The Archaeological Research Facility Newsletter
Excavation of a Kashaya Pomo Village in Northern California
As recently as the early nineteenth century many of the Native Americans of northern California walked a tightrope between prehistory and history, between a hunter-gatherer existence and "civilization". Finding equilibrium between these two expanses would require change, choice, and a challenge to retain the time-tested securities of their past. The opportunity to examine these dynamics within the context of current archaeological theory exists nearby on the Sonoma County coast of northern California.
From 1812 to 1841 the Russian American Company established and maintained the fur trade colony of Ross within the homelands of the Kashaya Pomo Indians. This pluralistic colonial community was characterized by a large number of inter-ethnic households including the documented cohabitation of Kashaya Pomo women and the Native Alaskan men accompanying the Russians as sea mammal hunters.
The physical and material boundaries of the Fort Ross Archaeological Project, an ongoing UC Berkeley research program directed by Professor Kent Lightfoot, expanded during the summer of 1995 to correspond to the theoretical and methodological goals of the greater research design. The archaeological investigations of a Kashaya Pomo Village site on the ridge near the fort are being integrated with the rich ethnohistoric, ethnographic, pictorial, and linguistic data available on the Kashaya Pomo to form the basis for a dissertation addressing culture change in a Native American community in the early nineteenth century. This research was specifically designed by UC Berkeley graduate student and project director, Antoinette Martinez, to use multiple lines of evidence within telescoping scales of spatial and temporal analysis. Global, regional, local and household spatial patternings will be analyzed diachronically to examine different models of response and decision making by the Kashaya Pomo women, men, and families before, during, and after the presence of the Russian and native Alaskan hunters and traders in this mercantile colonial context. In particular, how did the native women act as cultural mediators in bridging the changing subsistence, sociopolitical, spatial and ideological chasms? Were they the innovators or keepers of tradition? How did these people adapt or transform the spaces of their daily practices and activities? Were there changes in the foodways or social relations among and within the households?
Theoretical and methodological issues of space and scale came into focus this summer as we carefully exposed the very floors, hearths, and trash deposits of people who had suddenly become part of a global system. The areas tested included small house pit depressions, stone tool and shell artifact manufacturing areas, an extensive midden, and the large depression of a semisubterranean structure.
Many people cooperated, collaborated and coexisted to make this a successful, fun, and very productive field season that ran from June 1 to July 22, 1995. California State Parks and Breck Parkman, as always, lent support and encouragement for this project which ran concurrently with the mitigation of the north wall of the Fort Ross stockade which Peter Mills directed. The Soper-Wheeler Company gave permission to work on the property and, like the Pedotti family who managed the property, we learned to treasure this land. There is no doubt that the blessing that Otis Parrish performed before testing contributed to the exciting results. Of course, UC Berkeley graduate and undergraduate students supplied energy, dedication, and insight. We also thank all the interested individuals from the Kashaya, local and academic communities who also contributed to the success.
Since the time a rancher made daily hikes to water his tomatoes and enjoy the view, the location of the Kashaya Pomo village has been called "Tomato Patch". It is safe to assume that those who came before him, the people whose past lies just beneath the surface, found this area productive and beautiful, too. In the clearing northeast of the year round spring a large depression, which is approximately 10 meters in diameter from berm to berm, becomes particularly well defined in the spring when the grass is green and clipped close to the ground by the resident cattle. Directly east of the large depression are several smaller depressions that line up comfortably along the contour of the slope. To the south of the large depression the slope makes a noticeable descent to the dark rich soils of the midden. Scattered between, and sometimes overlapping these other features, are areas dominated by obsidian and chert flakes and shatter.
The first excavation units to slice into the center of the large depression offered evidence of a relatively large structure that had burned down collapsing into itself and settling relatively undisturbed until we arrived. Because of the care taken by crew chief Allan Bramlette, and crew members Judy Stevenson, Hannah Ballard, Lisa Barrera, and Aimee Plourde we know that a substantial center post (approximately 16 cm in diameter) and almost a meter below the present surface held up a framework of posts, branches and twigs daubed with clay. After exposing more of the cultural levels in a large excavation block we found that some of the wood had been carbonized. Some of the branches and twigs left only impressions in the orange fire-hardened clay that also clung to an occasional bead, bone or shell. The dark, compact and greasy floor stands out in profile and ends abruptly at the berm whose construction and composition is not as easily well defined. Nearly 200 glass trade beads were recovered on and above the floor representing the dominant historical artifact at this site.
