- ARCHAEOLOGICAL FIELD SCHOOL 1999 -

EASTERN SIERRA NEVADA : LONG VALLEY // MONO COUNTY, CA
PREHISTORY OF THE CALIFORNIA : GREAT BASIN BORDERLANDS

Offered through California State University, Sacramento and conducted from July to August, 1999, the field school ran for just under five weeks and provided students with intensive hands-on training in prehistoric archaeology. Emphasizing both the methodological and theoretical foundations of modern archaeology, students gained a first-hand perspective on how the research goals of a project dictate the most appropriate survey, excavation, and analysis techniques. Fieldwork took place in several parts of the eastern Sierra Nevada, beginning near the town of Mammoth Lakes in what geologists refer to as the Long Valley caldera. Near the headwaters of the Owens River, this high desert environment plays host to a combination of typical Great Basin and Sierran plant communities. Narrow riparian corridors along the river and its tributaries are surrounded by lush sagebrush scrub, giving way at higher elevations to pinyon-juniper woodland, Jeffrey pine forest, and finally, alpine tundra. Excavations and surveys were conducted on old terraces fronting the Owens River. The second portion of the field class took place at Travertine Hot Springs, south of Bridgeport, one of the major thermal spring complexes in the region. Work involved detailed mapping, surface collection, and excavation at protohistoric Paiute sites in the pinyon-juniper zone surrounding the springs. The eastern Sierra is a well-watered region of splendid scenery, bordered by the highest mountains in the continental United States, and containing one of the richest archaeological records in North America.

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Department of Anthropology California State University, Sacramento 6000 J Street, Sacramento, CA 95819-6106
Phone: (916) 278-5330Fax: 278-4854 e-mail: arc@csus.edu

WEB SITE DESIGNED AND COMPILED //  BRIAN JAMES AND WILLIAM LARSON // 2010