The Archaeological Research Facility Newsletter
If it's Old, it's News... The newsletter of the Archaeological Research Facility was published once or twice per year, depending on the confluence of circumstances, and features news of archaeological projects, awards, publications, lectures, and other activities relating to our myriad members. The on-line version becomes available shortly after publication.
Past issues are available as webpages or as Acrobat PDF files for download.
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The Archaeological Research Facility Newsletter
M. Steven Shackley
Recent research on the projectile point style, physical anthropology, and the oral history of surrounding historic Native California groups suggests that Ishi, purported to be the last California Yahi of the early 20th century, appears to have learned much of his technology from members of an adjoining group.
In 1990 I began a metric and morphological analysis of Ishi's stone tools curated by the museum from the period between 1911 and 1916 when Ishi lived at the museum, then in San Francisco. While there was some observation of Ishi's stone tool production by Saxton Pope and Nels Nelson at the time, no one had really analyzed the debitage, cores, projectile points, and knapping tools he produced and used, particularly with an eye toward addressing current theory in archaeology and lithic technology.
As part of the study, I compared the metric and morphological data of Ishi's projectile points to those from historic Yahi and Southern Yana contexts in collections from Kingsley (CA-TEH-1) and Paynes Caves (CA-TEH-193) housed in the museum, excavated in the 1950's by Martin Baumhoff, then a graduate student in the Department of Anthropology. Immediately apparent was the extreme difference in form and metric attributes between Ishi's assemblage and the points from historic Yana contexts. While at the museum, Ishi produced almost exclusively triangular, concave-based side-notched points with relatively large blades, and triangular, expanding stemmed, corner-notched points mainly with straight bases; the notches are typically "keyhole" notches produced by using the "point-of-tool" method of notching. These styles were almost completely absent from the historic sites, and one side-notched point recovered from Kingsley Cave was produced from a brown chert absent in the region, and possibly exchanged as a finished tool.
Another line of evidence strengthens the inference that Ishi consistently produced points dissimilar to the Yahi. In 1908 when a group of engineers came upon the last four Yahi, including Ishi, on Deer Creek they stole many of the artifacts from the camp. The group consisted of an old man, an old woman, a young woman, and Ishi. One of the arrows, now at the Hearst Museum, is tipped with a glass arrow point. This point, based on an x-ray, is a triangular, expanding stemmed, corner-notched point with a straight base, morphologically identical to those produced by Ishi at the museum, but dissimilar to the forms recovered from the Yana sites. While we will never know if Ishi actually produced this arrow (apparently no one thought to ask him), the evidence suggests he did. In 1990, the research stopped at this point with way too many questions.
In 1994, Jerald Johnson, an archaeologist working in the southern Cascades, and a member of the Department of Anthropology at California State University, Sacramento, presented a paper at a conference devoted to Ishi at the Oakland Museum just before a paper on Ishi's technology that I presented. Johnson stated, based on cranial and post-cranial morphology, that Ishi's extremely broad head and relative height were more typical of the Wintu or Maidu, of the Penutian language family, who lived adjacent to the Yahi, members of the Hokan language family. Besides the comparative morphological evidence, Johnson's explanation included Maidu oral history indicating that Yahi-Maidu inter-marriage occurred, and that the Yahi sometimes stole women and children from the Maidu. Given the dwindling group size of the Yahi, this seems sensible in light of the incest taboo and the patrilineality of the Yahi.
Afterward, I returned to the museum and searched for collections from sites containing historic Maidu or Wintu material. One site was found, the Redbank Site (CA-TEH-58), excavated by Adán Treganza in the 1950s that was characterized as a historic Wintu village, although more precisely located in ethnographic Nomlaki Wintu territory. All contexts exhibited glass beads and artifacts, like the Yahi sites analyzed earlier. Immediately apparent were projectile points nearly identical to those produced by Ishi while at the museum, particularly the triangular, concave-based "keyhole" side-notched points with relatively large blades. Quantitative analyses, mainly a Mahalanobis method, discriminant analysis, concur with the morphological assessment. The projectile points produced by Ishi while at the museum, and likely while living the aboriginal lifeway at Deer Creek, are quite similar to Wintu point forms and not ancestral Yahi point forms, lending further support to the physical anthropological evidence. Interestingly, the ethnographically collected arrow with hafted stone point collected in 1885 from the Wintu area illustrated in the Handbook of North American Indians, Volume 8, California (pp. 330, fig. 4, top), curated at the Smithsonian, appears to be a side-notched point of this style including a notch produced by the point-of-tool method.While it certainly seems logical, given the demographic pressures experienced by the Yahi, and indeed all Native Californians at that time in history, that Ishi would be a physical and cultural amalgam of Yahi and Wintu, there are more compelling anthropological issues that I find more interesting.
A long term controversy in archaeology is whether projectile points are actually stylistic and were produced in standardized form representative of the group and a given time period. This, of course, has great import in archaeology where projectile points are often the only potential time marker found on a site. Some feel quite confident that point forms are chronologically sensitive markers, and in part, culturally diagnostic. Others are convinced that functional necessity, in the form of projectile point resharpening after breakage, may completely obscure the original form and may actually produce a form indicative of a very different point style.
This research, however, suggests to me that at least some hunter-gatherers produce projectile points in a standardized form and that style survives into the archaeological record. While there may be some intervening variables, arguments attempting to refute the utility of projectile points as time/ethnicity markers seem less cogent.So, a rather resourceful and adaptable human, Ishi, provides a stronger link to the archaeological record than was imagined by his friends, Pope, Waterman, and Kroeber at the museum. Ishi certainly spoke the Yahi language, but some, probably male Wintu, Nomlaki, or Maidu relative taught him how to produce arrows. Whether this was while living with the Yahi or as a young boy 'living as a Wintu' before "capture" we will never know. And while Ishi's cultural affiliation, like many Native Americans today, is a composite, his material culture continues to contribute to the understanding of the past.
These are difficult times for universities, for research, and for education in general. Here at Berkeley, we have almost grown accustomed to the idea there will be a "budget cut"; especially in small units, like the Archaeological Research Facility, such things as 5% cuts can hurt. The ARF is one of some dozen or more Organized Research Units on the Berkeley campus, and we were all subject to intense review this past Fall by an external review committee. After preparing an unusually detailed Annual Report that covered 1993-94 and 1994-95, I -as current Director- and Pat Kirch -as former Director and our current Chair of Publications, learned that we drew the 8:30 AM time slot to present to the review committee a summary of the ARF- our history, our growth, our new programs and projects, our budget, our incomes, and so forth. We had a mere 20 minutes, and we knew that in addition to providing us with what would be genuine feedback, there was also the need for some $750,000 to be cut from the overall ORU budgets. In retrospect, the coffee at that meeting must have been good, for we were spared any cuts. The big fat "zero" in the column marked "Reductions in Thousands of Dollars" is still a delight to see! Of course it was more than the coffee, for the ARF has indeed accomplished much, especially in the last eight years, when we began our expansion and rejuvenation as a campus-wide archaeological unit. Our report card reads: "An excellent record of performance, and resources are effectively deployed". For this we have worked hard, but there is the raw reality: our budget is so small that to cut even a dollar would have made a difference. So, we were spared a cut, but how do we then continue to support the work of the Archaeological Research Facility, especially as many of our more reliable agencies, such as the National Endowment for the Humanities and the National Science Foundation are on tenuous budgets, at best.
I have thus been pleased with the response to some of our recent, albeit tentative, calls for gifts and donations. The Undergraduate Research Fund has received well over $1000.00 in support since the last Newsletter; more is definitely welcomed. Several of our extant gift accounts that support individual research projects have been increased. And several Newsletter recipients have contacted me about ways in which they might contribute, albeit in a modest way.
While the last thing I thought I would be doing as Director of ARF would be to raise funds, it seems as if this is increasingly a crucial component to our future health. I think you will find inside this Newsletter yet another testimony to that health-in the richness and diversity of archaeological activities of all sorts, from individual faculty research projects, to various forms of public outreach ranging from local school excavation projects to the ceremonial international Games at Nemea (Greece). Our last Newsletter seems to have touched a number of chords of interest and enthusiasm about our activities, research, and varied directions, and I am sure this will be a continuing trend. Thus, as you continue to read in these pages of the publications program, the multitude of lectures to attend, and of the research at all levels, I hope you enjoy and hope also, that if you are inspired to do so, we could benefit more than you would know from even the smallest of donations, so that indeed there can be a future for the past!
Your name is read over the heads of hundreds of spectators seated in an ancient stadium. You walk out of the locker-room through a low tunnel, running your fingers along the wall that still bears graffiti of your predecessors more than 2000 years ago. You step on the starting block, just as they did, the noise of the crowd up on the stone benches echoing, blending into a hum. Looking to your left, you notice Chancellor Tien in a white Greek tunic concentrating on his start.
This is not a wild dream but a real possibility. On June 1, 1996, residents of the Greek village Nemea (located about 25 km southwest of Corinth in the northeastern part of the Peloponnesian Peninsula) will bring back the Olympic Games that took place there more than 2300 years ago, with the help of archaeologists from the United Sates.
Since 1973, UC Berkeley professor of Classics Stephen G. Miller worked on the excavation that uncovered the ancient Nemea stadium, one of the four original sites of the Panhellenic Games, the others being Delphi, Isthmia and Olympia. For a brief period each year all hostilities in the ancient Balkans were suspended, and free Greek men, be they Spartans, Athenians, Corinthans, Macedonians or Cretans, gathered to compete in physical activities and celebrate, brief as it was, their common humanity.
It is the spirit of this annual period of peace that the organizers hope to evoke. Professor Stephen G. Miller has been one of the main coordinators of the Society for the Revival of the Nemean Games. While bringing back the spirit of a community festival is the main purpose of the affair, some modern touches have been added to the tradition. Unlike the ancient games, the 1996 version will welcome women, as well as people of all ages, nationalities, or material wealth. Participants will don a white tunic and run a 100 and a 200 m dash, and a 7.5 km long-distance race. Winners will be awarded a ribbon, a palm branch and a wild celery wreath, the traditional plant of choice in Nemea. At Delphi, it was laurel, at Olympia parsley, and at Isthmia a pine wreath that were given to the winners. However, organizers stress that winning will not be the main goal of the participants; rather attendance and participation in the accompanying festivities comprise the focus of the event.
The white Greek-looking garb, traditional as it may appear, will also be a sign of changing times and attitudes. "The ancient games were always conducted in the nude, and that is one step we have not been prepared to take, " says professor Miller. Despite these innovations, hundreds of enthusiastic supporters from 27 countries have already signed up, and plan to descend to Nemea. California representative and a member of the U.S. Senate, Diane Feinstein, the author Umberto Eco, UC chancellor Chang-Lin Tien, and the film director Jules Dassin are just a few of the number of public figures who are members of the Honorary Committee of the Society for the Revival of the Nemean Games. Applications for participation are accepted until April 1, 1996, and the event is a unique opportunity to witness archaeological interpretation brought to life.
Daghestan, "The Land of Mountains," lies in Southern Russia at a point where the high ranges of the Caucasus most closely approach the western shore of the Caspian Sea. The mountain ridges never completely sever the long narrow Caspian littoral plain, however, and it is this thin ribbon of flat land that has formed a vital corridor from time immemorial between the Eurasian steppes to the north and the inviting lands of the Near East to the South. It has always been an invasion route, usually but not always for nomadic groups pressing southwards from the steppes. But it has also served as a major artery for the transmission - in each direction - of ideas and technology; and it could have been via this particular route the domesticated horse eventually reached Upper Mesopotamia in the late third millennium B.C.
The present account is intended to provide a brief description of two seasons of excavation which took place in Daghestan in 1994 and 1995 at the Chalcolithic and Bronze Age site of Velikent - a settlement that sits astride the coast road at a point 25km to the north of the ancient fortified city of Derbent. Some note will also be taken of the still well preserved condition of the Sasanian walls of Derbent and the little-studied Long Wall of Khosrow I (531-579 A.D.), which stretches from Derbent for a distance of nearly 50km.