The three small depressions tested were all very different. The small depression farthest east from the large depression had been excavated in 1994. Extensive testing of this four meter feature reached depths of almost 70 cm below datum. Until we began subsurface testing we were not positive these small depressions were cultural. However, a burnt shell lens surrounded by fire cracked rock in the center at around 60 cm below datum assured us that they were. Moving slightly west, subsurface testing in the next depression revealed a larger concentration of burnt shell, as well as bone, associated with a relatively large amount of angular sandstone and cobbles. This faunal and charcoal lens was collected for flotation analysis. We divided excavation blocks into 50x50 cm units to facilitate the future replication of detailed spatial distributions. These provenienced "events" could then be used to give detail to regional and eventually global scenarios. Finally, the hearth (or oven?) in the small depression nearest the large depression was underlain by a pavement of close fitting rocks and appears to have been dug out of a previous living surface. Another possible post in this depression has been compromised by rodent disturbance. The association of schist fragments with this feature and the apparent cultural contexts of schist in other areas of the site raise many questions about the use of this material in Native American traditions.
The remains of numerous meals of chiton, mussel, barnacle, abalone, fish, bird, and mammal were mixed in with discarded stone tools, debitage, broken glass, and pieces of ceramic in the midden. The use of 1/8 inch screen for the entire excavation allowed for the recovery of fish vertebrae, rodent teeth, sea urchin spines, finishing flakes, as well as tiny beads. Several 20x20 cm columns from the midden, and all other excavation areas of the site, were bagged for future flotation and other soil tests. While we had hoped to expand the midden excavation horizontally, depths of over a meter kept us restricted to six 50x50 cm units. This was enough to keep crew chief Steve Silliman, and crew members Lori Reyes, Angela Scott, and Kathy Kawelu quite busy. Other graduate students who had the opportunity to get dirty and contribute to our data included Rob Schmidt and Robin Sewell.
The midden contrasts sharply with the areas almost devoid of organic remains but sprinkled with chert and obsidian bifaces, projectile points, flakes and shatter. We tested one of these areas to a depth of approximately 80 cm below surface and found a diverse range of lithic artifacts down to that depth. These contrasts were quite accurately predicted by results of remote sensing, including soil resistivity and magnetometer surveys, done in 1994 that showed the potential for discrete "activity areas". This was followed by the excavation of 60 STU's (shallow test units) consisting of 1x1 m units placed at the southwest corner of every 10x10 m section of the site grid. These STU's ranged from 4 to 8 cm in depth and comprise an important component of the database.
While the project spotlights a discrete time and space, the issues involved are relevant to all culture contact studies and significant for the following specific reasons:
- it is an example of Russian colonialism which can be compared with the more numerous studies of Spanish systems, especially in the United States and California;
- globally, it is in a geographical area that could be considered "peripheral" to the Russians, Spanish, and, in some ways, to the Native Americans;
- temporally, it is an area that would have seen drastic change in a short time period because of the limited Russian occupation;
- the Kashaya are documented in the ethnohistoric record and have one of the richest ethnographic records in North America;
- this research will also help promote the public image of native history and involvement within the State Parks system through the exchange of knowledge among the native, academic, and local communities;
- archaeological research in the area is limited and no previous excavations have been done on the ridge near Fort Ross;
- and last, but certainly not least, this project is particularly conducive to the study of gender in a culture contact situation.
From the Director
Suddenly, the Fall semester is half way over, the low light in the sky reminds of our place in the subtle rhythm of seasons in California, and the activity level of everyone has shifted from our dispersed summer mode to the concentrated mode of the academic year. Somehow, for those of us who were "in the field" in June, July, and/or August, this special time seems to be already too far in the past, but amazingly, it is time to once again prepare grant proposals, request permits, and select field crews while we are still processing the data and information from 1995. In the summer of 1995, the associates and affiliates of the Archaeological Research Facility were to be found all around the globe: in Hawaii, California, Arizona, Honduras, Guatemala, Bolivia, France, Italy, Bulgaria, Greece, Egypt, Daghestan, Russia, Zimbabwe, the Caribbean - to name just a few locales - with graduate students in such places as Rome, Turkey, Baja, Peru, Virginia, North Dakota, Israel, and elsewhere. We are amazed at the expanding international networks, the increasing globalization of archaeology: international conferences everywhere, the nearly instantaneous communication made possible by electronic mail with our colleagues from Australia to Norway, from South Africa to Japan, and the explosive exchange of information that seems to accentuate the increasing pace of life due to email, faxes, the urgencies of archaeological salvage or changing political contexts within which archaeology must constantly negotiate.
But the funding for archaeology -despite its front page newspaper stories about such things as new painted Ice Age caves and an Inca princess frozen in a glacier - is increasingly problematic. During the past months, we have seen a threat to the basic sciences, such as archaeology, now funded by the National Science Foundation. Funding for graduate student and undergraduate research is even more difficult; the National Endowment for the Humanities has already been forced to eliminate its very new program to fund Ph.D. dissertation research. And while we at the ARF have benefited immeasurably from the funding made available from the Stahl Endowment, for example, all this international travel, the increasingly sophisticated techniques for analysis (such as AMS dating) are themselves increasingly costly. No wonder it was primarily wealthy gentlemen who were the forefathers of archaeology!
