Tag Archives: ucberkeley

Spring Break at Fort Ross

Fort Ross was built by Russian traders and Alaskan Natives in the early 1800s in what is now Northern California, about 2.5 hours north of the Bay Area.  My friend and fellow UC Grad Sara Gonzalez has been working there for her dissertation and invited me up for a few days over Spring Break to help find a few old datums for repatriating artifacts. Sara practices what she calls “catch and release” archaeology–as per the stated wishes of the Kashaya Pomo Native Californians she works alongside, she plots all of the artifacts as they are excavated and then reburies the artifacts after analysis.  For more on this methodology, see “Archaeology for the Seventh Generation” – an article that Sara has authored alongside other UC Berkeley Grads.

I didn’t help in the actual reburial, but I was able to finally check out the site after seeing numerous presentations on it over the years.  I was surprised at the elaborate reconstruction of the Fort and was delighted at the relatively unrestricted access the public has to the site.  I hate being confined to small interpretive paths; I loved being able to climb down the cliffs to the sea.  The park is extremely well maintained and was completely lovely to visit on a spring day.

We were also able to walk along an old section of Highway 1, the highway was moved to reconstructed the Fort in the 1970s.

The survey was a nice break from my usual excavation-intensive archaeological experience. Sara and I are in Ruth’s class together and she will be presenting a small project integrating the GIS/photo/video we took over Spring Break next Tuesday.  I’m excited to see the results!

Furnishing the Neolithic, pt 2

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I was able to nearly complete the Neolithic house by Cal Day, which was nearly a miracle.  I would still like to add more pottery, obsidian, bucrania, and the like.  I would also like to add embedded links to images of excavated materials like baskets and murals to show what the reconstructions are based on.

I found this exercise to be highly interesting and useful, once I understood more or less how the building tools worked.  As an excavator, I usually destroy rather than create, so building layers instead of removing them was nice for once.  I also got to see the house in different light–sunrise, sunset, midday, night–the colors changed astoundingly.  While the reconstruction isn’t perfect in that respect because there is ambient light that wouldn’t really be there, it was still educational.

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Ruth mentioned that she felt a little lost trying to identify the exact house where the reconstruction was.  How would you remember which house was yours?  How would an outsider figure out where to go?  Does this imply some kind of markings on the outside of the houses as identifiers?  I added a big column of smoke to help visitors find the house.

Anyway, I probably will not have enough time between now and my orals to do much to the house, but I hate to put it aside.  I need to make middens!  And houses in disrepair!  The list just goes on….

Cal Day

Each year we try to have an outreach program for Cal Day with offerings for children and adults.  I’m actually double-booked–I’m supposed to help out with the Cheney House excavations AND with the Second Life demonstration.  Oh well.

Here is the schedule, if you happen to be in the Bay Area on Saturday.  It’s pretty star-studded, all things considered:

9–11 am | Archaeological Research Facility, 2251 College Ave.

Play With Clay

Learn how to make and decorate your own ceramics the way people did in the past. Clay available — bring your own kids!

10–10:45 am | Archaeological Research Facility, 2251 College Ave.

A Llama Caravan in Southern Peru
Traveling with a traditional llama caravan bearing salt and tubers, archaeologists recently journeyed to the highlands of Peru to carry out an ethnoarchaeological research project. See a documentary of the experience and hear from the research director. For more information visit the project site online at http://www.mapaspects.org/caravans/2007_project.

Laboratory Manager Nicholas Tripcevich

10–11 am | 219 Dwinelle Hall

How the Vikings Told Stories
The Vikings are famous for many things, including their colorful, vibrant stories. Learn about the storytelling techniques they used, and then try retelling a Viking tale.

Professor Linda Rugg

10 am–4:30 pm | Hearst Museum of Anthropology, 102 Kroeber Hall

Open House at the Hearst Museum of Anthropology
Visit the museum and view its exhibits on Native California cultures, Rajasthan, Ancient Egypt, and more! For a better understanding of all the museum has to offer, take the docent-led tour at 1:15 pm, following the 1 pm Taiko performance.