The surviving remains of the early settlement at Velikent (local building activities regularly nibble at the edges of the site) occupy the tops of five natural hillocks (Mounds I-V) that stand up to 9 meters in height. The mounds represent the remains of terraces left by the third transgression of the Caspian Sea and the early inhabitants can be seen to have situated their houses and their cemeteries on these clay-like "islands" that overlooked the surrounding, rich agricultural land.
The presence of archaeological materials at Velikent was first noted by the Russian archaeologist, A. Rusov, in 1882. The first controlled soundings took place in the mid-fifties and then, in the late 1970's and the early 1980's, more prolonged excavations were undertaken on behalf of the Daghestan Academy of Sciences. This latter work revealed one area with well preserved architecture on Mound I and elsewhere, on Mound III, several collective tombs were located and excavated.
The 1994 and 1995 seasons at Velikent
The most recent investigations have been conducted by a joint American-Daghestani team, led by Magomed Gadzhiev, Philip Kohl, Rabadan Magomedov, and myself. The American component of the team has included students from Wellesley College and graduate students from both the University of Arizona and U.C. Berkeley. Support for the Project has come from various sources including an extension of a grant from the National Endowment for the Humanities, the National Geographic Society, and the Irving and Gladys Stahl Foundation of the University of California at Berkeley.
In so far as our own investigations were partly informed by earlier work at the site, we decided to return to the area of the first excavations that had previously been conducted near the summit of Mound I. In this latter area we were able to re-examine the still relatively well preserved remains of three adjacent rooms within an elongated, heavily burnt building that can be dated, on the basis of pottery parallels from Transcaucasia, to the second half of the third millennium. It also transpired that the methods that had been used to construct this building were somewhat unexpected; and, with this in mind, we took steps, in 1995, to excavate part of a fourth room, to the north of the previous limit of excavations.
Room 4 proved to have been subject to especially intense burning. The wall plaster was discolored by fire and the interior of the room was found to contain huge fused masses of fallen plaster and other debris. Some of the pottery was vitrified and twisted into grotesque shapes by the effects of fire. Apart from the shattered remains of numerous vessels of local Kura-Araxes ware, the floor of Room 4 yielded a variety of small disc-shaped beads made from carnelian, paste, and shell (from the adjacent beaches of the Caspian). A copper object may very well represent an ingot; and, as such, it would constitute the first example of Early Bronze Age date to have been found in Daghestan. Also if interest was a single skull which was located not far above floor level - apparently unassociated with any other skeletal material (at least in the excavated portion of Room 4). According to preliminary studies of the skull now being conducted at U.C. Berkeley by Garry Richards and Michelle Bonogofsky this was the skull of a woman of about thirty-five years of age who had been suffering from a brain tumor. But whether or not this was the actual cause of death is not known since the top of the skull also shows the clear impress of a heavy, conceivably fatal blow.
As far as the original construction of the Burned Building is concerned, it's builders apparently began by digging a long trench into the natural clay surface of the mound. Wherever the natural clay deposit stood undisturbed by earlier, and deeper, Early Bronze Age circular pit dwellings, this extended trench permitted the builders to count on the presence of hard clay side walls and a solid clay floor. In such areas they simply lined the opposing long sides of the excavated area with stone courses set in mortar. The large river boulders in these side walls vary from 20 to over 60cm in length, with the largest stones necessarily resting near the base of the wall. And while the stones were usually laid in successive courses of stretchers, they could also be laid in alternative courses of headers and stretchers (or even inserted as upright "fillers"). Above a height of one meter the long walls were probably carried up in mudbrick since the Burned Building's cross-walls were constructed of mudbrick alone. In addition, the weight of the roof was at least partly carried by vertical oak posts, the bases of which were found in situ in a carbonized condition.
On Mound II two separate trenches, one of which was supervised by Ms. Shoki Goodarzi-Tabrizi of U.C. Berkeley, have been used to test what appears to have been a relatively long occupation sequence stretching from the early Bronze Age back into the Late Chalcolithic. It should be added that carbon samples submitted to the AMS Facility of the University of Arizona from the deeper levels of Mound II have so far yielded four calibrated C14 dates that are tightly clustered between 3300 and 2950 B.C. Seed remains from both Mounds I and II were also collected with the aid of a floatation system and the seeds in question are currently awaiting analysis in the United States. Elsewhere, on Mound III, a previously plundered mid-third millennium collective tomb yielded two finds of special note. The first is a spiral gold ringlet with flattened finials (the first object of gold so far known to have been found in any of the Velikent tombs) and the second is a copper or bronze ax that is similar in form to axes that are otherwise known from Late Maikop burials in the far northwest region of the Caucasus.
The Sasanian Walls of Derbent
Time was also taken, in association with Dr. A. Kudriavtzeff and Dr. M. Gadjiev to examine the impressive sixth century stone fortifications in and near Derbent that were erected by the Sasanian ruler, Khosrow I, in order to protect Iran from the depredations of nomadic invaders who were then pressing down the narrow coastal corridor from the north. Remarkably enough, the tall walls of the main citadel at Derbent, the walls and towers of the lower city walls that run down to the seashore, and the walls of the hill-top defensive wall that runs inland for a distance of 46km are each characterized by the same distinctive from of stone masonry. A review of contemporary monuments in Iran indicates that just this kind of finely worked header-and-stretcher masonry was also employed in the construction of the main gateways at the celebrated Sasanian site of Takht-i Sulaiman.
Since the formidable Long Wall of Khosrow I, and the much earlier remains are beginning to be revealed in some detail at Velikent, each stand in definite need of further investigation, it is much to be hoped that local conditions in the war torn North Caucasus will indeed permit an early resumption of the promising collaborative work that has taken place so far.
The 1995 season of the Podgoritsa Archaeological Project was the culmination of over three years of preparations for the excavation of the Eneolithic tell site of Podgoritsa (4300 - 3700 BC), in Northeast Bulgaria. A team of US and British archaeologists led by Dr. Ruth Tringham of UC Berkeley and Dr. Douglas Bailey of University of Wales at Cardiff, collaborated with a team of Bulgarian archaeologists from Sofia and Turgovishte led by Dr. Ana Raduncheva of the Institute of Archaeology, Sofia and Dr. Ilke Angelova, Director of the Turgovishte Museum in a third field season of intensive research at the site in July 1995.
In previous seasons, the research at Podgoritsa had been funded by the Stahl Fund of the ARF. The research this season was funded by a research grant from the National Science Foundation. While much information and many new questions were produced during this season's excavation of Podgoritsa's upper (humus) levels and off-site reconnaissance surveying, this first season of excavation turned out also to be its last. Despite the unexpectedly short tenure of the project we feel some exciting windows into the Eneolithic of Northeast Bulgaria were opened this summer. A full report of the excavations and reconnaissance is being submitted to the Journal of Field Archaeology.
The goals of the Podgoritsa project were threefold, comprising landscape observations, sub-surface geophysical reconnaissance of the tell and its immediate environs, and excavation of the tell itself. Each goal was geared towards investigating the project's main question: Why and how were tell settlements formed during Northeast Bulgaria's Eneolithic?
The tell itself is located 18 km from the city of Turgovishte, and 1 km from the village of Podgoritsa from which the tell derives its name. It is relatively small (60-80 meters diameter, and ca. 5.5 meters high) in comparison to its Southeast Bulgarian counterparts, yet quite average in comparison to other local tells. On the basis of surface ceramics, it is suggested that the site represents approximately 500 years of settlement debris, thus making it a perfect place for an intensive but temporally specific excavation.
The 1995 project team included - in addition to the co-directors - from North America: a post-doctoral researcher (Dr. Nerissa Russell: fauna), 6 graduate students (Mirjana Stevanovic: architecture; Jason Bass: GIS and lithics; Julie Near: paleoethnobotany; Leola LeBlanc: microfauna; Thalia Gray and Douglas Molineu), and Michael Ashley for photography and database development, from UK: a post-doctoral researcher (Dr. Heike Neumann: soil micromorphology), a graduate student (Michael Walker: Geophysical survey), and 13 undergraduates, and from Bulgaria: 3 archaeologists and 2 students.
The first of the three goals of the project was to begin a regional and micro-regional investigation of the environment and landscape around Podgoritsa using data from satellite imagery and ground "truthing" integrated into a GIS program. Jason Bass directed this research, leading a group of students on ground-truthing expeditions in the region directly surrounding Podgoritsa for 12 days prior to excavation. Using public domain LANDSAT imagery the small teams attempted to match areas from the satellite maps generated in 1986 to the current landscape. In this way teams could identify patterns of land cover such as surface water, rock outcrops, and vegetation zones as represented by the images false color. Over 75 sq. km of land was surveyed, the data providing the fundamental information for the GIS investigation of resources, such as water, cultivable land and pasture land, that would have been available to the inhabitants of Podgoritsa some 6000 years ago.
The second of the 1995 season's goals was the sub-surface reconnaissance of the tell and its immediate surroundings using non-destructive geophysical surveying techniques. A similar survey in the Tutrakan region of Bulgaria that had been carried out by the same team, directed by Michael Walker and Douglass Bailey in the summer of 1994, showed us that methods such as magnetometry and soil resistivity analysis were quick and efficient means of identifying off tell structures and land modifications. To date, the archaeology of the Bulgarian Eneolithic has focused almost exclusively on the tell community, i.e. the architecture and artifacts related to individuals living directly on the tell. As very little research has focused on the relationship of "on-tell" archaeology with "off-tell" data (particularly since virtually no "off-tell" research has been done), we felt this area of work was especially exciting. Only with this combined perspective is it possible to investigate questions such as "What activities were conducted beyond the formal limits of the tell?", "How were off tell activities related to those that occurred on the tell" and "Was all occupation restricted to tell locations or did some people live beyond these limits?"
Our 1995 geophysical survey did, in fact, reveal the presence of burned structures, probably dating to the Eneolithic, a short distance away from the tell. Complementing this work was the soil probe survey carried out by Dr. Heike Neumann. Heike painstakingly extracted cores from the dense clay matrix around the northern periphery of the tell in attempts to reconstruct the paleopedological environment of the Podgoritsa region. Preliminary analysis of the probes and geophysical data led us to investigate further several areas with test trenches. Mud brick remains and small fragments of pottery were recovered in these trenches giving us a taste of what off tell archaeology has to offer more spatially confined excavations.
Finally, the third focus of the Podgoritsa project was the excavation of the tell itself. One of the main goals of this investigation was to determine the methods of construction and deconstruction of individual houses in relation to other houses on the tell. Traditionally, tell archaeology in Bulgaria has focused on the structure and sequencing of "building horizons" i.e. the combination of architectural features which are assumed to be synchronically inhabited. In contrast to this type of research, the Podgoritsa project hoped to elucidate the variability between house biographies including the formation, history of occupation, and eventual destruction. Using microstratigraphic excavation methods we also hoped to detect the range of activities that occurred within and between houses.
Included in this last goal was the incorporation of faunal and floral analyses. With careful sampling (including systematic flotation) of contexts both within and between houses, variability in household subsistence strategies was to be investigated. Using these methods we planned to challenge the traditional assumption that subsistence was organized at the community level. During the period of excavation faunal and floral collection expeditions were conducted in order to prepare comparative collections for future study.
The 1995 season of excavation began slowly as the Bulgarian team planned to excavate the whole tell and therefore required that the entire surface be cleared of vegetation. Before the excavation was started, magnetometer surveying of the tell indicated the presence of a structure surrounding the tell. Once ground breaking began a grid of 5 x 5 meter units were excavated and a total of 40 x 40 meters of humus was removed from the surface of the tell. On the northern half of the mound the humus was an average of 20 to 30 centimeters thick and once removed revealed at least three structures. In situ house rubble and pottery was located at this depth and marked the end of surface cleaning. On the southern half of the mound the humus was much thinner (10 to 15 centimeters). Magnetometry showed clear signs of plow disturbance pointing to years of cultivation and subsequent erosion on this side of the tell. No structures were found in situ on the south side but post holes indicated that the lack of architecture was only due to plow cultivation and not an actual difference in constructions from one side to the other.