And so, with my appointment as the Director of the ARF for a 5 year period beginning July 1, 1995, I hope to begin the process whereby we can generate more funding for our archaeology, for our graduates and undergraduates. One small step will be the new Undergraduate Archaeology Research Fund, which is described in more detail elsewhere in the Newsletter. And I am especially pleased to announce the establishment of a Paleolithic Art Research Fund, which has now received over $2500.00 to go towards various research projects being carried out that will enhance our understanding, interpretation, and presentation of what Ice Age "art" might have been all about.
Should you have a special interest or focus for a fund, we encourage you to contact us and we would like to help initiate and develop the fund. As we are learning, every donation, no matter how modest, can make a difference. While there is an old saying that "the future of archaeology is in the past", there will not be a future for archaeology if we don't take up the challenges of the present!
Other directions that we hope to take in the next few years include the establishment of our own sample preparation laboratory for the AMS dating samples, and the development of the group equipment inventory of the ARF. These things can happen thanks to the generous endowment from the estate of Paul F. Braun. We are also developing closer ties with our sister institution, the Phoebe Hearst Museum of Anthropology - in outreach and educational programs and in publications, so far. As well, we are pleased to note the increase of faculty on the Berkeley campus who are interested in or dedicated to archaeology: we welcome several new faculty to the campus (Professor Wilkie in Anthropology and Professor Ingram in Geography ); and we welcome new Faculty Associates from Geology and the Geological Sciences, the Hearst Museum of Anthropology, and Architecture. With all this hybrid vigor, we look forward to an exciting and productive academic year of 1995-96.
Undergraduate Research Support
Many undergraduates in archaeology, in avariety of departments, undertake independent research, often leading to the BA Honors thesis. Often these students hope to carry out some analyses, purchase materials, prepare and process photographs, or other relevant aspects of archaeological research, analysis, interpretation and presentation of results. However, few, if any, funds exist for assistance with the costs that are incurred.
Thanks to a generous donation to the ARF and to the interest on the part of that donor to begin an undergraduate research fund that could be awarded to students for assistance in their research, we have now initiated The Archaeological Research Facility Undergraduate Research Fund. Our donor has agreed that we would set aside a portion of her overall gift for 1995 for this fund, and the ARF Director has matched that amount from her own funds. We will be encouraging other faculty, as well as other potential donors to add to our new fund. Of course, we would hope for an endowment, but at present, we have enough to begin the fund for 1995-96.
We envision that we will be able to award up to $150.00 to 4 students in the spring of 1996, although the amounts available will depend on future donations and on the number and quality of applications received. All participating faculty in the ARF will soon receive announcements specifying the procedures for applications. And indeed any donations to this fund are most welcome! Look for more information, or call the ARF Director, Meg Conkey, at 642-6914 (firstname.lastname@example.org).
1995 Excavations at Pokrovka, Russia
Leonid T. Yablonsky
The Kazakh/American Research Project, Inc., directed by Jeannine Davis-Kimball, in collaboration with the Russian Academy of Sciences, Institute of Archaeology, lead by Leonid T. Yablonsky, completed its fourth successful year of excavations at Pokrovka, Russia. This season thirteen kurgans in three cemeteries were excavated revealing 36 burials pits containing 42 skeletons. The burials date to the Sauromatian Period (6th-4th centuries B.C.) through the Late Sarmatian Period, (2nd-3rd centuries A.D.). Excavations during the 1995 season proved to be rewarding as many additional details of the Sauro-Sarmatian cultures were revealed.
Because of a severe drought which had affected the entire steppe region from southern Siberia south through the Kazakh steppes where Pokrovka is located, foliage in pastures and cultivated areas was close to the ground. In the Pokrovka region grain was harvested unusually early. It was thought that all kurgans in cemeteries 01 and 02 excavated during the 1994 season. However, the denuded fields revealed additional kurgans in both cemeteries. In addition, two other Sauro-Sarmatian cemeteries were discovered bringing the total cemeteries to 11 in the Pokrovka region. Only one cemetery, number 10 was surveyed.
During the excavation season paleo-sol studies were conducted on the kurgans. All skeletons were preliminary aged and sexed at the site. Dr. Philip Walker (UCSB), is currently conducting bio-archaeological studies to determine the presence of disease and illnesses. He is also analyzing teeth to determine growth patterns indicating periods of famine among the population.
