Anglo – Settlers of European
background, or White people.
Anthropologist - One
who studies the evolution and cultural development of people
in different societies to understand human behavior.
Artifact – Anything that has
been made, used, or modified by humans.
spear-thrower that works on the same principle as the device
used to throw tennis balls for a dog . (Picture)
Biface - Stone tools that have been flaked on both
sides to produce a sharp, symmetrical, knife-like edge. (Picture)
Bone Awl -
A piece of usually large
mammal bone that has been shaped into something like a
These were used to weave baskets, mats, and other textiles
that have been made by
Great Basin people for the last 10,000
B.P. – An abbreviation for “Before
Present,” or before the year 1950. This is when
C14 dating was
developed and the age of things dated by this technique
started to be reported as how many years older than 1950.
This means that a date of 950 B.P. would be equivalent to
A.D. 1000 in our calendar system.
C14 Dating – A method for
dating once living things (plants, animals, or parts of
them) that measures the amount of radioactive C14 that all
living things have in their bodies until they die and it
begins to slowly disappear.
Cache – A store of tools or food
that was hidden away for later use.
Chronology – The determination
of dates and sequence of events in the past.
Crescent – A “moon-shaped”
flaked stone tool made
and used during the Early Prehistoric period.
Dart – A light-weight spear thrown
atlatl that was used
for hunting before the bow and arrow arrived in the Eastern
Sierra around 1350 years ago.
Drill – A sharp edged, pointed
flaked stone tool used
for boring holes in things like wood, bone, and softer kinds
Erosion (eroded) –
The removal of earth and rock from a site or part of the
landscape by wind, water, or other processes.
Fauna – The animals living in a
particular region or time period.
Flaked Stone -
tools made by chipping obsidian and other glassy stone to
the desired shape.
Gaming Pieces -
short rods of bone or
cubes of soapstone that were used for playing hand game.
This is a traditional gambling game that is still played
today by many Great Basin and other Native American tribes.
Ground Stone -
that are made by slowly hammering, grinding, and
polishing less breakable stone like granite until the proper
size and shape are achieved.
Handstone – A fist-sized,
round, flat handheld stone used with a
milling stone for
House Floor – The remains
of a prehistoric house where people lived in the past.
Milling Stone – A large
flat or dished shape stone used as a stationary surface upon
which seeds, tubors, and nuts are ground with a
Mono Basin – The Eastern
Sierra valley that holds the salty remains of a once larger
Ice Age lake we call Mono Lake today.
Mortar – A stone or sometimes
wooden bowl or cup cut into a piece of bedrock that was used
to crush and grind food like acorns.
Obsidian Hydration – A
dating technique that measures the thickness of the layer of
obsidian that has absorbed water after an obsidian tool was
made, providing an age for the
Owens Lake – The large
saltwater lake that filled much of the southern
Owens Valley until it
dried in the early 1900s, when the water to fill it was
diverted to southern California.
Owens Valley – The valley
between the Sierra Nevada and Inyo/White mountains that
stretches from the modern town of Bishop to the town of
Paiute – The Native American
people who lived in the Eastern Sierra when European
settlers arrived and whose descendants continue to live
and designs pecked or cut into the surface of dark-colored
rock to expose the lighter material underneath. Some are
easily identifiable as people, animals, and other life-like
things, but others are more abstract designs of unknown
Projectile Point - A
flaked stone object
that is hafted to the tip of a projectile, such as a spear,
dart, or arrow.
Quarry - A location where raw
stone materials such as obsidian, chert and basalt, were
collected for stone tool manufacture.
Scraper – A
flaked stone tool used
to peel, shave, or plane things like wood, bone, or food.
Site – A place with evidence of
earlier human activity.
Shaft Straightener - A
grooved piece of talc
These were heated in fires and used to straighten cane or
phragmites dart shafts.
Shell Beads – Beads made
from one of several species of sea shells imported from
Threshing Floor – A
flat stone or packed earth surface used to remove and mass
process wild seeds still attached to the plant.
Volcanic Tableland –
The geologic formation at the northern end of
Owens Valley that was
an important seed collecting area for Native American