The initial stages of excavation uncovered a variety of tantalizing finds. Included among these artifacts were fired clay figurines (zoomorphs, anthropomorphs, and miniature house and furniture models), a variety of finely worked stone tools (constructed of both flint and macro crystalline rock), and several curious concave ceramic discs with double piercing on one end (weights or ornamental discs?). Of note was one of the anthropomorphic figurines which was confidently described as "six months pregnant" by our Bulgarian counterparts.
In addition to these small finds were enormous quantities of ceramic pottery and even more copious amounts of burned house rubble ("mazilka" in Bulgarian). Mirjana Stevanovic's and Ruth Tringham's previous research on the construction and destruction of houses working with similar house rubble from Yugoslavia was particularly useful in determining the variety of house rubble present. This often ignored class of material provides a significant source of information on house histories and the formation of settlements, including tells. Clear imprints of vegetation (use as temper in the mud brick) have also been a source of data on regional environments as well as local architectural construction.
During the humus removal stage it became clear that the proposed excavation methods (formulated to address the research questions of the American and British teams) were in direct conflict with standard, and apparently inflexible, Bulgarian excavation practices. As Dr. Raduncheva was unwilling to participate in a compromise, and the only foreseeable result was the excavation of another Eneolithic tell in the same old way, it was decided by Dr. Tringham and Dr. Bailey that the collaboration was untenable. Upon the conclusion of the 1995 field season they announced to the Bulgarian archaeologists that the American team would withdraw form the Podgoritsa project. It is believed that it was this announcement that set off a series of events resulting in accusations made by Bulgarian authorities of espionage against several members of the American and British teams and confiscation of equipment belonging to the University of Wales at Cardiff. Later, retractions were made by the Bulgarian government and all members of the Podgoritsa team have been cleared of official charges, but it is clear that no further work will be done on the Podgoritsa project. We hope that what information we have gathered will be of use to future researchers, and that the tell, at least, has been saved for posterity as part of the Bulgarian cultural heritage.
From November 1995 through January 1996, Eleanor Casella directed excavations at a mid-nineteenth century female convict site in Tasmania, Australia. This preliminary field season was funded by research grants from the University of California at Berkeley, and heavily supported by the University of Tasmania, the State Parks and Wildlife Service, and the Queen Victoria Museum and Art Gallery (Laucheston, Tasmania). Community volunteers, regional archaeologists, local school teachers, Aboriginal Heritage Officers, and students from both Tasmanian and Australian mainland universities actively participated in this field work project. Resulting data included a topographic survey of a "Female Factory" convict site at the Ross township, and excavation of a test pit within the prison to determine the archaeological integrity of subsurface remains. This preliminary season was the first international research project to be conducted on an historic-era site in Australia.
The transportation of convicts to Australia was the largest involuntary migration of western people in modern history. Over 500,000 people were processed through a vast network of probation stations, hiring depots, hard labor camps, and model prisons across the continent. Although the majority of these convicts were from the British Isles, historical studies have shown that a significant number of Canadians, Polynesians, and Americans who committed crimes in British territories were also incarcerated within the Australian Convict System.
After the American Revolution prevented further transportation of convicts to Georgia, the British Parliament authorized removal of the criminal underclasses to the remote colony of New South Wales. A Second penal colony was soon required to accommodate the increasing convict population, and in 1803 Van Diemen's Land (Tasmania) was established for that purpose. This distant island soon became the primary Australian penal colony. It quickly developed an extensive bureaucratic and institutional prison system designed to punish and reform the convicts. Over twelve thousand women were transported to Tasmania from 1803 until 1853, when economic and social forces of the expanding Industrial Revolution caused Britain to cease transportation, The vast majority of these women convicts were incarcerated in the Female Factory System, a network of prisons scattered across the island. These penal institutions were designed as probation stations where "immoral" female convicts would be reformed through prayer and forced training in acceptable feminine industries, such as sewing, laundry and cooking. Once they successfully served their probation period, the "reconstituted" women were to be released into the free community where they would gain moral livelihoods as domestic servants.
The lived histories of these Factories probably diverged from this ideal model. Despite the program of reform designed by the Convict Department, popular Australian history has mythologized these women as an unrepentant, violent, incorrigible "bunch of damned whores," and celebrates their adventures of resistance. Documentary records also suggest a delicate balance of power within the penal institutions, with riots and underground exchange of "Luxuries" vaguely described in the Superintendants' reports.
Preliminary excavations, funded though a U.C. Berkeley, Department of Anthropology Continuing Student Travel Grant, produced exciting results. Foundations of the original inmate dormitory suggest multiple building sequences, possibly the architectural signature of continued power struggles between prison officials and recalcitrant convicts. Excavations also uncovered the presence of a carefully engineered course of carved sandstone drain, a feature never documented in Factory construction or sanitization records. Recovered underfloor deposits demonstrate the presence of illicit materials such as non-uniform buttons, alcohol bottle fragments, kaolin tobacco pipes, and reworked iron scrap, possibly functioning as makeshift weaponry. Analysis of this artifactual assemblage will yield information on the communication and negotiation of gender identities within the convict prison. Eleanor Casella will be directing more extensive excavations at the Ross Female Factory from December 1996 through February 1997. After analysis, this unique archaeological collection will be curated and displayed at the Queen Victoria Museum and Art Gallery of Laucheston, Tasmania, where efforts are already underway to create a permanent exhibit on Tasmanian female convictism.
The Archaeological Research Facility Newsletter
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:
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.
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 (email@example.com).
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.
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.
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.
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!
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, 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.
The Archaeological Research Facility Newsletter
Carol A. Redmount
This coming spring and summer, UC Berkeley's Tell el-Muqdam Project will take to the field for its third season of archaeological investigation at the large urban site of Tell el-Muqdam, located in the Egyptian Delta.
Funding for this season's fieldwork is being provided by the National Endowment for the Humanities and private donations. The project is directed by myself and by Dr. Renee Friedman, a former Egyptian Archaeology Ph.D. candidate in the Near Eastern Studies Department, now a research affiliate at UC Berkeley.
Tell el-Muqdam is a large site, with existing remains covering some 30.426 hectares (304,260m2). In antiquity the site was even larger, but modern agricultural fields and the adjacent village have nibbled away at (and occasionally gobbled) the edges of the site, considerably reducing the size of the mound. Archaeological investigations of Muqdam during the 1800s were casual, large-scale, and archaeologically inefficient. They were also tremendously destructive, since the early explorers kept virtually no records of their work. As a result, beyond the mention of various inscribed items deemed important, we know almost nothing of what they found.
The last large-scale excavations at the site were by Edouard Naville in 1892; and the last officially sanctioned undertaking (apart from some scattered activities by the Egyptian Antiquities Organization in recent years) was a salvage excavation in 1915 of a possibly royal, possibly Twenty-third dynasty queen's tomb. Illicit plundering of the mound has been erratic but continuous, despite the efforts of the Egyptian authorities-the site has been officially protected since the late 1800s-and numerous artefacts of varying character and date have made their way onto the international antiquities market. According to the local villagers, a cache of statues from Muqdam was smuggled out of Egypt as late as the 1970s.
From relevant historical records, we learn that the ancient Egyptian name of the site was probably T3-Rmw (Land of the Fish), which is known as the center of a powerful Delta kingdom in the fragmented Third Intermediate Period (@ 1069-664 B.C.). It has also been suggested by some that Muqdam was the seat of the Third Intermediate Period's Twenty-third Dynasty in the eighth century B.C. By Ptolemaic times (332-30 B.C.) the city was known by its Greek name, Leontopolis (City of the Lions); Leontopolis was the capital of the Leontopolite or Eleventh Lower Egyptian Nome (a nome was roughly the equivalent of one of our states). It is as Leontopolis that the site is mentioned in Strabo's Geography. References to the city occur sporadically in other classical and coptic documents.
Based on our trial visit to the mound, as well as our study of the historical documentation of and previous finds from the site, we initially identified three major goals for the project. Very little is known archaeologically or otherwise about Egyptian urbanism during the first millennium B.C., and even less about cities in the Delta in any time period. Since we were dealing with a large, comparatively well-preserved chunk of an ancient Delta city, which by all indications had significant remains dating to the first millennium, we designed our work with the aim of contributing to an understanding of the history, development, and character of Egyptian urbanism. Second, Muqdam is located on the southern end of the Mendesian Nile branch (long since defunct), and controlled an ancient and strategic trade route. We therefore sought to investigate the characteristics and importance of Mediterranean trade as reflected in the site. Finally, we hoped our work would shed additional light, both archaeological and historical, on the poorly understood, badly documented, and under-researched (archaeologically challenged?) Third Intermediate Period.
Our first two years of fieldwork have been directed towards basic exploration of the site in order to generate a base-line understanding of the mound and its development. In this way we have also been able to initiate more intensive activities at appropriate times and in appropriate areas. The results to date follow:
1. The first scientific topographic map of the site has now been completed. Mr. Joel Paulson, a former UC Berkeley Egyptology student who is now a licensed surveyor, has produced the map utilizing a total station and various computer programs, including a copy of AutoCAD donated to the project by AutoDesk. Mr. Paulson is still fine-tuning his final product by experimenting with computer graphics programs.
2. A regional survey of the area surrounding Muqdam has highlighted the extent of site destruction over the years. Of a total of 24 sites documented at the turn of the century, only 9 survive today, mostly in sadly reduced states. Two of the survey sites were located one kilometer or less from Muqdam, and were probably associated with the larger city. One of these survey sites produced predominantly Third Intermediate Period pottery; unfortunately the area has reverted to the private sector and been turned over to local farmers for agricultural use.
3. Site characterization and intra-site survey activities are being undertaken by a variety of non- and minimally destructive methods in addition to traditional excavation. Systematic surface collection (rendered problematic by the heavy vegetation covering the site, primarily the quite nasty halfa grass and camel thorn) and auguring were carried out along individual grid lines running the length and width of the site. Selected additional areas were examined in a similar fashion. Brian Muhs, formerly an undergraduate Egyptology student at UCB and now a Ph.D. candidate at the Univ. of Pennsylvania, serves as site epigrapher and has recorded all inscribed material lying on the mound's surface, including a red granite torso of Ramses II (@1279-1212 B.C.) and a red granite block with part of the titulary of Ramses II. Surface collection has produced material dating predominantly from the Saite (@ 664-525 B.C.) through Late Roman/Coptic (@ fourth through seventh centuries A.D.) periods. The soil auguring has indicated that the site continues far below the water table, which in summer ranges from about 0.75m to 3m below surface level, to depths of 3m and more. At no point did our auguring reach the end of cultural deposits. Finally, a preliminary magnetics survey using a portable gradiometer was undertaken by Dr. Maury Morgenstein of Geosciences Management Institute. Unfortunately, results of this preliminary study indicated that, for a variety of site-specific reasons, magnetics are of limited use at Muqdam.
4. Last, but far from least, we have opened test excavations at a number of different locations spread across the tell. In this way we have begun to identify different functional and temporal zones preserved at the site. To date, we have recovered remains dating to the Roman, Hellenistic, Persian, and Saite periods, the character of which ranges from domestic, to industrial, to monumental, to possibly cultic. Our excavations also have been rich in small finds (processed by Joan Knudsen of the Phoebe Hearst Museum who is our registrar) which include a series of small erotic figurines, mostly male; a number of terra cottas, including several horse and rider figurines that are one of the hallmarks of the Persian period in the eastern Mediterranean and an occasional sculpture fragment, as well as glass, amulets (including a wadjet eye mold), and stamped jar handles originating outside Egypt.
