Metates To Merit Badges: The Contrasting Occupational Sequences of Lost Valley


A Thesis
Presented to the
Faculty of
San Diego State University


In Partial Fulfillment
of the Requirements for the Degree
Master of Arts
in Anthropology


by George Evan Kline
Summer 2008


 

SAN DIEGO STATE UNIVERSITY
The Undersigned Faculty Committee Approves the
Thesis of George Evan Kline:
Metates To Merit Badges:
The Contrasting Occupational Sequences of Lost Valley

Lynn H. Gamble, Chair, Department of Anthropology

Larry L. Leach, Department of Anthropology

Gary H. Girty, Department of Geology

Approval Date April, 2008

 

Copyright © 2008
by
George Evan Kline
All Rights Reserved

 

DEDICATION

For Dr. Larry L. Leach, Who demonstrated numerous times, and in many different ways, that “the archaeologist, much like a boy scout, must always be prepared for the unexpected.”

 

In individuals, insanity is rare; but in groups, parties, nations and epochs it is the rule.
-Friedrich Niezsche

 

ABSTRACT OF THE THESIS

Metates to Merit Badges:
The Contrasting Occupational Sequences of Lost Valley
by
George Evan Kline
Master of Arts in Anthropology
San Diego State University, 2008

Lost Valley, an apt place-name, is at present the remote site of a vast Boy Scout reservation, with facilities and campsites designed to educate boys in a multitude of skills to advance in the organization, earn merit badges, and to learn about life, nature, survival, first aid, and many other subjects in an atmosphere of peace and quiet, a far cry from the bustle of the not too distant cities. In a compromise forged between the Orange County Council of Boy Scouts of America and the San Diego State University (SDSU) Anthropology Department, annual summer field school students camped out on site while surveying and excavating units in the northeast corner of the valley. The scouting organization benefited in the agreement from having a SDSU graduate student volunteer instruct an archaeological field school for the boy scouts so that they could earn the rare and coveted archaeology merit badge. The excavation activities spanned seven years and have amassed a sizable collection that has thus far produced several masters’ theses including this one. This work presents the final count of prehistoric artifactual evidence including three distinct occupations representing the prehistoric human presence from the Paleoindian to the late prehistoric, focusing on its lithic aspects. But, the work here is in no way complete. There remain uncountable avenues of inquiry yet to pursue, and the information gained thus far strongly urges continued research.

 

