Archaeological Overview of
Point Reyes National Seashore
National Recreation Area
As a part of the Archaeological Overview and Assessment
for the Point Reyes National Seashore and the Golden Gate National
Recreation Area, under a cooperative agreement between Sonoma State
University and the National Park Service, the ASC has produced several
overviews of research issues—or general archaeological research
designs—to aid in management of archaeological resources in
the PRNS-GGNRA parklands. The geographic scope of the study area is
relatively vast, extending over 108 miles of coastline—from
northern Marin County in the north into northern San Mateo County
in the south. These overviews are necessarily general, as they are
intended for use with all known and anticipated archaeological resources
in the PRNS and GGNRA, an area of approximately 182,496 acres, of
which only 6,000 acres have been intensively surveyed. The presentation
of research issues in these overviews will assist managers and archaeologists
in developing specific research designs for individual properties
or specific land units as the need arises.
While these overviews are presented here as a single,
edited volume, each is designed to be printed out separately as a
standalone document if desired. Each overview is listed below, along
with a general statement of the topic and the name and credentials
of the author.
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An Overview of Research Issues for Geoarchaeology in the PRNS-GGNRA
by Jack Meyer
This overview takes a geoarchaeological landscape approach that
incorporates human ecology, landscape evolution, and soil formation.
With a focus on landforms available to human beings in the past,
including buried features, it offers a new perspective on the current
archaeological database. Geoarchaeological research issues that
can be addressed by parkland resources are provided, along with
their data requirements.
An Overview of Research Issues for Indigenous Archaeology in the
by Suzanne B. Stewart
This overview discusses the evolution of research designs for
prehistoric archaeology in California, and reviews local research
designs and their uses. It then describes and evaluates past indigenous
(prehistoric and historic Native American) archaeological research
on various topics—such as chronology, settlement, social
organization, and culture change—offering a discussion of
research issues and data requirements for each topic. The last
section brings together the research issues and data requirements
for all topics to aid in developing specific research designs.
(The study for indigenous archaeology had a more ambitious scope
of work than the other overviews, which were conducted under modifications
to the original project statement—hence its greater size.)
An Overview of Research Issues for Historical Archaeology in the
by Annita Waghorn
This overview describes the legal context for archaeological
research and enumerates the property types that are known or anticipated
in the study area. Research issues and data requirements are provided
for selected research themes that pertain to Spanish-colonial/Mexican-period
and American-period urban and rural archaeological resources.
A review of property types and research efforts related to the
dairy industry (a dominant theme in the late-19th and early- to
mid- 20th century on the Point Reyes peninsula) is provided in
an appendix prepared by Christina MacDonald, CRM graduate student
and archaeological specialist at the ASC.
An Overview of Research Issues for Maritime Resources in the PRNS–GGNRA
by Robert G. Douglass
This overview looks at the history of the study area as it relates
to human interaction with the sea, and reviews the major archaeological
studies that have been conducted over the years to increase our
knowledge and understanding of these local maritime activities.
In order to establish a context for research, it examines current
general directions in maritime archaeology and presents some relevant
examples of recent activities within the discipline. The overview
also suggests an organizational framework for parkland maritime
resources, consisting of a range of physical property types and
historical contexts that can be combined to describe most maritime
properties likely to be encountered in the GGNRA and PRNS. Finally,
it proposes some research questions and areas for potential study,
and makes specific recommendations for future treatment of the
maritime properties of the parklands.