What have we learned so far? Muqdam seems to have been a major urban and probably administrative center in the Persian period (sixth and fifth centuries B.C.). We have found occupation of this date at broadly scattered locations in the tell; the depth of deposit is impressive-at least 2-3m in places; and we have evidence of functional differentiation at various locations (industrial, administrative or ceremonial, and domestic). The Hellenistic remains seem to be largely gone and are probably lost to research; they would have overlain the Persian period deposits, and we know that the site has been much reduced in height over the past two centuries. The Roman city seems to have been founded along the southern edge of the earlier city mound and not placed on top; consequently considerable Roman remains are preserved. Anything earlier than Persian or transitional Saite-Persian times lies below the water table. Contacts with the broader ancient Mediterranean world can be seen in the pottery and some of the other finds.
So, as we enter our third season of work, we find that some adjustments to our initial goals are in order. Although we have found little material dating to the Third Intermediate Period, our Persian period remains are unexpectedly impressive (and ubiquitous). As with the Third Intermediate Period, little is known archaeologically of the Persian period in general, and even less of the Delta region. Consequently, we are now working to shed archaeological light on this under-represented time period. Our goals of investigating Egyptian urbanism and trade/interconnections remain. And it has now become clear that since so much of the site's history lies below the water table, we must begin to devise means to deal with this problem and investigate its parameters. As one of my former field instructors put it, "The answers lie below!" It will be interesting to see what new discoveries this season brings.
The past few months have been increasingly active ones for the Archaeological Research Facility, including recruitment for a historical archaeologist who will join the faculty in the Department of Anthropology, as well as numerous exciting lectures. Of course, I am particularly proud of the "smashing" success of our lecture on March 8 which featured my French colleague, Jean Clottes, speaking to a crowd of at least 600 people about the new cave art discovery, the Grotte Chauvet, in the Ardèche region of France. The lecture was preceded by a press conference that led to articles in The San Francisco Chronicle, The Oakland Tribune, The Contra Costa County Times, The Berkeleyan, and The Daily Cal, most with photos as well! The lecture was attended by the French Consul and several attachés, who themselves had to sit on the floor! Jean Clottes was at his best, with an impassioned and throughly engaging description of how one gets into the cave through the narrowest of passages, and with his own magnificent photos of hundreds of paintings and engravings that appear to be as old as 20,000 years. We were all thrilled that Jean's time here at Berkeley in 1991, as a Visiting Research Professor thanks to the Miller Institute for Basic Research in Science, had generated a feeling of Berkeley loyalty and friendship such that he was moved to give the first North American showing of the slides here at Berkeley. It is also a wonderful and reassuring thing to know that an archaeology lecture can bring out nearly 600 equally impassioned people as an audience. Our thanks goes to the French Cultural Studies, the Departments of Anthropology and of the History of Art, and the Center for Western European Studies for their support of the event. I personally want to thank both the ARF staff for working on the arrangements and Bill Whitehead (archaeology graduate student, Anthropology) for several hours of dedicated work to set up the slide screen, the mike and for overseeing the slides from a tiny booth where he could not hear much of the lecture.
In addition to the 5 archaeology lectures for the historical archaeology position in Anthropology, we have been treated to numerous other lectures of archaeological interest over the past few months: Dr. Evgeni Chernyk (Russian Academy of Sciences) spoke on the ancient metallurgy of Russia and the Bronze Age; Dr. Jeanine Davis-Kimball (Near Eastern Studies) spoke on "Burial Practices Among the Indo-Iranian Samatians;" Dr. Matthew Johnson (University of Durham) spoke on the Georgian Order; Otis Parrish (a new archaeology graduate student in 1995 in Anthropology) spoke as part of series offered by the Hearst Museum of Anthropology, and presented an engaging account of his native California heritage and its influence on his now-renowned jewelry making; and Dr. Payson Sheets (University of Colorado) presented the spring Archaeological Institute of America lecture on his research at the Ceren Site (southern Mesoamerica) - and these are just a few of the many offerings!
While it is hard to believe that the 1994-95 academic year will come to a close in little over a month from now, there are a number of ARF projects still in process that we hope to be able to report on in our Fall Newsletter. I have been asked to begin a 5 year term as Director of the ARF as of July 1, 1995, and I look forward to a challenging but productive tenure in such a position. I appreciate the support of the Directorship Search Committee and of Vice-Chancellor Cerny and his staff, and encourage you all to join with me in the coming years in the many and diverse projects of the ARF and in promoting and encouraging archaeology at Berkeley!
In the last days of December 1994, a team of three cave explorers (Jean-Marie Chauvet, Eliette Deschamps and Christian Hillaire) found a fabulous painted cave in the valley of the Ardeche, at Combe d'Arc (Vallon-Pont-d'Arc). It includes many signs, such as panels of red dots, stenciled and positive hands, as well as several hundred animal figures, including a majority of species rarely represented elsewhere, such as rinos, lions and bears. Horses, bison, aurochs, red and megaceros deer, ibex, mammoths, have also been painted or engraved. Three animals are unique in Paleolithic art: a panther, a hyena and an owl. The quality of the drawings is truly exquisite and makes this cave one of the most spectacular ever found, comparable only to Lascaux and Altamira. From recurrent conventions and details, it seems that a majority of paintings could have been done by the same artist. The provisional chronological attribution is to the Solutrean, but radiocarbon datings are expected and we hope they will provide a more solid base.
The cave explorers were extremely careful not to walk wherever it was not solid rock. Thousands of cave bear bones litter the ground and many bear footprints have been preserved on the clay. Human traces are also possible. The whole cave has not yet been explored, as the first priority has been its preservation: it was not possible to reach the other side of some chambers for fear of trampling ancient traces. This major discovery will no doubt bring a wealth of information on Paleolithic cave art and human activities in the deep caves.
The Arabian Gulf and the adjacent regions of the Indian Ocean is an area of the world with a seafaring tradition of over 5,000 years in age, yet which has gone essentially unexplored beneath the waves. In fact, the South and Southwest Asian regions, and the Gulf area in particular, have perhaps the richest and longest running seafaring tradition of any world region. From before and through the Bronze Age, Iron Age, rise of Islam, medieval period, on down into the 20th century, ships in this region have played a vital and pivotal role in commerce, communication, and exploration.
The discovery, excavation, and documentation of a Bronze Age (c.5,000 - 3,500 years ago) ship involved in the elaborate trading activity between Sumer (Iraq), Magan (southeastern Arabia), Meluhha (Pakistan), Dilmun (Bahrain and northeastern Arabia), and the regions between and beyond would be one of the greatest achievements in the field of archaeology. To that end a search has been inaugurated for submerged shipwrecks of any period in the coastal and territorial waters of the United Arab Emirates (UAE), a fascinating country located on the Arabian peninsula, adjacent to the Straits of Hormuz.
The UAE's strategic location at the confluence of trading routes extending from China, Sri Lanka, and India in the east, to Ethiopia, Egypt, and Europe in the west, as well as the country's own rich cultural heritage, make this an ideal region in which to search for ancient seafarers. Thankfully, the UAE welcomed my research team from the University of California at Berkeley in February of 1994, and a second field season is planned for the Summer of 1995.
The multidisciplinary team of Berkeley scientific divers included myself, marine biologist Kyler Abernathy, and historian Sean Hathaway Kelly.
Our research and search methods involved all of the basic nuts and bolts of searching for shipwrecks from a time and place with little or no historical records to steer us:
* Studying the historical and popular records of shipping lanes, ports, and commercial areas.
* Collecting maps and charts of the coastal regions and adjacent sealanes, as well as U.S. Navy seafloor soundings.
* Surveying the coastlines by Land Cruiser and foot to catalogue likely ports of call and dangerous coastlines.
* Surveying the coastlines by boat and scuba diving to establish a knowledge base of water conditions, tidal patterns, seafloor depths and geological makeup.
* Surveying the coastlines by helicopter to visually search for wrecks or likely wreck-producing areas.
Our initial season in the UAE allowed preliminary searches of the UAE's east coast along the Indian Ocean in the Emirate of Fujairah, and selected west coast sites and islands in the Arabian Gulf in the Emirate of Sharjah. We will continue our efforts in 1995, with the aim of pinpointing very specific target areas to search in a more detailed manner with the use of side-scanning sonar and ROV (remotely-operated vehicle). Though our first efforts in the UAE have been timid and of a broad stroke, we are laying the scientific and archaeological groundwork for greater discoveries to come in future seasons. There are, quite assuredly, ancient ships, artefacts, and possibly even sunken villages to be found in those waters, and we intend to find them.
Note: This research project owes an immense gratitude to the generous support of HH Dr. Shaikh Sultan Muhammad al-Qasimi, H.H. Shaikh Hamad Bin Mohammed Al Sharqi and H.H. Shaikh Salah Bin Mohammed Al Sharqi; the Departments of Cultural and Archaeological Affairs of the Emirates of Sharjah and Fujairah, UAE; the Stahl Travel Fund, Department of Near Eastern Studies, and Office of Scientific Diving at the University of California at Berkeley; and the Dr. Karl Koenig Foundation.
When the British navigator Captain James Cook arrived off the coasts of Maui and Hawai'i Islands in the winter of 1779, he found the two lands each under the control of powerful and fiercely competitive chiefs: Kahekili on Maui, and Kalaniopu'u on Hawai'i. The late prehistoric landscape of the Hawai'i Island chiefdom controlled by Kalaniopu'u has for many years been intensively studied by archaeologists, who have often generalized from their results to the archipelago at large. Maui Island, on the other hand, has been relatively neglected from an archaeological perspective.
Prof. Patrick Kirch and a team of Berkeley graduate and undergraduate students are now engaged in a project focused on the little-known archaeological landscape of east Maui, in the district of Kahikinui. Building upon the results of a settlement-pattern survey initiated in 1966 but never completed (due to the tragic death of its director, Peter Chapman), Kirch's team has recorded more than 600 sites within an 8 square kilometer survey area. The survey area lies on the arid, leeward side of Maui, a landscape of slightly weathered lava fields that rises from the rocky coast (sorry, no palm fringed beaches!) up to the summit of majestic Haleakalä volcano at 10,000 feet above sea level. The sites include coastal fishing settlements and an intensively settled upland agricultural zone with hundreds of individual domestic household features (habitation enclosures, shelters, platforms, and so forth). Of particular interest is a system of regularly spaced stone temple platforms (heiau) in the upland zone, which exhibit significant differences from the better-studied Hawai'i Island temple system.
Data on the more than 600 sites have been entered into a computerized database using the Paradox software, which will be interfaced with a GIS database for the survey area containing digitized information on topography, soils, vegetation, and other environmental parameters. Field-checking of sites and additional survey work was carried out during the January semester break by Kirch and his students, with support from the Class of 1954 Endowed Chair Fund. (Kirch was appointed in July 1994 to the Class of 1954 Distinguished Teaching Professorship.) The team hopes to continue its survey work during the coming summer, and graduate student Cindy VanGilder expects to base her dissertation on Hawaiian household archaeology on the Kahikinui materials.
Stephen G. Miller
Although Professor Miller is on sabbatical leave this academic year and, not surprisingly, is spending the year in Greece, he recently returned to present his annual lecture to the Friends of Nemea and the University community (January 31,1995). The 1994 season at Nemea -where excavations began in 1974 - was particularly memorable because July 6 marked the Opening of the Ancient Stadium of Nemea as an Archaeological Park, which is now a remarkable site to visit by the public. The archaeological excavations of the past two decades have yielded enormously interesting and important information about the stadium, and about the entire fabric and set-up of the ancient games. The July 6 opening was thrilling, to say the least, and included six foot races run by groups of both boys and girls. As Professor Miller reported in his annual letter to the Friends of Nemea: "that which cannot easily be conveyed is... the sense of life that came back to the stadium, and the thrill of watching the black-robed judges set in motion the first race of 10-12 year olds who - clad in white chitons - burst from the starting line as the reconstructed hysplex mechanism fell to sprint down the track". As well, the drinking fountain - in the form of the Nemean Lion - was installed at the entrance to the Archaeological Park, along with a bronze plaque which reads "Archaeological Park of the Ancient Stadium of Nemea - Work of the University of California at Berkeley, 1974-1994", and along with a planting of many flowers with a very Blue and Gold centerpiece of marigolds and blue bladder gentians! The following excerpt from Professor Miller's letter provides us with additional information on the research and on the future archaeology at Nemea:
"After a period of recovery from the dedication of the stadium, our more typical work at Nemea went on. This, of course, deals with the final publications, and the preparation of the illustrative material to accompany them. With the help of M. Miller and J. Parsons, I have been able to check every graffito on the walls of the tunnel entrance of the stadium. These will comprise a most important part of the stadium volume and it is extremely important that we get these difficult-to-read scratchings recorded correctly. And so they now are with the help of Jeff Burden who inked in the corrected readings on the drawings of the graffiti that we had originally done longer ago.