11–11:45 am | Archaeological Research Facility, 2251 College Ave.

Marking the Landscape in Stone and Paint
What is rock art and what can we learn about the images produced during the Paleolithic era? Find out!

Professor Meg Conkey

11 am–noon | Archaeological Research Facility, 2251 College Ave.

Flintknapping
Have you ever tried flintknapping? Stop by to see Berkeley archaeologists in action and feed your curiosity about how stones are made into tools.

11 am–1 pm | Archaeological Research Facility, 2251 College Ave.

Rock-Art Painting
Try your brush and hand — literally — at making paints and helping paint a rock-art mural.

Noon–12:45 pm | Archaeological Research Facility, 2251 College Ave.

Bridging the Gap Between Real, Imagined, and Virtual at a 9,000-Year-Old Archaeological Site
Hear about the innovative archaeological research at Çatalhöyük, Turkey, and discuss the findings of that project.

Professor Ruth Tringham

Noon–2 pm | Archaeological Research Facility, 2251 College Ave.

Rock-Art Recording
No, not with mixers and synthesizers, but with actual rocks! Learn how archaeologists record rock art in this hands-on activity at Berkeley’s very own rock-art site.

1–1:45 pm | Archaeological Research Facility, 2251 College Ave.

Historical Archaeology and Hansen’s Disease: A New Perspective from Hawai’i
Hear about the ongoing historical archaeological research being done at the former Hansen’s disease (leprosy) colony on Molokai, Hawai’i.

Graduate Student James Flexner

1–2 pm | 160 Kroeber Hall

Anthropology of Things That Matter: Marking Nuclear Waste Sites Forever
Debate over nuclear waste raises the concern that buried waste might not stay in place forever. How could waste sites be marked clearly for thousands of years to come? An anthropological study suggests we should be skeptical of the proposals for marking such sites, and explains what people think about cultural continuity and the persistence of things we make.

Professor and Chair Rosemary Joyce

1–3 pm | Archaeological Research Facility, 2251 College Ave.

Attention: Excavation in Progress
Don’t miss this chance to see Berkeley students working on their continuing investigation of the historic Cheney House archaeological site on campus.

1–3 pm | Archaeological Research Facility, 2251 College Ave.

OKAPI Island in Second Life
Visit OKAPI Island in the 3-D, virtual environment of Second Life, and explore the past and present of Çatalhöyük, a 9,000-year-old village located in present-day Turkey. The island, constructed by undergraduate research apprentices, features virtual reconstructions of the excavation site and multimedia exhibits of research data.

2–3 pm | Archaeological Research Facility, 2251 College Ave.

Andean Ceramics of South America: A Journey Through Space and Time
Hear about the social and technological construction of Andean ceramics and how these artifacts can be used to answer important archaeological questions.

Graduate Student Andy Roddick

Future Nostalgia

1911 Sanborne Fire Insurance Map of UC Berkeley

Last week after class I went to hunt down the ruins of the observatory here on campus. One of the assignments in Introduction to Archaeology was for the students to use a 1911 Sanborn Fire Insurance map of campus and use pedestrian survey to assess which buildings were still visible on campus. It’s a fun assignment and actually gets the students to open their eyes to the landscape that they blearily traverse each day. I’m guilty of the same–I had never checked out the ruins as they weren’t on my usual path up Strawberry Creek to the east side of campus.

It was a sunny day in Berkeley, but the shadows of the huge Eucalyptus trees were still knife-edged, cold. I wrapped my scarf around my neck, walked up to North Gate, wound between the trees, and tramped up one of the small hills on campus to where a corner of the wooden building stood in a tangle of ivy and low trees. No wonder so many of the students failed to find it on the map.

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I kicked around the few empty 40s that were laying about, then headed back to my office. Louis Armstrong’s Dream a Little Dream came on my shuffle, which was a strange and lovely fugue from the usual punk rock and miscellaneous electronica. Steam was billowing out of the street grates and the London Plane trees were still muscular and bare, twisting up at the campanile.

I might actually miss this place when I move.