Cemetery 01 was located on the first terrace above the Khobda River. The Sarmatian nomads who had constructed these kurgans maintained a canonical burial ritual belief system which included deep pits, often embellished with a podboi (a side niche) or an extensive catacomb construction. The hard soil and the deep pits in this cemetery made excavating very labor intensive. The four additional kurgans which were discovered, although difficult to excavate, provided new and interesting insights into the Cemetery 01 nomadic cultures.
Kurgan 05 contained four pits. Two of these were exceptional. Being Indo-European the Sauro-Sarmatians adhered to some burial practices often associated with Zoroastrianism. One such practice was that they were careful not to lay the deceased directly on the soil within the pit. Burial pit 01 in this kurgan followed these tenants to a certain point and then completely abandoned the practice. An elaborate sarcophagus within a podboi was constructed from wooden planks, plastered with fine clay, and lined with grasses which was also strewn over the floor of the entry pit. However, before the deceased was placed into the sarcophagus on the grassy bed, an elaborate "pillow" was constructed from surface soil over the south half of the sarcophagus. A very old male was laid on the pillow in an almost sitting position. Two unusual details occurred in this burial. One, the deceased was laid directly on the soil surface and, second, this is the first time a skeleton has been found in a deliberate sitting position. At present a secure explanation for either of these details has not been advanced.
The tomb architecture in Burial pit 04 was unique as two podboi niches had been cut into the sides of a deep catacomb and two male warriors, each in their 40s at the time of death, were interred one in each niche. Later a 3rd male was buried at a higher level in the entry chamber. The unusual double-podboi architecture and the double internments are the first such recorded burial rituals at Pokrovka.
Burial 01 pit in Kurgan 07 contained the first Middle Sarmatian interment at Pokrovka. Placed diagonally in the square burial pit, the mortuary items revealed the first evidence of a Sauromatian working with metallurgy. A small iron crucible containing slag and a number of minerals were included among the offerings. Flint scrappers and a stone hammer dating to the Neolithic Period also found in the burial may have been part of his tool kit or antiquities he found when searching for ores. Dating the burial is based upon a large fragment, including the entire bottom and sides of a Roman Period red-slipped bowl.
Kurgan 11 was robbed shortly after the burial. When the robbers grabbed the arm of the deceased to pull him aside, the limb came loose from the socket. It appears that in fright they threw the entire arm out of the burial pit where it was discovered because all the arm bones were in anatomical position on the opposite side and near the surface of the kurgan.
Cemetery 02 is located on the second terrace above the Khobda River and stretches along the top of a low prominence for approximately 1.5 kilometers. The Late Sarmatian male burial in the south sector of Kurgan 11 was discovered early in the season making it possible to excavate the mound. Although robbed, it undoubtedly had been very rich as a small gold rosette plaque and a fibula were recovered. This burial appears to be similar to that of Kurgan 09 excavated in 1994 (also robbed) from which over 300 gold artifacts were recovered.
Near the end of the season six additional kurgans with very low profiles were discovered in Cemetery 02. As this cemetery was particularly rich, revealing Sauro-Sarmatian female warriors and priestess as well as traditional male burials with iron weapons, the remaining kurgans should be excavated next season before this material becomes irretrievable.
Cemetery 07, located on the second terrace above the Khobda River to the southwest of Cemetery 02, was first opened and also completely excavated during this season. Originally thought to contain 11 kurgans, only four of the low mounds belonged to the time of the Early Nomads. The remaining mounds were associated with the 19th century Kazakh settlement and cemetery which also contained the ruins of several brick mausoleums. The Kazakh mounds were not excavated. Judging from the fact that the vast majority of the Early Sarmatian burials in Cemetery 07 were placed in very elaborate architectural constructions with only a minimal amount of mortuary offerings, it would be safe to assume that they belonged to a different cultural group than those who were buried in Cemetery 02.
Kurgan 09 was notable as it contained nine burial pits with 13 skeletons and four votive pits each containing animals bones. Defining the perimeter of the kurgan required additional trenches as a modern dirt road had eroded the mound along the south and east sectors. The first Early Sarmatian tool found at Pokrovka in Kurgan 09, a pick carved from deer antler and notched at one end to hold a wooden handle (now lost), was excavated from the mound soil. Its tip had been broken in antiquity.
The most unusual burial pit, 02, contained four skeletons interred sequentially. Skeleton 01, was completely disturbed when skeletons 02 was interred. Skeleton 02 had been cut through the legs and lower torso by skeletons 04, (the third burial in the pit) whose feet, rib cage, and head remained in anatomical position. Skeleton 03, the last placed in the pit, was laid adjacent to skeleton 04 but at a slightly elevated level. The first millennium Indo-Europeans frequently reused kurgans for later burials but they only rarely placed multiple burials in the same pit as found in this instance.
Kurgan 01 was also unusual as a child of approximately seven years was buried with a male. A whetstone was found through the eye socket of the child.