In the meantime, work on other volumes has progressed, and my colleague Robert Knapp [U.C. Berkeley, Professor of Classics] indicates that the volume on the coins from the excavations at Nemea should be ready shortly after that on the stadium. We are hopeful that this time next year both volumes will be in press.
The other major effort has been the preparation of the application to the American School of Classical Studies at Athens for renewed full-scale excavations at Nemea..." This request, Professor Miller now writes, has been approved for the period of 1997-2001. We look forward to more exciting discoveries as well as the continued reporting and publication of original and important archaeology from Nemea!!
The Archaeological Research Facility Newsletter
The arid peninsula of Baja California is, archaeologically, one of the most poorly understood regions remaining in North America. The peninsula's historical remoteness and harsh climate and terrain, along with an eclipsing interest on the part of archaeologists in the traditional culture areas of the greater Southwest and Mesoamerica, have discouraged investigation. This is unfortunate in that the isolation of the peninsula resulted in several unique cultural developments among the prehistoric groups who lived there.
One of the most intriguing of these developments occurred in the Sierra de San Francisco located in the midriff region of the peninsula. Here, and in the Sierra de Guadeloupe to the south, there appeared a monumental painted mural tradition among the prehistoric hunter-gatherer groups in the region bearing little relation to the predominately abstract traditions further north and south. The representational imagery, in terms of scale among the world's largest prehistoric painted rock art, is found in literally hundreds of canyon rock shelters and principally depicts human and animal figures painted in red, black, white, and yellow. In recognition of this tremendous cultural legacy, in December 1993 the Sierra de San Francisco was named to the UNESCO World Heritage List.
In the fall of 1992 Justin Hyland of the Department of Anthropology, University of California, Berkeley and his colleague, María de la Luz Gutiérrez of the Instituto Nacional de Antropología e Historia, commenced fieldwork in the Sierra de San Francisco. Their project, named the Proyecto Arte Rupestre Baja California Sur, is a major two-year program of investigation and conservation and is one of twelve special archaeological projects inaugurated by President Carlos Salinas de Gortari. It is the largest archaeological project ever to take place in Baja California and the largest ever in Mexico to deal specifically with hunter-gatherer archaeology.
Using regional ethnohistory as one source of models, one of the primary objectives is to determine the temporal and functional position of mural sites in the overall prehistoric settlement pattern. Of particular interest is the relationship between the production of imagery and gatherer-hunter social complexity, including the intensification of shamanic institutions and the transformation of gendered relations.
The following are some of the project's major fieldwork accomplishments and areas of continuing analysis:
Among the obsidian artifacts traced to the Valle del Azufre source is a fluted Clovis-type point from Rancho San Joaquin that the Project identified within a local collection. While a fluted point was reported in the 1940s, also from Rancho San Juan, this is the first Clovis-type point found in Baja California and suggests the presence of a locally focused Paleoindian population.
Given the quantity of archaeological obsidian found in the area, a hydration chronology could be very useful in dating archaeological manifestations at both an inter- and intrasite level. We are investigating the potential for developing a regional obsidian hydration chronology.
With fieldwork completed, the project is engaged now with data analysis and dissemination of results. Papers were given at the 1994 Society for American Archaeology meetings and at the 1994 International Rock Art Conference in Flagstaff, AZ. In addition to journal publications in Spanish and English, a final project monograph will be published by the Instituto Nacional de Antropología e Historia.
The project has been supported by Fondo Nacional Arqueológico, the Fulbright-García Robles Program, and the Wenner-Gren Foundation for Anthropological Research. We also wish to acknowledge the indispensable and full participation, both practical and theoretical, of the local Californios in the Sierra without whose help and knowledge this work could not have been carried out. In addition, we were enthusiastically assisted in the field, often in far less than ideal conditions, by students from the Mexican Escuela Nacional de Antropología e Historia, the Universidad Complutense in Madrid, Spain, the University of California, Berkeley, and California State University Chico.
The past six months have been a time of considerable transition for the Archaeological Research Facility. Most importantly, we witnessed the move of our Administrator, Sherry Parrish, out of the ARF office and into the position of manager for the Anthropology Department. While this is a wonderful career move for Sherry and a real bonus for those of us who also reside in Anthropology, there is no doubt that the administration of ARF had flourished as never before under Sherry's direction. We all look forward to working with our new Administrator, Hillari Allen, who joined us in early September. Welcome, Hillari!
As well, there has been a change in the faculty leadership of the ARF. As of August 1994, Pat Kirch resigned as ARF Director, after an excellent term of office for the past several years. Pat has simultaneously been awarded The Class of 1954 Endowed Chair in Anthropology and taken over as the Chair of the Anthropology Department. In anticipation of this, I was appointed Acting Director of the ARF until a Search Committee could be composed and a new Director selected. As of this writing, the selection has not been finalized, but this is expected after the first of the year.
As Acting Director, I have been pleased to work with acclimating Hillari, to planning the ARF lectures, to convening an Advisory Committee, and working closely with Thérèse Babineau, our new Intern in Photography, who has completely renovated the darkroom, among other projects. In anticipation of a more fully electronic working environment, we have convened a working committee to develop plans for the future computer infrastructure for ARF, probably in collaboration with one or more campus units. While the possibilities for archaeology and computers appear endless-from GIS to CD-Rom-we anticipate active fund-raising and grant applications!
We have again operationalized the Archaeology Outreach Program, which is being coordinated by myself and graduate student Robin Sewell. Although the program is still in its nascent stages, we plan to bring it more formally under the auspices of the ARF. At present, the archaeology students in Anthropology are expected to present at least one lecture or talk for students in an elementary or high school in the Bay Area; these arrangements are facilitated through the ARF. In November, we participated in Cal's Open Lab Day, with some half-dozen Richmond and El Cerrito high school students visiting one of our labs for a four-person laboratory demonstration on the Archaeology of Diet: faunal analysis, plant analysis, shellfish studies, and stone tool research.
We continue to be able to fund some faculty and especially graduate student research through the Stahl Endowment for Archaeology. When we see how much of a difference such an endowment can make for so many of our students, we are encouraged to extend our fund-raising energies. In addition to Stahl-funded research, I am pleased to report that during 1993-94, the ARF administered more than $500,000 worth of external grants, and as well, our publications income increased by 42%.
While the Acting Director is not expected to "rock the boat," the very nature of the internal changes and the necessary anticipation of things to come has meant that there has been plenty to do. Many of our regular ARF affiliates are on deserved sabbatical and research leave for this year (e.g., Professors Gruen, Miller, Stewart, and Tringham), but we are in the process of hiring another archaeologist in the Anthropology Department, while welcoming Rosemary Joyce to the campus this fall (see the story elsewhere in the Newsletter). We all look forward to the announcement of the new Director for an anticipated 5-year term, and toward the solidification of various projects to continue and to expand the activities, funding, and research of the Archaeological Research Facility.
Since August 1994 I have worked as an intern in photography on several photographic projects at the Archaeological Research Facility (ARF) and at the Hearst Museum of Anthropology. One of the first projects I took on was to make the ARF darkroom fully operational. Now with all the essential supplies and pieces of equipment in place, the darkroom has become a valuable resource for ARF associates and graduate students. During the months of October and November I offered photographic print orientations to archaeology graduate students. I will again offer these orientations in the coming spring semester.
I am pleased to announce that there is a key check-out program for archaeology graduate students interested in using the ARF darkroom. If you are already familiar with black-and-white photographic print darkroom techniques or have taken the print orientation, you can obtain a key to the darkroom from myself or Hillari Allen, the ARF administrator (510) 642-2212. Access in the evening and over the weekend is also possible. If I am not in my office (room 110), call me at (510) 643-1457 to arrange to pick up a key.
At the Hearst Museum I have been working on two photography exhibits and on the photographic component to a third exhibit. The first exhibit will portray UC Berkeley archaeologists and anthropologists in the field. Printing negatives from the museum's photo archives, I will cover chronologically the evolution of field techniques over the course of the twentieth century. The second exhibit will be on Hawaiian archaeology, illustrating selected sites from all of the islands. This exhibit has evolved out of the book on Hawaiian archaeological sites that my husband, Patrick Kirch, and I have jointly written and illustrated, to be published in 1996 by the University of Hawaii Press. Professor Kirch's exhibit on Lapita culture will be showing concurrently with the Hawaiian archaeology photographic exhibit. My work on the photographic component of the Lapita exhibit involves detailed black-and-white photos of the decorated pottery and shell artifacts. These photos will also be reproduced in Professor Kirch's forthcoming book, The Lapita People, to be published by Basil Blackwell's.
We are pleased to welcome archaeologist Rosemary Joyce, who has joined the Berkeley faculty in a double capacity: Rosemary has taken over as the new Director of the Phoebe Apperson Hearst Museum of Anthropology for a five-year term, and she has also been appointed as an Associate Professor of Anthropology. First, the basics: Rosemary received her BA from Cornell, majoring in anthropology and archaeology. From there she went on to the University of Illinois at Champaign-Urbana, where she received the PhD in 1985. Much of her dissertation has been published in her book, Cerro Palenque: Power and Identity on the Maya Periphery (1991). Rosemary comes to us after having been on the faculty at Harvard; when we were fortunate enough to lure her westward, she was both an Associate Professor in the Anthropology Department and an Assistant Curator in the Peabody Museum, where she had also served as the Assistant Director.
Rosemary has carried out extensive fieldwork in Honduras, and she plans to continue co-directing an archaeological field school there. In summer of 1995, this will be under the co-sponsorship of the Berkeley Summer Archaeology Field Program. Among the many aspects of prehistoric life in what some archaeologists mis-label as the "Maya periphery" region that Rosemary has addressed through fieldwork are settlement patterns, ballcourts, and residential compounds; she has carried out extensive ceramic analyses as well and has pioneered numerous survey methods for the region, including how to survey in banana plantations!
The publications and research that have resulted from Rosemary's careful scrutiny of Mesoamerican archaeology are far too numerous to be listed. Among her most recent papers is a 1993 article in Current Anthropology, "Women's Work: Images of Production and Reproduction in Pre-Hispanic Southern Central America." From just this title, one can glean some of her many special interests: art and iconography, gender, belief systems, social theory, household archaeology, and the study of 'complex societies'. Many of these interests are provocatively complementary to those of other archaeologists here at Berkeley, and numerous team-taught courses are being planned and scheduled.
While there is little doubt that Rosemary has brought an enthusiasm and a vision for the future of the Hearst Museum, she will simultaneously make significant contributions to archaeology at Berkeley. The ARF has already begun to work with the Hearst on a variety of projects of mutual concern, thanks to Rosemary's presence. Welcome Rosemary!
Museums and archaeology seem to be a natural pairing to me. But then, they would; I have wanted to be an archaeologist since I was seven years old, and I spent a good part of my time weekends and summers involved in programs at the Buffalo Museum of Science before I went away to college. I did my first archaeological field work through a Museum of Science program, and spent months after our dig processing excavated materials. At the same time, however, most of what went on around the museum was not archaeological, or even anthropological; still, there was something fundamental that linked the two kinds of settings and activities for me.
