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I will examine bone samples selected from human burials from the Ryan Mound (CA-ALA-329), which have been made available through San Jose State University, with full permission and support of the Muwekma Ohlone Indian Tribe.
Based on current analysis of assemblages, and archaeometric analyses made possible through this award, we will develop a model of change in resource use and cultural pattern from the Middle Period to Ethnographic times.
This will depend on improved dating using AMS and obsidian hydration, reliable sourcing of obsidian by XRF and INAA, and accurate identification of macrobotanical and fish remains.
I will use the profiles to determine whether trade was skewed toward particular obsidian sources and trading partners at the boundary between the exchange networks, and detect temporal changes in obsidian source distribution.
The proposed research will help shed light on the culture history of a little studied region of the Sierra Nevada foothills and clarify the nature of trade relationships and obsidian acquisition patterns in the larger Central California region.
Dissertation research will be centered at the Hopland Research and Extension Center (HREC) in Mendocino County, California, the location of three clusters of boulders that exhibit visible signs of use and are thought to represent fertility ritual.
Known as PCNs (Pecked Curvilinear Nucleated elements), these markings (i.e., rock art) are a portion of a broader tradition of cultural markings that are found at more than 100 sites throughout the Coastal Ranges of California.
The primary goal of this project is refine the cultural chronology of the North Central Coast with specific attention to the establishment of regional and long distance trade patterns and interaction spheres.
More specifically, radiocarbon dating material recovered from intact stratigraphic features identified at CA-SCR-7 and CA-SCR-10 will be used in conjunction with obsidian sourcing to illuminate cultural characteristics established along the North Central Coast during the Middle Holocene.
It is also unclear how obsidian procurement patterns differed during the periods before and after this late Holocene peak in trading activity.
I propose to answer these questions by dating sites from the Don Pedro reservoir collection and creating obsidian source profiles from these sites.
In an attempt to update and evaluate the validity of a chronological sequence that is largely based on projectile point and olivella shell bead typologies, this project proposes to radiocarbon date intact stratigraphic features from three large previously excavated village sites, CA-BUT-1, CA-BUT-7, and CA-BUT-12, submit obsidian samples from similar proveniences for hydration and sourcing purposes, and compare the results of these dating methods to not only one another but also an existing chronology in need of further absolute dating support.