TABLE OF CONTENTS

ABSTRACT............... vi Front Matter pdf

LIST OF TABLES..... x

LIST OF FIGURES... xi

ACKNOWLEDGEMENTS................. xiii

CHAPTER

1. introduction........... 1 Chapter 1 pdf

Prior Theses..... 3

The Setting..... 5

Other Researchers’ Relative Contributions: (Research History)..... 6

More Recent Studies..... 7

The SDSU Lost Valley Excavations..... 9

Lithic Resources........... 10

Occupational Components, Environments........... 12

The Paleoindian Component........... 14

Late Archaic........... 14

Late Prehistoric........... 15

Summary..... 17

2. Background........... 18 Chapter 2 pdf

The Local Environment..... 18

Geology And Mineral Resources..... 25

Geologic Units..... 26

Geologic History..... 28

Geologic Features..... 29

Soils and Sediments........... 30

Hydrology........... 30

Botanical Environment and Resources..... 32

Linguistics Background..... 34

Ethnographic Boundaries and Resource Areas..... 38

3. Theoretical Framework........... 42 Chapter 3 pdf

Behavioral Ecology..... 42

Evolutionary Concepts..... 42

Game Theory..... 44

4. Methodology........... 46 Chapter 4 pdf

The Excavations..... 46

Protein Residue Analysis..... 47

Geochemical Analyses..... 48

Technological Analyses..... 49

Obsidian Hydration Analysis..... 49

Flaked Stone Tool Analysis..... 53

Debitage Analysis..... 54

An Experiment in Debitage........... 58

A Flintknapping Experiment........... 60

Ceramics..... 61

Groundstone..... 62

Milling Stones........... 62

Shaped Groundstone Implements........... 62

Body Adornment Artifacts........... 63

Other Stone..... 63

5. Results of Analyses........... 65 Chapter 5 pdf

Flaked Stone Artifacts..... 65

Tools........... 65

Diagnostic Projectile Points........... 66

Paleoindian..... 67

Large Projectile Points..... 72

Late  Prehistoric..... 73

Experimental Results........... 81

Debitage........... 85

Chalcedonous Materials..... 88

Quartzite..... 88

Other Lithic Materials..... 88

Quartz..... 89

Obsidian..... 90

Cores........... 91

Obsidian Hydration........... 93

Groundstone..... 99

Pestles........... 100

Metates........... 103

Manos........... 106

Notable and Unique Ground Stone Artifacts........... 107

Arrowshaft Straightener Tools........... 111

Stone Bowls........... 113

Perforated “Doughnut” Stones........... 113

Other Stone And Mineral Artifacts..... 113

Fire Affected Rocks........... 115

Ceramics..... 115

Faunal and Utilized Bone..... 115

Features..... 119

6. Discussion and Conclusions........... 122 Chapter 6 pdf

Cupeño – Cahuilla..... 122

Chronology..... 124

The Paleoindian Component........... 124

The Archaic Component........... 124

The Late Prehistoric Component........... 125

Conclusion........... 126

References    129 References pdf

APPENDICES:

A. PROTEIN RESIDUE ANALYSIS...........pdf

B. GEOCHEMICAL ANALYSIS OF THE LOST VALLEY FLUTED POINT...........pdf

C. DEBITAGE GEOCHEMICAL ANALYSIS...........pdf

D. Technological Analysis of the Lost Valley Fluted Point...........pdf

E. Obsidian HYdration Data...........pdf

F. RadioCarbon Analysis...........pdf

G. Raw Data...........in pdf ONLY

The whole thesis in pdf.

 

List of Tables

Table 1. The Mohs Mineral Hardness Scale........... 27

Table 2. Tree Species Present in or Near Lost Valley in Modern Times........... 33

Table 3.  Cupeño Linguistic Family Tree........... 36

Table 4. The Takic Branch of the Uto-Aztecan Linguistic Family........... 37

Table 5. Flaked Stone Tool Quantities by Raw Material........... 66

Table 6. Frequency Tables Showing the Raw Material of Artifacts Compared to Projectile Point Style Types....... 81

Table 7. Results of Chi Square Tests for Points by Material Type. Computed for a 2x2 Table........... 82

 

List of Figures

Figure 1. The map shows the relative location and topography of Lost Valley............ 2

Figure 2. A general location map of areas described in the various prior works concerning the Cupeño culture............ 4

Figure 3. Lake Cahuilla chronology............ 11

Figure 4. San Diego ecological zones............ 19

Figure 5. Natural hydrology of the northeast portion of Lost Valley where the focus of this work is concentrated............ 31

Figure 6. Southern California ethnographic territories as described by Kroeber in 1925............. 41

Figure 7. The Lost Valley fluted point, obsidian............ 69

Figure 8. Large projectile points. Possible Elko eared or corner notched............ 74

Figure 9. Typical un-notched quartz projectile points............ 77

Figure 10. Typical notched projectile points............ 77

Figure 12. Comparison of lithic raw materials to styles of arrow points in the Lost Valley collection............ 80

Figure 13. The percentage and the numerical quantitative differential relationships of the major lithic debitage materials............ 86

Figure 14. Quantities of raw materials of debitage by depth............ 87

Figure 15. Four possible cores made of gneiss-schist, excavated from the same unit and level as the Paleoindian fluted point............ 92

Figure 16. Obsidian Hydration Time Chart............ 95

Figure 17. Obsidian Hydration Linear Rate Chart. Note:........... 96

Figure 18. Histogram showing the obsidian hydration analysis results of 66 rind measurements............ 97

Figure 19. Schist Pestle, Catalog # 5276,  from CA-SDI-2506............ 101

Figure 20. A reproduction of Plate 8 from Kroeber’s (1908) “Ethnography of the Cahuilla Indians.”........... 102

Figure 21. Juan Chutnikat with a wooden Mortar............ 104

Figure 22. Photo of Juan Chutnikat with two Cahuilla men and J. P. Harrington at Palm Canyon (east of Lost Valley) in the 1920s............ 105

Figure 23. Metate fragment of decomposing granite (Cat. #s 4134, and 4135)............ 106

Figure 24. Incised Pendant from CA-SDI-2506............ 108

Figure 25. Zoomorph pendant/bead from CA-SDI-2506............ 108

Figure 26. Punctate patterned pendant, Cat # 4978, from CA-SDI-2506............ 109

Figure 27. Macro Photo of micro-cupules on #4978............ 110

Figure 28. Undecorated quartzite arrowshaft straighteners............ 112

Figure 30. Drilled Tizon Brown Ware rim sherd............ 116

Figure 31. Bird bone beads Cat. # 5040............ 116

Figure 34. Bone awl Cat. # 5257............ 119

Figure 35. Bedrock milling feature within CA-SDI-2507............ 120

Figure 36. The Archery Site excavations of 2000............ 121

 

ACKNOWLEDGEMENTS

This accomplishment is the result of many years work but it could not have come to fruition without the guidance, encouragement, and support of many individuals. Friends, family, colleagues, coworkers, employers, and above all, my wife and best friend Victoria L. Kline have contributed more than they really know. None of this could have occurred without Victoria beside me. In 1995 when Victoria and myself agreed on this, the culmination of a dual goal, we had no idea how many others would be involved, voluntarily or otherwise.