One kind of link clearly lies in the relative muteness of objects in both settings. For me, archaeology is an intensively interpretive process; decisions to recognize some variation as indicative of past conditions are implicit parts of field practice, and decisions to examine museum objects from one perspective or another are made either consciously or unconsciously in all museum practice. The objects simply don't speak for themselves. Instead, both in field archaeology and in museum work in general, we are engaged in a wealth of strategies to create understandings of objects in their settings.
Museums provide a space in which the general public expects to find reliable information. A museum like the Hearst, set as it is within the University of California, has immense authority. Most discussions recognizing the existence of such authority conclude pessimistically that museums can only enforce a single point of view on a public seen as passive. Certainly, if we take our task to be providing simple objective statements of the real facts about other cultures and other times, museums are almost certainly doomed to foster passivity. But if we take as one of our tasks exposing the actual processes through which different interpretations are arrived at; if we take as one part of this task the challenge to acknowledge that multiple interpretations are possible; if we make the exploration of how we know as important as the exploration of what we know, museums can change the way people think about knowing cultures.
Here, I think, is the greatest opportunity in linking the museum and the archaeological community here at Berkeley. It is the undeniable physical existence of certain kinds of objects and settings made and used by people in the past that grounds archaeological interpretation. Museums are distinguished from other kinds of cultural institutions by holding and using physical collections. As an anthropology museum, the Hearst can create a distinctive identity by taking as a central concern the ways that human manipulations of material experience work. Anthropology museums have had an uneasy identity never quite certain whether they were second-rate art museums or historical societies of the distant past. The historical roots of anthropology museums in natural history, with the inherited storyline of evolutionary progress, has been uncomfortable. We are different from these other models, and have an extraordinary opportunity to redefine what a museum can be about.
By making the anthropology of specific aspects of everyday experience -cloth, food, and medicine- the focus of our traditional exhibitions, we will begin to address the central issues of how interpretations are grounded in material things. By moving into less traditional modes of dissemination made possible through technology, we can break down the barriers between research and exhibition, making multiple interpretations and the data they rest on available on CD ROMs with hypertext links. And I hope we will continue to do what museums have always done for archaeologists: provide them the opportunity to exercise their creativity by interrogating the wealth of previously excavated materials with new questions, using new techniques, framing new theoretical perspectives that gain much of their reality from the objects that anchor them.
The Archaeological Research Facility Newsletter
Grotta dell'Edera is one of over 100 caves that are located in the karst surrounding Trieste, Italy. Several of the caves have, like Edera, evidence for human occupation during both Mesolithic and Early Neolithic periods which in this area date to the 6th and 7th millennia BP. The caves of the karst are found on both sides of the border, and given that the border has changed over the past 50 years or so, many of the caves have two names, one Italian and one Slavic - for example, Vlaska jama=Caverna del Pettirosso; Pecina na Leskovcu=Grotta Azzurra.
Grotta dell'EderaThe interesting history and cultural traditions of the karst are matched by the geological setting. Karst is a limestone terrain characterized by several geological features. Sinkholes or sinks are common in the landscape, as are small depressions known regionally as dolinas. Surface water is scarce, but there are underground streams and rivers draining into the sea. Some of the caves in this region are well-known for their Pleistocene record. For example, not far from Edera is the well known cave of Visogliano which has Middle Pleistocene fauna and lithic industries described by the excavator as 'Clactonian'.
Grotta dell'Edera was first documented in 1969 during a detailed survey of the caves in this particular area of the karst. In 1974-75, archaeologists from the Society for the Prehistory and Protohistory of the Friuli-Venezia Giulia Region excavated three one-meter sectors. The majority of their finds were chipped stone tools, affiliated with Mesolithic and Epipaleolithic industries. Although all excavations had been systematically done and incorporated screening techniques, no attempt had been made to retrieve botanical or other samples for environmental reconstruction.
In September of 1992, a new joint Italian-US project was launched at Edera, with the assistance of a grant from the National Science Foundation. Four square meters were excavated to a depth of approximately 3 meters. In 1993, with support from the Stahl Endowment Fund, another 50 cm were excavated. Pollen samples were taken, flotation samples were processed, and all excavated soil was water-screened with 2 mm screens. The excavations were directed by Dr. Barbara Voytek, representing the Archaeological Research Facility at the University of California, Berkeley, and Professor Paolo Biagi, of the Department of History and Oriental Studies at the University of Venice. The student archaeologists came from UC Berkeley, the University of Venice, the University of Leicester, and the University of Belgrade.
A sequence of deposits was uncovered with several undisturbed fireplaces and cooking floors dating from the Roman to the Early Neolithic periods. The Early Neolithic pottery is undecorated and poorly fired, while the chipped stone tools are morphologically the same as types found in the Mesolithic period of the region and are made of local flint. These cultural materials were found in association with a fireplace or firepit that was full of marine shells (Patellae and Trochus). The shells clearly represent the remains of a meal. Their presence suggests that this level and the feature date to the early Holocene when the sea level had risen considerably. Edera is part of a larger regional research project to examine the process or processes of neolithisation in the Northern Adriatic during the late 8th to early 6th millennia when the earliest evidence for food production is known from that area. In this respect, the Early Neolithic levels are especially important to our efforts in exploring the links between the environmental changes of the Holocene and the economic changes of the Early Neolithic.
Patrick V. Kirch
The Archaeological Research Facility has been so active this past year that we have had to expand the current issue of Berkeley Archaeology to six pages! Highlighted in these pages are two important excavation projects in Europe: the Grotta dell-Edera cave excavation directed by Dr. Barbara Voytek and Ruth Tringham's new social archaeology project in Bulgaria. ARF faculty and student researchers continue to be active in many other parts of the world, however, as field teams are now making preparations for projects in France, Bolivia, Hawaii, and even such exotic locales as Fort Ross, California.
We are also pleased to announce the pending publication of ARF Contribution No. 52, "Toward a New Taxonomic Framework for Central California Archaeology," which will be available later this spring.
Christine Hastorf has joined the Department of Anthropology and the ARF this spring semester as an Associate Professor. She received her PhD from UCLA in 1983 where she began her research in Andean archaeology and paleoethnobotany. Between then and 1994 she taught in the Anthropology Department at the University of Minnesota where she organized an archaeobotany laboratory and conducted archaeological fieldwork throughout the Andes in Peru, Argentina and Bolivia. With her move to UCB she will also form an archaeobotanical laboratory in Kroeber Hall which will house thousands of charred archaeobotanical specimens from South America as well as modern plant type collections. This laboratory work focuses on the identification of ecofacts from excavations as well as basic research on methodological and interpretive issues including processing experiments, to learn about past activities with the plants and their deposition, modern sample analysis, and cooperative research with natural scientists on DNA identifications, plant morphology, and microscopic techniques such as phytolith analysis. In addition she will participate in teaching the core archaeology classes as well as classes on subjects such as Andean Ethnography and Archaeology, Paleoethnobotany, Environmental Archaeology, Political Complexity and Foodways. She is actively involved in field work and has directed a series of excavations in the Andes. Her current work is on the social value of food and its active and interactive role in political and social change.
In July 1993, Dr. Ruth Tringham along with Dr. Douglass Bailey, visiting Lecturer, Dept. of Archaeology, University of Wales at Cardiff in UK, and a group of students from the Dept. of Anthropology, Berkeley (Mirjana Stevanovic, Jason Bass, Kathryn Prizer, Arlika Ruby); and Heike Neumann, doctoral candidate of the Dept. of Archaeology and Geography, University of Wales at Cardiff, started the preliminary reconnaissance for a long-term archaeological project in Northeast Bulgaria.
Recent social and political changes in Bulgaria have made it feasible to plan a collaborative project there of the kind that Professor Tringham has been carrying out until now in Yugoslavia. For ten days the team participated on the excavation of a tell-Mednikarovo-in south-east Bulgaria. The excavation was directed by Dr. Stefan Aleksandrov of the Thracian Section of the Archaeological Institute, Sofia. The Mednikarovo excavation, near Galabovo, was being carried out under the auspices of the Maritsa Isotok Archaeological Conservation Project, headed by Dr. Ivan Panayotov. The aim in 1993 was surface and sub-surface reconnaissance of the multi-period (Bronze Age/Eneolithic/Neolithic) tell settlement, which is threatened with eventual destruction by coal-mining activities.
The Berkeley team was lending its minds and bodies to this project as a "practice run" of collaboration in Bulgaria. They wanted to see what it was like to excavate with Americans, since no such collaboration had been experienced by the Bulgarian archaeologists, although collaborative excavations have been experienced in recent years with Soviet, French, German, Austrian, Polish, and even Japanese archaeologists. We excavated with Bulgarian local
museum staff, students and farm workers.
The tell is a 6 meter high mound formed entirely of cultural debris from ca. 2500 years occupation. Our main effort here was to map the site, establish a grid and excavate test trenches in two areas of the tell. We excavated a step trench 2 meters wide that ran from the approximate middle of the tell towards its northern edge along the N-S line. It was 60 meters long, and was divided into 5 steps.
This was a strategy chosen to give us information on the duration and rough chronological sequence of the settlement of the tell, that would be feasible to finish in the 8-10 days of excavation at our disposal. The step trench gave us information that the bulk of the upper levels of the tell dated to the Early Bronze Age Ezero culture, and the Late Eneolithic Karanovo Vib culture. In addition, the soil matrix, through which we were excavating was about the hardest and most unforgiving and uninformative that I have ever encountered in Europe!
On the steep southern edge of the tell we cut a trench (3.50x2.30m.), hoping to get a clear vertical profile of the tell's stratigraphy. It was excavated to a depth of 5 m. below the modern surface. We did not get the clear stratigraphy that we had expected. Instead this part of the tell appeared highly disturbed, comprising a large Early Bronze Age garbage pit with comparable material to the upper levels of the step-trench. The EBA pit was dug through the barely discernible remains of Late Eneolithic (Karanovo VIb) culture layer. It was also dug into a large Middle Neolithic (Vesselinovo culture) pit that lay beneath it. This pit contained a rich variety of Neolithic materials including decorated ceramics and other fired clay artifacts.
Our conclusion about the site of Mednikarovo is that it was settled first during the Middle Neolithic Vesselinovo culture (ca. 5000 BC), that it was then probably abandoned until the Late Eneolithic Karanovo VIb culture (ca.4000 BC), when it was re-settled and continuously occupied until the Early Bronze Age Ezero culture (ca. 3000 BC).
The second ten days were spent in a very different milieu and a different enterprise. This was a mapping and surface reconnaissance project of the Eneolithic tell of Podgoritsa, near Turgovishte, in the agricultural north-east Bulgaria. The tell settlement of Podgoritsa is the focus of what we hope will be a longer term joint US-Bulgarian research project. We carried out the important preliminary task of mapping and surface collecting the site as guests of the Regional Museum of Turgovishte, our collaborator being their head archaeologist, Dr. Ilke Angelova.
The tell is a mound ca. 5.5 meters high. The size at its base is ca. 80 m diameter, at its top considerably less. Thus Podgoritsa tell is an average size for the settlement mounds in NE Bulgaria, which are in general smaller than those of the Maritsa Valley in SE Bulgaria.
The tell of Podgoritsa lies ca. 10 km northwest of the town of Turgovishte, in quite an idyllic spot. The sound of cicadas is deafening! It is located in the watershed area of the Golyama Kamchiya river that runs east to the Black Sea, and a tributary of the Beli Lom and Cherni Lom rivers running north to the Danube. A spring lies 50 m east of the base of the tell. The tell lies in the middle of fertile alluvial soil, close to outcropping high quality flint in deposits to the north and northeast and 20 km north of the northern edge of the Stara Planina mountains that rise at this point to a height of ca. 1000 m asl. the Stara Planina, and south of them the Sredna Gora mountains are rich in mineral wealth, including copper minerals, and gold, as well as varied macro-crystalline rock deposits.
