Anthropology 500: Proseminar
Fall 2015 Final Presentations
Set up and Refreshments
Allensworth: Restoring the Cemetery of “The Town that Refused to Die”
Allensworth, established in 1908 in the southernmost end of the Central Valley, is the only town in California to have been founded and governed by African Americans. Although the town has been protected since 1976 as Colonel Allensworth State Historic Park, its cemetery has been poorly preserved. The majority of the grave markers have been removed and the boundaries have been encroached upon and lost. This project seeks to redefine the cemetery boundaries using Ground Penetrating Radar, to investigate the role that race played in the process of the cemetery’s preservation over time, and to collaborate with the Allensworth descendant community throughout the course of the project, with the goal of making the Allensworth Cemetery and its history more visible to the public.
Last Chance Townsite: Resurrecting a Settlement to Bring to Schools
While the Gold Rush and westward expansion are events that have captured the American imagination, archaeological research into small scale mining settlements has been comparatively less common. The town of Last Chance, a historic-era gold mining settlement located in Placer County, California, provides an excellent opportunity to add to this growing body of work and deepen our understanding of Placer County history. This research will use primary documentation provided by descendants, archaeological surveys and archival research to compile a comprehensive history of the site to be used to answer questions about this settlement’s lifecycle and the people who lived there. It is intended that the information recovered be used as a case study to enhance the history curriculums of local Placer County schools.
Point Reyes National Seashore and Climate Change: Using Historical Ecology to Inform Habitat Restoration and Promote Habitat Resilience
Over the next 75 years, it is anticipated that many archaeological sites on the Point Reyes National Seashore (PRNS) will be destroyed due to coastal erosion. These sites may contain valuable data about how habitats responded to both anthropogenic and climatic pressures in the past that could help inform local habitat restoration plans. This project seeks to gather data from archaeological sites on the PRNS to study what anthropogenic and climatic influences impacted plant and animal species throughout the past. This information will be evaluated in terms of how it can aid habitat restoration plans, specifically with the aim to promote habitat resilience against anticipated conditions of climate change.
A Parable of Past Perception: Phenomenology and Narrative in Victorian San Francisco
Although archaeological research has been conducted in the city of San Francisco for many years, only until recently have efforts been made to represent past lifeways in a way both academically and publicly compelling. This project seeks to use the example of the 41 Tehama Project, a Victorian era domestic site excavated in the neighborhood of South of Market by the Anthropological Studies Center, as a case study of re-creating the past into a historical narrative using phenomenological methodology. This aspect of the research will address using sensory data as a way to accurately and relatably re-create day to day Victorian life in San Francisco, specifically in the context of the early days of the neighborhood of South of Market.
BREAK FOR LUNCH: 11:30-12:30
Segorea Te: Urban Development of a Cultural Landscape
Segorea Te is a 3,500 year old shellmound site that has been the focus of a recent conflict between California Indians and the Greater Vallejo Recreational District as a result of urban development. One group of stakeholders views Segorea Te as a recreational site that connects the city of Vallejo with a network of San Francisco Bay Area hiking trails. For another group of stakeholders, Segorea Te is a sacred site that represents the culture and identity of two local California Indian tribes. In this research proposal, Segorea Te serves as a case study that explores themes of urban development, cultural landscapes, and Indigenous archaeology as they relate to cultural resource management.
The Sea Ranch: Cultural Resources on a Scalloped Shore
Located about three hours north of San Francisco, The Sea Ranch (TSR) encompasses 16 km of Sonoma County coastline, and was the site of pre-historic and historic activity before it became a by-word for architectural innovation and ecological design in the 1960’s (Lyndon and Alinder 2004; White-Parks 2006). TSR’s coastal location makes it susceptible to the forces of erosion and sea level rise. Experts predict that Sonoma County cliffs will recede up to 190 m by the year 2100 (Revell et al. 2011). The goal of my research is to identify what structures and sites are in danger from erosion and sea level rise, and to develop a suggested plan to protect TSR, while consulting stakeholders along the way.
Something to Galera at: A Vessel-Based Study of Lead-Glazed Earthenwares and Foodways at el Presidio de San Francisco
Lead-glazed earthenwares, also known as galera, are one of the most identifiable and prevalent artifact types recovered from the Spanish-colonial site of el Presidio de San Francisco. Even though it is frequently found in the archaeological record, scholarly research about galera is very limited as it has gone relatively understudied. The aim of this project is to use a vessel-based approach in the analysis of galera sherds to determine how the use and function of this ceramic type shifted alongside changes in the colonist’s culinary practices over time. The goal is not only to expand the research of galera as a ceramic type but also to demonstrate the shifts of cultural identity experienced by el Presidio colonists as expressed through their changes in the use of galera in relation to colonial foodways.
Concluding Discussion and Refreshments