Cemetery 10, located SSE of the village Pokrovka and in a cultivated field , was discovered this season. Several kurgans in excess of 20 m in diameter with a profile of approximately 0.5 m meters were noticed after the grain had been harvested. Upon closer inspection smaller kurgans were also apparent. The field was carefully surveyed and 97 kurgan in two groups, more or less systematically arranged, were recorded. Four kurgans were opened as test pits. Probably because these kurgans had such low profiles they were never robbed.
Kurgan 01 in the north sector revealed the remains of a Late Sarmatian Period Hunnic male with deliberately deformed skull. This was the second recorded Hunnic burial in the Pokrovka cemeteries. Subsequently, kurgans 02-04 were excavated in the south sector of Cemetery 10. These three kurgans were constructed during the Sauromatian Period, and two were reused during the Early Sarmatian Period. In Kurgan 04 the Early Sarmatian burial pit was placed west of the Sauromatian burial pit containing a male in horseback riding position.
In Kurgan 02 the Early Sarmatian burial pit had cut though a Sauromation burial pit leaving only the lower legs in anatomical position and artifacts adjacent to the feet. The middle aged female in Kurgan 03, also dated to the same early period, was in horseback riding position. Both females had accoutrements that identified them as belonging to the special Sauromatian social status of "priestesses of the hearth".
The vast number of kurgans in a single cemetery, such as found in Cemetery 10, is extremely rare among Early Nomad remains. The data from these burials could reveal new and important information particularly concerning the Sauromatian Culture. Because the profile of these kurgans is extremely low and the field is under cultivation, they will have to be excavated in the very near future or they will be forever lost.
No Lions in the Delta: Tell el-Muqdam 1995
Carol A. Redmount
Renee F. Friedman
The Tell el-Muqdam Project/Leontopolis Expedition continued its work in the Egyptian Delta between March 18 and July 7, 1995. The project is co-directed by Drs. Redmount and Friedman; funding was provided by the National Endowment for the Humanities, the Irving and Gladys Stahl Foundation, and private donations. The 1995 season at Tell el-Muqdam was our most successful to date, thanks mostly due to the foundations laid by our prior research at the site in 1992 and 1993.
Excavations at Camel Station this season were able to resolve many of our questions about the history of the area. Four major architectural and chronological phases, along with several sub-phases, of a wealthy domestic complex were discerned ranging over about 350 years (Saite, Persian and early Ptolemaic periods, or approximately 6th to 3rd centuries B.C.). The degree of architectural preservation was surprisingly good. This year we were also rewarded with a large number of well-preserved artifacts which are of particular importance because their archaeological context is secure. Finds included several faience amulets of gods such as Taweret, Mihos (the first lion find to come from the site, despite its Greek name of Leontopolis, or 'City of the Lions'), Bes and Nefertum, many terra-cotta figurines, faience pilgrims' flasks, dozens of complete pots and three imported Greek vessels, one of which bears the red-figure decoration of a female sphinx sitting in front of a tree.
The latest phase of occupation at Camel Station consisted of a metal-smelting complex, apparently Ptolemaic in date (early 3rd century B.C.). The earliest excavated material included over a meter of destruction debris extending down to (and below) the water table, 3.30m below surface. This destruction dates to the early Saite period (early 6th century B.C.). The earlier of the intermediate phases dated to the 5th century B.C. and consisted of a thick, purposeful fill used to level off the area for rebuilding. This fill consisted of masses of pottery, ash, animal carcasses, and other occupational debris. Particularly puzzling was the remarkable degree of organic preservation: butchered portions of goat carcasses were found with their bones still articulated and flesh and skin still adhering; one goat head was so well preserved that the lips and eyelids were still visible. Equally surprising was the large number of reconstructible vessels, dating to the 5th century B.C., in the fill, including the Greek red-figured sphinx juglet mentioned above. The later intermediate phase was composed of more mundane domestic deposits, specifically a series of rooms and adjacent courtyards, at least one of which functioned as a kitchen (first excavated in 1992). Two small, possibly subterranean rooms appear to have been used as storage closets; these were filled with dozens of complete and reconstructible pots which were found lining the edges of the room. Beneath the mudbrick paving of a larger room were found a number of items, such as wadjet eye amulets and erotic figurines. The latter included eight terra-cotta figurines of nude men playing tambourines, all clearly made from the same mold. Interestingly, at least other two erotic figurines, one horse and rider figurine, several amulets and other terra-cotta figurines were found within walls, often near the corners in the lowest courses of bricks, and may have served as foundation deposits. Other finds from this phase included two imported black-glazed juglets from Greece, datable to the 4th century B.C. and a jug perhaps imported from the Levant.