The research project at Podgoritsa builds on intensive archaeological research already carried out in the region. The project is expected to provide an arena where the familiar and richly preserved architectural and other material remains of the early agriculturists of Southeast Europe can be investigated with a different theoretical framework and strategy of excavation and analysis from that with which they have been traditionally investigated.
In the fields in the immediate vicinity (50m) southwest of the Podgoritsa tell have been found indications of a cemetery. This would not be unexpected, but is an exciting prospect for research. Cemeteries occur in close association with Eneolithic settlements only in Northeast Bulgaria. They are always west of the settlement, and within 100 m distance. Some of the cemeteries have been excavated. Those on the coast, especially that at Varna, have produced spectacular metal (gold and copper) finds. Those inland such as at Vinica, Devnya and Golyama Delchevo have a wealth of information but rarely metal among their grave-goods.
Our research this summer represented the first research at the tell itself. We made a 1:200 map of the tell of Podgoritsa, and one at 1:1000 of the area immediately surrounding the tell. Surface mapping and collection of archaeological materials revealed a rich assemblage of Middle Eneolithic ceramics, burned clay house rubble, faunal and lithic materials. The cleaning of the debris of badger holes showed that in the deeper levels there are materials dating to the Early Eneolithic.
The tell has not been cultivated so that its stratigraphy has not been disturbed by ploughing. Its northern side has been subject to dense bushy vegetation whose roots penetrate at least 30-40 cm and it has been disturbed by animal burrowing (badger) and some human looting (the trench ca 30-50 cm deep scraped up its eastern side). On the whole, however, we expect the preservation of occupation levels to be excellent.
Thus the Podgoritsa tell covers a period of prehistory that is rather different than the deposits of Mednikarovo. This period, however, coincides with the periods of my previous research projects in Yugoslavia: Opovo and Selevac. The research this summer enabled me to confirm that this was an exceptionally suitable project for my future research in Bulgaria, focusing on the social archaeology of houses, and the life-histories of households in prehistoric SE Europe.
The Archaeological Research Facility Newsletter
Beginning in the summer of 1993, the Archaeological Research Facility (ARF) joined a collaborative effort with Hawaii State Parks, Kaua'i Community College, the Koke'e Natural History Museum, and Kaua'i West Main Street Organization to investigate Russian Fort Elisabeth on the Island of Kaua'i in the Hawaiian Islands. This site is providing the opportunity for ARF faculty members Kent G. Lightfoot and Patrick V. Kirch to combine their primary fields of expertise. Eighteen undergraduates and seven graduate support staff were lucky enough to have both professors assist in a field school that ran for five weeks in June and July. Berkeley graduate student Peter Mills directed the school. The fieldwork is planned to continue in the summer of 1994.
Fort Elisabeth was built in 1816 (four years after the settlement of Russian Fort Ross in California) when Dr. Georg Anton Schaffer of the Russian-American Company signed an agreement with Kaumuali'i, the paramount chief of Kaua'i, to assist Kaumuali'i in conquering adjacent islands and protecting the sovereignty of Kaua'i. In return, the Russian-American Company was granted a monopoly in the sandalwood trade on Kaua'i. The plan failed and within two years Schaffer and his contingent of employees (mostly native Alaskan) had left Kaua'i. Historical records suggest that the fort was occupied by native Hawaiians through the 1850s and was dismantled of its armaments in 1864. What remains on the surface today are the collapsed stone walls of the fort and several stone foundations in the fort interior. No detailed draw-ings of the fort are known to exist prior to 1884 and historical data on the use of the fort are relatively limited. It is known that Kaumuali'i's chiefly compound and the home of the first Christian missionaries on Kaua'i (1820) were once directly outside the fort walls. Recent sugar cultivation has obliterated most surface remains outside the fort.
The fort and the surrounding 17.5 acres now form a state historical park that has a restroom, parking lot, coral paths, and one sign to orient visitors to the site. The state has drafted a master plan for improving these interpretive displays. This plan hinges on further archaeological and historical investigation which is being provided by two seasons of U.C. Berkeley field schools. Research goals parallel those at Fort Ross, focusing on the dynamics of a multi-ethnic community and culture change in the early historical period. Unlike Fort Ross and other Russian-American Company sites in the North Pacific, this settlement was established within a highly stratified chiefdom that may have changed the dynamics of the culture-contact.
The fieldwork is being conducted in two stages. The goal of the first field season was to investigate areas of the fort exterior that are expected to have included Kaumuali'i's compound, the missionary homestead, and the reported location of a Russian trading-post. In addition, limited underwater survey was conducted of a stone wharf in the Waimea River adjacent to the fort. The underwater work was completed under the guidance of Jim Allan from U.C. Berkeley's Institute for Western Maritime Archaeology.
As usual, results of the first season's fieldwork provided many more questions than answers. Students worked doggedly in very compact sediments and extreme heat only to encounter a paucity of midden from test units surrounding the fort, suggesting that domestic activity outside the fort was limited. In the expected location of Kaumuali'i's compound, coastal midden was encountered that contained some early historical ceramics as well as cannonball fragments. Coral mortar, glass beads, and iron fragments were uncovered in the area of the missionary house, but no foundations were identified.
Underwater work helped map the construction techniques of the stone wharf and also identified a possible cavern entrance that has been purposely blocked with rubble. Many present day residents of Waimea relate that it used to be possible to swim into such a cavern and come up inside the fort. Another unexpected discovery above the water level was the identification of a crawl-space tunnel built through the fort's stone wall.
The second stage of fieldwork will focus on the fort interior which contains numerous stone foundations, one cellar hole, and a large foundation for a flagpole among other miscellaneous features. Since the Russian-American Company was only at the fort for two years and Hawaiians used the fort for nearly half a century, the majority of cultural material within the fort (and outside) is expected to reflect how this site was incorporated into Hawaiian culture after the Russian-American Company left. How this "Russian fort" was actually used, why it was built, and why it was located where it is may in fact reflect as much about native Hawaiian cultural agendas as it does about European expansionism.
As I write these remarks, the fall semester at Berkeley is well underway, and it is clear that the Archaeological Research Facility (ARF) continues to be active on several fronts. Our faculty associates and affiliated graduate students returned from field projects around the globe with reports of successful surveys and excavations, in many cases made possible or enhanced by a series of grants-in-aid from our new Stahl Endowment Fund. Two major projects, the U. C. Berkeley Archaeological Field School and Prof. Meg Conkey's survey for paleolithic sites in southern France, are reported in more detail elsewhere in this newsletter.
In the area of publications, another monograph in the ARF Contributions series has been issued, and two more monographs are in preparation. The latest monograph, reporting on a 3,000-year-long occupation sequence in the Samoan Islands, excavated by your Director, brings a new face to our venerable publication series, with a color cover. We have also expanded and computerized our mailing and distribution lists for publications, taken out our first advertisement in a professional journal, and are actively soliciting orders from major university libraries throughout the country.
Extramural funding for archaeological research through the ARF has also increased significantly over the past few months. Especially notable are three major grants from the National Science Foundation. These include a grant to Prof. Conkey for her French paleolithic survey, a continuation grant to Prof. Kent Lightfoot for the Fort Ross Project, and a grant for the renovation of the undergraduate archaeology teaching laboratory.
The Mid-Pyrenees area of southern France is well known for its cave art and cave habitation sites dating to the Magdalenian period, ca. 15-11,000 years ago-Niaux, Les Trois Frères, Le Mas d'Azil, and others. In fact, some of the most recent pioneering work on the archaeology of painted caves has been done here, such as pigment compositional analyses and some of the first direct dating (using AMS) of the paintings themselves. Little is known, however, about the ways in which the "Magdalenians" used the regional landscape outside of the caves, and the wider social geographies within which art-making and art-using flourished are poorly understood.
With funding from the Stahl Endowment and the National Science Foundation (Anthropology Exploratory Research Grant #SBR 931370), and with permissions from the Conseil Superieur de la Recherche Archeologique and the Service Regional de l'Archeologie des Mid-Pyrenees, Professor Meg Conkey coordinated a three-week survey in June and July 1993 to explore systematically both the possibilities for locating open air sites and the feasibility for systematic survey in the higher altitudes (ca. 600-800+ meters) where there are several known Magdalenian cave sites. She was joined in the field by geographer and Archaeological Research Facility Associate, Dr. Les Rowntree, and by their French collaborator, Dr. Valerie Andrieu (Lab. de Botanique Historique et Palynologique, Marseille). Dr. Andrieu has located several important paleolakes for coring that have and can yield valuable paleoclimatic information for the region during "Magdalenian times." Future cores are expected to include paleoentomological (fossil insect) data as well.
In addition to the systematic survey of selected transects in the region, Conkey and Rowntree mapped current agricultural land use to assess future accessibility to archaeological remains in plowed fields. Systematic survey at thirty-two selected plowed locations (mostly corn and sunflower fields) yielded (at more than eight locations) distinctive Upper Paleolithic (blade industry) stone artifacts, and human-modified flint, as well as samples of various types of flint raw material. While Conkey notes that it is premature to call any of these locations "sites," she feels that the finds certainly warrant returning to the region for a longer and more labor-intensive survey season, hopefully in 1994.
Over the past few months, a major renovation and upgrading of the undergraduate archaeology teaching laboratory at Berkeley has been taking place, under the supervision of Prof. Patrick Kirch. The teaching lab, first developed some years ago by Profs. Glynn Issac and Desmond Clark as a part of the Washburn Anthropology Labs in the Hearst Gym basement, had gradually become outdated and in serious need of improvement. While consisting of a large, well-lighted space, the lab lacked any computer equipment and contained only a few outmoded microscopes, a situation that did not permit the teaching of modern analytical methods in archaeology.
Complete renovation of the laboratory and the purchase of much needed new computer and analytical equipment were made possible by a recent grant of $40,462 from the National Science Foundation's Instrumentation and Laboratory Improvement Program, generously matched with $60,000 in funds from the Willie G. Willard Endowment and other sources through the Office of the Provost for Research.
Prof. Kirch, who developed the proposal to NSF's Instrumentation Program, noted that a key aspect of the project is the construction of fifteen student workstations, each station equipped with a 386 PC running state-of-the-art database software, a Leitz stereozoom microscope for examining archaeological specimens, and a Mettler digital balance for weighing artifacts. The computers are linked in a local area network, so that student and faculty-developed archaeological databases can be shared.
Other items available to the students are digital calipers, Munsell color charts, and hardness kits. The shared equipment being installed includes a thin-section saw, geological sieves (for sediment grain size analyses), and drying ovens.
Fifteen undergraduates can now work simultaneously on advanced research projects with such materials as prehistoric ceramics, lithics, and faunal materials. Courses using the lab, such as Anthro 132 Analysis of Archaeological Materials currently being taught by Prof. Kirch, will also routinely draw upon the vast archae-ological collections of the Phoebe A. Hearst Museum of Anthropology for student projects. In the current class students are developing individual research projects based upon the ex-tensive collections obtained during Prof. E. W. Gifford's pioneering excavations in the Fiji Islands in 1947.
The Archaeological Research Facility Newsletter
Since 1988, the Archaeological Research Facility has collaborated with the California Department of Parks and Recreation in the study of the Fort Ross State Historic Park. The Fort Ross survey and excavation is directed by Professor Kent Lightfoot, in close collaboration with Glenn Farris and Breck Parkman, state park archaeologists and ARF Research Associates. More than 100 undergraduate and graduate students from Berkeley have participated. The purposes of the investigation are twofold; one is to better understand the consequences of Russian exploration and settlement in California on local Indian populations. The other is to help develop a public interpretation program that will take visitors beyond the reconstructed Russian stockade to view the archaeological remains of the broader multi-ethnic community.