Although this particular project has taken longer than most, due to the requirement of full time employment, it has allowed me to cross paths with many valued colleagues and professors along the way. At times I felt as though I were a faculty member myself as I witnessed graduates come and go, and professors arrive, move on, and retire. I deeply value all of the friendships and acquaintances I have established en route.

I would not have begun this educational journey without the introduction to archaeology by Arlene Benson, who gave me a chance to discover my calling. I hope to someday thank her personally. Up to this time I never knew work could be so fulfilling and enjoyable.

The archaeological collection on which this work is based was the result of seven years of summer field seasons at Lost Valley, while my direct participation consisted of the final two seasons. Under the tutelage of Larry Leach, the epitome of encouragement, and inspiration, Victoria and myself took the remaining unprocessed excavation materials into the lab and began our research.  I would not have gone this far without his support and fatherly guidance. To him I owe an un-payable debt. Through the excavation across the Opuntia cactus patch, the various encounters with rattlesnakes, and the omnipresent scorpions, mosquitoes, horseflies, and our pauses of slack-jawed gawking scrutiny of the limitless menagerie around the evening Coleman lantern, his stories and his unplumbed depth of knowledge and experiences in the field kept us all serendipitously entertained while we learned the discipline and field skills of archaeology.

There have been several professors that have thrust themselves beyond the scope of mere teachers, to challenge, inspire, and encourage students to attain more than they ever thought possible. I am forever fortunate to have taken their classes and seminars.

Dr. Lynn Gamble has exhibited the utmost professionalism and has been the crucial role model and the foremost authority in California archaeology that I needed to bring this work to fruition. As my thesis chair I deeply value her input, suggestions, and guidance and I stand in awe of her tireless energy and unbounded knowledge of the discipline. She has truly been an inspiration.

Dr. Glenn Russell devoted endless hours of laboratory time and perspiration in the establishment of the obsidian hydration lab, and I deeply value the skills he has passed on to me. His devotion to the art of inculcation with only a sincere thank-you, immeasurable appreciation, and an occasional botanical specimen as compensation, will never be forgotten. His availability as a sounding board for my – sometimes hair-brained ideas, was invaluable and should be highly credited for much of the content herein.

Dr. G. Timothy Gross deserves a huge credit as well. Although I did not have the opportunity to attend his classes or seminars, he was both guidance and a sounding board for many of my questions and ideas. As a fellow flintknapper, our minds often meshed when the subject of flaked stone tools and materials came into scrutiny.

If there is one professor that truly challenged me to work hard at the academics it was Ramona Perez. When perusing the syllabus of the first graduate seminar that I took under her earnest guidance, I was somewhat taken aback by the list of books, research papers, and assignments I had to conquer. This scenario occurred three times and hence my political and philosophical outlook, my theoretical ponders, and yes, even my world-view has been molded by these cerebral seminars. Thrice I pondered the concept of masochism and if I might possess those tendencies, but at the end of each of those semesters, when reflecting on what I had learned, I was astonished.

My other academic passion resides in the realm of the physical sciences and this work reflects my passion for geology. Dr. Gary Girty of the geology department graciously agreed to advise me on the appropriate material within this work that corresponds to the autochthonous human use of available rock and mineral resources. There are a plethora of nomenclatures for geologic resources that defy corroboration between archaeologists and geologists and often one discipline has difficulties comprehending the other. This fine line of non-cognation had to be bridged, if only in my own sphere of comprehension. I owe Dr. Girty a warm appreciation for serving on my committee from outside the Anthropology Department and advising me on the strong geologic aspect of this work.

I owe a debt to General Dynamics NASSCO, my employer throughout this educational endeavor, for footing the bill for tuition and books, thereby allowing me to achieve an advanced degree without resorting to student loans. There have been certain supervisory individuals at G.D. NASSCO who have allowed me to adjust my work schedule in order to attend classes and to take the necessary leaves of absence and timely vacations to enable my participation in field schools and professional conferences. William “Ray” Candy, Valerie Houlihan, Jorge Aguilar, Dave Voigt, Capt. Richard Severs USNR, and Dave Langenhorst, all gave me the chance to work around my academic pursuits as well as supply unrelenting encouragement and support on my behalf. Additionally, I wish to voice my appreciation to my co-workers Dennis Wynings, Micheal Williams, Charlotte Black, Maria Medina, and Alfredo Solis, for their almost daily encouragement and keeping up with the workload during my absences.