The 1995 excavations at Qasr Station concentrated on exposing as much architecture as possible in order to figure out exactly what type of building we had first uncovered during the 1993 excavation season. This structure had been initially (and, as it turned out, very wrongly) identified as a monumental structure on the basis of its thick walls and the minimal, solidly-filled, interior spaces that we first thought were casemates. In order to maintain vertical control over the area, we complemented our broad horizontal exposure with an adjacent test trench cut down to the water table, some 4.5m below surface level.
A total of thirteen 5mx5m squares were investigated at Qasr Station, and what we found in the end was a fragment of a neighborhood dating to the late fifth century B.C. (Persian Period). Portions of at least seven houses were exposed, including part of an ancient "fourplex". All the structures had thick walls and tiny rooms that were filled up with very solid, bricky debris and little else (which is why we originally thought they were casemates). These houses are not unlike those present today in the modern village of Kafr Muqdam and probably belonged to people from a similar socio-economic stratum. We also found parts of the streets and alleyways that separated the various structures. Very little was found in the houses themselves, which appear to have been cleaned out before being abandoned, but the streets and alleys produced an enormous amount of cultural material, including partially reconstructible pots and faience vessels, bone and charcoal, a series of three small terra-cotta snake plaques, an occasional erotic figurine, both male and female, beads, and a series of amulets.
It is interesting at this point to compare and contrast the quantity and quality of finds at Camel and Qasr Stations dating to the fifth century B.C. Camel Station produced large quantities of "goodies"-over 100 reconstructible or whole pots, including many imports; small bronze figurines; numerous terra-cotta figurines; many amulets and beads; and so forth- all from what appears to be one large domestic structure. Qasr Station, on the other hand, consisted of a series of smaller domestic structures which contained very little in the way of objects. Clearly we are in two very different economic zones of the ancient city.
At the end of excavations, only a 1m wide balk separated Qasr Station Test Trench B from the main Qasr Station excavation area. The test trench was a 2mx2m "telephone booth" excavated down to the water table approximately 4.5m below the surface. This trench with its vertical stratigraphy gave us a window into changes in the area over time. These can be summarized as follows: the bottom portion of the test trench consisted of an approximately 2.6m deep deposit of a continuous cultural sequence dating from the late Third Intermediate and early Saite Periods (7th to early 6th centuries B.C.), with over a meter of material from each time period preserved. There was then an occupational hiatus for the remainder of the 6th century B.C., after which occupation resumed in the area during the 5th century B.C. The 5th century B.C. material, which consisted of almost 2m of deposit, spanned the entire century and was the latest occupation preserved at Qasr Station.
During the 1995 season we also continued our geoarchaeological research into the site, reprising our program of augur coring and developing a preliminary mudbrick classification for the site. The coring program is providing us with a variety of basic information about the tell, including early landform data. Cores were taken at both Camel and Qasr Stations and elsewhere to see what lay beneath the water table. Thus far we have found no evidence of occupation earlier than the Third Intermediate Period, and all but one of the core have indicated that the current tell was founded on top of water-related sediments, either reflecting fast-water accumulations (sand and gravel deposits), or slow or still water deposits (mud and muck). It thus appears that if there was an earlier occupation at the site it lies elsewhere, and the site appears to have moved over time with the shifting water courses of the area.
The Tell el-Muqdam Project has been breaking new ground and making major contributions in Egyptian archaeology on several fronts. First, the project has brought about new understanding, both culturally and geoarchaeologically, of a neglected and endangered major site, about which virtually nothing was known previously, located in an under explored region of Egypt (the central Delta). Second, the site has well preserved archaeological deposits dating to a time period-mid-first millennium B.C.-that is poorly understood and has been consistently under investigated in Egyptian archaeology. For the first time, various objects (such as the erotic figurines) previously known primarily from museum displays or tomb or problematic archaeological contexts can be related back securely to their living cultural setting. The settlement plans uncovered to date represent a fundamental addition to the extremely limited corpus of Persian period architecture known from Egypt. Specifically, the combination of houses and streets will help provide badly needed information on the layout and organization of domestic structures in Dynasty 27. And the stratified ceramic sequence for the site will provide an unparalleled reference corpus for Delta sites for the inadequately understood 7th to 4th centuries B.C. Indeed, our corpus will most likely be the standard reference collection for the relevant time periods for many years to come. Finally, our geoarchaeological investigations are contributing to a holistic understanding of the tell and its development, an approach very rarely employed previously in Egyptian archaeology. The pilot coring program is helping us understand the environmental development of the tell over time and its relationship to cultural activities.
The Archaeology of the ARF
Upon arriving in August at Berkeley, I was surprised to see that my new office would have a year-long view of construction activities. Little did I suspect, however, that the office also provided a view of a new archaeological endeavor! Early in September, the construction workers began recovering archaeological materials from inquisitive archaeologists. Thanks to the efforts of Mark Hall, we were able to halt construction and gain access to the site for a day and a half. Our "salvage" excavations ensured that a sample of the materials would be recovered in situ and be available for study after the rest of the site was destroyed. The excavations also allowed us to ensure that no deposits over 100 years old were represented at the site. Under California State Law, mitigation of impacts to intact archaeological remains over 100 years of age is required.