The historic Fort Ross community provides an ideal case to evaluate native responses to the early 19th century North American fur trade. Fort Ross was administered from 1812 to 1841 by the Russian-American Company, a mercantile monopoly that represented Russia's interests in the lucrative North Pacific fur trade. It served as a staging area for sea otter and fur seal hunts in northern California. The Russian-American Company recruited peoples from across Europe, North America and the Pacific Rim as part of their multi-ethnic workforce. Ethnic Russians made up a relatively small portion of the Ross community. The majority consisted of native Alaskan workers in which Koniag Eskimos dominated, followed by Chugach Eskimos, Aleuts, as well as Tanaina and Tlingit Indians from the Alaskan mainland. Other workers included Creoles (people of mixed Russian/native ancestry), Yakuts from Siberia, native Hawaiians, and at least one African-American. Kashaya Pomo and Coast Miwok peoples from nearby tribelets were recruited as laborers and as mates in the formation of inter-ethnic households.
The research team from the ARF and the Anthropology Department is addressing inter-ethnic interactions in a pluralistic mercantile colony.
Much of our recent research has been focused on the study of the Native Alaskan Village Site situated south of the Fort Ross stockade. Here resided Native Alaskan men and families, as well as inter-ethnic households composed of Koniag Eskimo men and Kashaya Pomo women. A detailed study of the site may provide information on the role that multi-ethnic relationships played in stimulating cultural change in colonial communities.
The field investigation has been conducted in three phases. In the first phase, completed in the summers of 1989 and 1991, a meticulous investigation of the landscape was undertaken, including contour mapping, surface collection of artifacts, and geophysical survey using remote sensing. Fourteen shallow surface depressions or leveled platforms were defined where concentrations of stone tools, glass and ceramic artifacts, and animal bones were found.
In the second phase, initiated in the summer of 1991, we tested whether these surface depressions represented former house locations with household refuse deposited around their perimeters. The excavation of two surface depressions revealed a dense concentration of animal bones, marine shells, fire-cracked rocks and redwood posts. The "bone bed" consisted of hundreds of faunal elements (sea mammal, terrestrial game, domesticated mammal, fish, marine shell), historical artifacts (ceramics, stone tools, glass items), and fire-cracked rocks.
The third phase of investigation in the summer of 1992 continued the excavation of the two surface depressions. The goal was to define the boundaries of the "bone beds" and to determine whether the surface depressions represent architectural features. Two large excavation blocks revealed three separate "bone beds" and at least two house structures, including a subterranean structure measuring about 6 meters in diameter and 70 to 80 cm. in depth.
The "bone beds" are unusual in coastal California sites. The bone and shell are large, intact specimens, representing a diverse range of animal species, including whale. Butchering marks are clearly visible on many of the skeletal elements. Complete abalone shells and limb bones suggest the materials were not trampled by residents, and that plowing has not significantly altered the deposits. Our current interpretation is that the house structures of Native Alaskan families and inter-ethnic households were abandoned, filled in, and then used as work areas and refuse dumps in which faunal remains, native Alaskan artifacts, Kashaya Pomo artifacts, and European materials were deposited. Detailed analyses of these materials are now on-going at the ARF. The research is greatly facilitated by collaboration with Kashaya Pomo tribal scholars, including Otis Parrish, Vana Lawson and Violet Chappell, and with the Kodiak Area Native Association of Kodiak Island, Alaska. A monograph on the Native Alaskan Village Site is planned for publication in the ARF Contributions series in 1994/95. It will be the follow-up volume of the 1991 publication, The Archaeology and Ethnohistory of Fort Ross, California (ARF Contributions No. 49 - Available Online).
Patrick V. Kirch
This is the inaugural issue of "Berkeley Archaeology," a newsletter published by the Archaeological Research Facility on behalf of the scholarly community of archaeologists at the University of California at Berkeley. Besieged as we all are these days with seemingly endless paper, one might reasonably ask, why another newsletter? First off, the archaeological community at Berkeley spans a number of departments and research units, including the Anthropology, Art History, Classics, Geography, History, and Near Eastern Studies departments in Letters and Science, as well as the Hearst Museum of Anthropology, and The Center for Slavic Studies. Faculty collaborating on archaeological research projects are also found in Soil Science, Integrative Biology, Geology, and Molecular Biology, as well as at the Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory. With such a dispersed group, the ARF serves an important function of providing a forum where all faculty and students with interests in archaeological research can periodically meet to share ideas, results, and concerns; the Newsletter will help us to better serve this function.
In addition to providing a vehicle for sharing information among members of the Berkeley archaeological community, we intend that this Newsletter will also keep our associates, colleagues, and friends who reside elsewhere informed about our projects and activities. We are especially interested in using the Newsletter to maintain ties with our former students-both undergraduates and graduates-many of whom we know continue to share an interest in what we are doing here at Cal.
At Berkeley the field of archaeology encompasses a diversity of approaches-ranging from classical archaeology to paleoanthropology-and our geographic scope is worldwide. Current excavations or surveys being carried out by ARF faculty members include sites throughout the Mediterranean, in France and Bulgaria, in China, on several islands of the Pacific, in North America, in Mexico, Guatemala, Peru, and Bolivia. Berkeley archaeology faculty constitute an internationally-recognized group of scholars, including several members of the National Academy of Sciences, and the American Academy of Arts and Sciences, among other honors. Conveying timely reports on the work of these distinguished archaeologists to the scholarly world at large is one aim of our new Newsletter.
Initially, we intend to produce two Newsletter issues per year, in the spring and fall. We urge all members of the Berkeley archaeological community to submit reports of research, news releases, information on new publications or conferences, and other materials for publication. We also welcome any suggestions for improvements to its contents or format. I look forward to hearing from you.
The Society for American Archaeology recently published the results of the first survey of the "top-10" archaeology programs in U.S. universities. The survey focused on archaeological programs situated within anthropology departments, and did not include archaeologists in such fields as classics or geography. In the SAA survey, the Berkeley program consistently ranked 3rd by all categories of respondents. (The numbers 1 and 2 ranks were held by the University of Michigan and the University of Arizona, respectively.) The survey considered a number of factors, including the reputations and quality of faculty, scope of research, support for graduate students, library and laboratory facilities, and other variables. Given that Berkeley has only 6 archaeology faculty in its Anthropology department, and that financial support for graduate students has lagged behind other top research universities, it was all the more impressive that the Berkeley program out-ranked such well-endowed institutions as Harvard, University of Pennsylvania, or the University of Chicago. Berkeley faculty members who were asked about the survey results expressed pleasure at the news, tempered by concerns that the current budgetary crisis could threaten to erode quality.
The Mangaia Archaeological Project, headed by ARF Director Prof. Patrick V. Kirch, has yielded a mass of new information on the nature of ecological changes on this central Polynesian island during the past 7,000 years. Funded by a $116,000 grant from the National Science Foundation, the project involves an inter-disciplinary team organized by Prof. Kirch, that includes geomorphology, palynology, avian paleontology, palaeoethnobotany, zooarchaeology, and ethnohistory, in addition to conventional archaeological approaches. The overall goal is to track a range of environmental and cultural variables on this circumscribed island ecosystem, spanning the period before and after colonization and settlement by the prehistoric Polynesians, in order to assess the impacts of humans on the insular ecosystems of Oceania.
The Pacific Islands were among the last places on earth to be discovered and settled by modern humans. Although early humans occupied the near islands of Melanesia by 40,000 years ago, the remote and isolated Polynesian islands did not receive humans before about 3,000 BP. Prior to this time, these islands had no large vertebrate predators, and indeed the only vertebrates to reach their distant shores were birds. These along with a host of plant, insect, and other invertebrate life evolved in isolation, making the Polynesian islands a virtual laboratory of evolution. Indeed, it was the lessons of island biology that helped Darwin and Wallace work out the principles of evolutionary theory.
The Mangaia Project team has conducted two seasons of inter-disciplinary research on the island, in 1989 and 1991, and the first sets of results are now appearing in various scholarly journals. Stratigraphic cores in all of the island's alluvial basins have exposed a very detailed sedimentary, geochemical, and pollen record which shows that humans first began having a serious effect on the island's environment about 2500 years BP. This effect is marked by major influxes of charcoal, by decreasing tree pollen, and by increases in pyrophytic ferns and shrubs. These vegetation changes are interpreted as resulting from shifting cultivation on the interior volcanic hillsides, which ultimately became highly eroded fernland (the present situation).
The Project has also included archaeological excavation of a major rockshelter, called Tangatatau, with a well-stratified sequence spanning the last thousand years of Mangaian prehistory. This site has yielded a large assemblage of artifacts including stone adzes, shell fishhooks, bone tattooing needles, and other objects, as well as large collections of faunal and floral materials. Included among the carbonized plant remains are the oldest documented fragments of sweet potato (Ipomoea batatas) from Polynesia. A South American plant, the sweet potato was evidently transported from South America into Polynesia in prehistoric times.
Archaeology of King Solomon's Harbor, Tel Dor, Israel, seventh season, 1992. A welcome influx of volunteers enabled us to re-open excavation in both the Temple and Forum areas; our season was the most exciting ever. In the Temple area (F), we opened new squares above the northern entrance to the sanctuary and on the remains of the temple floor itself, both left unexplored by John Garstang in1922-23. Ten unpublished photographs of his, recently located in the archives of the Palestine Exploration Fund in London, helped us greatly while revealing how much knowledge has now been lost through his slapdash methods and through subsequent robbing of the site.
The entrance-complex (F2) turned out to be the mirror-image of that in the south (F1), excavated in 1986-89, though much to our surprise, the earlier orientation of the city in this area was at a 45° angle to its southern counterpart. The temple floor yielded lamps and other pottery of the second century C.E.; together with our earlier seasons' work, this material suggests a Hadrianic or later date for the entire complex, barely one century before the tel itself was abandoned and the city moved half a mile or so north. Further excavation and registration of the temple's architectural fragments showed that it was the largest pagan temple (ca.18 x 56m) so far discovered in Israel. It was exceedingly narrow, with an imposing porch at least six columns wide and three deep; beneath its floor, house-remains dating from the Iron Age to the early Roman period show that no previous cult-site underlay its northern end at least.
In the Forum/Agora area (G), we focused our efforts on revealing more of the Iron-Age town uncovered in 1987-1991. It was here that we made our most spectacular finds to date: two massive destructions separated in time by around 100 years. The earlier, a pure Iron I destruction of ca. 1100 B.C.E., was extremely violent; one to one-and-a-half meters of burned deposit, including collapsed floors and many in situ artifacts, testify to a huge fire, perhaps of human origin. Its date and contemporaneity with similar destructions in the Gate and Temple areas (B1 and F1) suggest that it may be the Phoenician destruction of the settlement founded by the Sea-Peoples (Sikels) after their defeat by the Rames III around 1185 B.C.E.
The later destruction, on the Iron I/IIA borderline around 1000 B.C.E., remained an enigma until the very end of the excavation. Although several rooms full of collapsed mud-brick, in situ pottery, and metalwork had suggested that we were looking at a single event, it was not until we discovered a skeleton lying beneath the remains of a collapsed stone wall that our hypothesis was proven correct. The individual, a woman around 30 years old, was probably Phoenician. Her position and injuries, together with the Phoenician pottery, a stag-antler, and food refuse around and under her show that she was taken by surprise and killed by a catastrophic earthquake while in her pantry. We must now widen our exposure in order to learn more about this event, and search the records of other excavations in the area (Megiddo, Beth-She'an, Hazor, etc.) to see whether similar destructions there, usually attributed to king David's armies, might not be reassigned to this event. If so, current theories about the character and chronology of Israelite expansion in the North may well require considerable re-evaluation.
The Archaeological Research Facility was founded in 1948 by Robert Heizer, as the California Archaeological Survey. Throughout the period of Heizer's tenure as director, the ARF was actively engaged in facilitating field projects, and in publishing the results of primary field and laboratory research through the Contributions series. The current director, Patrick V. Kirch, is carrying on this tradition, making the Archaeological Research Facility a vital organization supporting research and publications. The ARF also hosts various seminars and speakers throughout the year. Presently, 26 UC Berkeley faculty members from twelve departments and organized research units actively participate in the Facility's programs. The facility is supported by the Provost for Research as well as through donations and sales of publications. Your tax-deductible donations are appreciated!