological evidence of prehistoric life at Deep Creek Drainage, Rock Camp Site and Willow Creek Crossing. Presenters include Leslie J. Mouriquand, Dr. Mark, W. Allen, Evelyn Chandler, Julie A. Scrivener, Michael K. Lerch, Arlett J. Carmona, Amanda L. Smith, , Lindsay Dean, Adrienne Harwell, Jeanette Maldonado, and Briana Van Patten, Beth Limahelu, Jane Fernandez, Mariah Fowler, Isaac Limahelu, Lauren Macias, and Amanda L. Smith, Kaitlin Searing, Paola Quezada, Jacob Kasimoff, Isabel Nguyen, and Ashley Bowman, Steven R. James, Susan M. Wood, Gina Griffith, Daniel F. McCarthy, Marc A. Beherec, William Sapp. The symposium will be reviewed by discussants Dr. Dee Scroth, retired curator of the San Bernardino County Museum and Dr. Donn Grenda, a celebrated author of numerous archaeological publications.
Dr. Mark Sutton, who was formerly the Bureau of Land Management’s Barstow Field Office Archaeologist is now with Statistical Research, Inc., working at China Lake Naval Air Weapons Station. For many years the celebrated Dr. Sutton studied the Mojave Desert and this year will inform the professional community of archaeologists in a presentation entitled Rethinking the Early Prehistory of the Mojave Desert. He has proposed a new model of the culture and technology of the Mojave Desert from the Late Pleistocene to the Middle Holocene, one that posits a cultural continuity through time and is consistent with the known archaeological record.

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