The archeological community on campus demonstrated their enthusiasm for field work (and for procrastinating in their studies) by volunteering their aid in the salvage excavation. Cindy VanGilder, Heather Price, Hannah Ballard, Meredith Chesson, Ian Kuijt, Thomas Wake, Mark Hall and myself all donated field support and equipment to the effort. By the end of the second day, we had succeeded in cleaning and drawing the exposed backhoe trench profile, which clearly delineated several trash pits, we excavated and sifted the matrix from one of the trash pits and collected as much surface material as possible.
The materials recovered from the site were associated with the activities of the fraternity Zeta Psi. Zeta Psi was the first fraternity to settle west of the Mississippi, with their first house at Cal. The original house was a wooden structure built at 2551 College in 1870. Around 1912, this first structure was moved back on the lot and the present brick structure was built. The fraternity continued to use both buildings until sometime in the 1950's when the chapter moved to a new location.
The Zeta Psi crest was found on a number of "hotel porcelain" vessels recovered from the site. Ceramics included a wide range of vessel forms, including pates, bowls, teacups, demitasse cups, saucers, serving bowls and an egg cup. While the ceramics were not marked with the manufacturer's stamp (which would facilitate dating), they were recovered in association with glass artifacts that were predominantly manufactured in the first two decades of the 20th century.
A wide range of artifacts associated with the fraternity's activities were recovered including a bone toothbrush head, a ceramic toothpaste pot, a hat pin, shell buttons, and numerous iron cans, glass ink wells and glass bottles which once held a diverse array of medicines, beers, sodas, winces, liquors, preserves and condiments. In some instances, portions of labels are still preserved on the bottles. For instance, "DelMonte" appear to have been the most popular Catsup used at the site. Local San Francisco and Berkeley pharmacies are also represented among the medicinal products, as are the popular national patent medicines, such as "Ayer's Sarsaparilla". In all, over 12 boxes of materials were recovered from the site.
Materials from the excavations are going to be housed in the historical archaeology laboratory while they are analyzed. Next semester the materials will be cataloged as studied by students as a part of a laboratory class in historical archaeology. The materials present a unique opportunity for us to glimpse a segment of campus life during the early 20th century. We are hoping to work with current members of Zeta Psi to locate alumni from the Cal chapter who may have lived in 2251 College so that we can begin an oral historical investigation of life at the fraternity. We are also fortunate in that the Bancroft Library contains a large number of student diaries, personal papers and interviews from the early 20th century that should help us construct the social context of student life at Cal.
Although the excavations were conducted under less that desirable circumstances, the site has already served some important educational purposes. Articles in The Daily Californian, Oakland Tribune and Berkeleyan and a television spot on the local CBS affiliate have provided the public with more exposure to archaeology. Dr Ian Kuijt was able to coordinate a visit to the site by his 250 person "Introduction to Archaeology" course. This visit has inspired several students to volunteer in the historical archaeology lab. The University has also been educated, we hope, and discussion between the administration and representatives from the Archaeological Research Facility are stressing the need for more consideration of archaeological resources, as required by California State and Federal Law, during the planning stage of development. In such a way, we are working to ensure that no more of the campus's rich archaeological heritage is needlessly threatened.
Welcome New Faculty!
We are pleased to welcome Laurie Wilkie to the greater Berkeley community this fall semester as an Assistant Professor in the Anthropology Department and Faculty Associate in ARF. Dr. Wilkie is an exceptional hire who will renew and re-energize the development of a strong program in historical archaeology and anthropology on the Berkeley campus. She received her B.A. degree with Honors from Syracuse University in 1988, and her M.A. and Ph.D. degrees in Anthropology from the University of California, Los Angeles in 1990 and 1994, respectively. Before we enticed her away, she was an Instructor in the Department of Geography and Anthropology at Louisiana State University in Baton Rouge.
Dr. Wilkie is one of the most promising young scholars in the field of historical archaeology today. She has generated a very solid record of scholarly research and teaching excellence since 1988, when she first entered graduate school at U.C.L.A. In this short time, she has directed or co-directed more than a dozen significant archaeological projects in Louisiana, the West Indies (Bahamas, North Caicos Island, and the Windward Islands), and California. Furthermore, she has developed a highly innovative approach to the study of the past through the sophisticated interplay of multiple lines of evidence from historical documents, archaeological materials, and informant interviews. Using this approach, she has examined the material culture of plantation life, contextualizing and interpreting the material remains of children's play, the spiritual world of "Hoodoo cults," and the ethnomedical practices African-American laborers. The results of her research are published in a monograph, "Ethnicity, Community and Power: An Archaeological Study of the African-American Experience at Oakley Plantation, Louisiana", and in an ever increasing number of articles in such varied journals as Southeastern Archaeology, Louisiana Folklife, African-American Archaeology and Louisiana History.
She initiated this stimulating research while teaching a wide range of popular lower division courses at Louisiana State University, including Introduction to Social and Cultural Anthropology, Introduction to Physical Anthropology, and Introduction to Archaeology. She is currently teaching an upper division undergraduate course at Berkeley on American material culture. She will soon be teaching other related courses in historical archaeology and historical anthropology, laboratory classes in the analysis of archaeological materials, and summer archaeological field schools.
Her current field projects consider the creation and maintenance of ethnic identity within pluralistic societies, with special reference to African-American ethnicity in historic and contemporary communities. She has expressed a strong interest in undertaking field work again in California in the near future.
Welcome to the Berkeley campus Laurie!
Welcome New Faculty!
ARF would like to welcome Prof. Lynn Ingram who joins the faculty of the Department of Geography this fall. Lynn received her B.S. and M.S. degrees in Geology from UCLA and her Ph.D. in Geology from Stanford University. After completing her Ph.D. and prior to joining the Cal faculty she has been a U.S. Department of Energy Global Change Distinguished Postdoctoral Fellow at the Center for Accelerator Mass Spectrometry at Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory.
Prof. Ingram is interested in paleoclimatic reconstruction and paleoceanographic studies in estuarine, marine and continental environments using methods that integrate sedimentologic, geochemical and paleontogical data sets. She has expertise in sedimentology and sedimentary geochemistry specifically using environmentally-sensitive isotopic tracers such as 87Sr/86Sr, 18O/16O, 13C/12C and 14C/12C.
Lynn has worked with marine sediments in the Pacific Basin, estuarine deposits in San Francisco Bay, mid-Cretaceous to early Paleocene marine sediments from the Italian Apennines and the Northern Pacific Basin. She has worked on high resolution radiocarbon dating of charcoal-shell pairs from the West Berkeley and Emeryville shellmounds from San Francisco Bay and from the Daisy Cave shellmound from San Miguel Island in the Santa Barbara channel to reconstruct paleo-upwelling along the California coast. She has also radiocarbon dated coexisting planktonic-benthic foraminifers from Ocean Drilling Program core from the Santa Barbara Basin, in order to reconstruct intermediate water ocean circulation in the eastern Pacific over the past 20,000 years.
Prof. Ingram brings her expertise in laboratory-based geochemical analysis to questions of Quaternary environmental change.
Lynns research will be a welcome addition to Quaternary Studies around the Cal campus.
Kent Lightfoot Receives Distinguished Teaching Award
Kent Lightfoot, Professor of Anthropology, was awarded one of three Distinguished Teaching Awards in the Social Sciences for 1995. This was the first year that the Division of the Social Sciences has had such an awards program. It was initiated by Dean William Simmons as a way to recognize the extraordinary teaching that is common within the Social Sciences at Berkeley, given that the campus-wide Distinguished Teaching Awards can only recognize just a few, and from all units across campus. Simmons is convinced that the calibre of teaching in the Social Sciences - perhaps the most active teaching division on the campus - is worthy of its own award program. For 1995, the Distinguished Teaching Award was oriented to recognize those professors who demonstrated "sustained excellence in the teaching of large lecture classes". Indeed, as the some 1200 students who have taken courses from Professor Lightfoot over the past 6 years know and know well, he is a professor of excellence in all his classes, but he indeed has a gift for teaching in large lecture classes. In student evaluations, Kent is consistently praised for his humor, for his being a "real human being", for his abilities to convey a great deal of material in a coherent, engaging, and compelling style. He has taught hundreds of students in the American Cultures classes, such as the Historical Anthropology of California or the California Frontier; he has introduced hundreds more students to archaeology in his ever popular Introduction to Archaeology. His Graduate Student Instructors praise him for teaching them as well as the undergraduates: "he provides the very best model of a teacher and what we should want to be", writes one recent PhD in archaeology who worked with Kent.
An awards ceremony was held in May 1995, where Kent was presented with a citation and a check. As expected, he came with his characteristic Hawaiian shirt, his special sense of humor, and a little bit of disbelief. But for those of us who have heard Kent in the classroom, we weren't surprised at all: his teaching extraordinaire was at last being recognized. Congratulations to Kent, and many thanks from the undergraduates who have benfitted immeasurably from your patience, dedication, well-prepared lectures and humanity. Many thanks from the rest of the archaeological community here, for while we know well the excitement and fascination with things archaeological, its wonderful to have a colleague who can communicate this so effectively to others.