Mine waste excavation beneath the western road encountered historical
artifacts between lots 12 and 13. The feature was well defined and contained
blown glass, Euroamerican ceramics, burned ash and rusty metal covering an
area 10.5 meters in diameter. The feature area was flagged and its boundary
spray-painted to keep construction workers and equipment out.
The mine waste had been removed and it was anticipated that the feature
would be protected and preserved beneath the clean fill and road
construction. With the understanding that the feature would be protected,
only a 5-gallon bucket sample (for ¼” processing) and a 2,000cc sample (for
1/8” processing) were obtained from the feature. In addition, any diagnostic
artifacts exposed on the surface of the feature were collected and processed.
Graphs of material recovered in the 5-gallon volume controlled sample
indicate that EuroAmerican manufactured material dominated with glass,
stone tool manufacturing, dietary shell, ceramics, and bone filling out
the rest. The 1/8” screened sample recovered more dietary bone than
anything else, but manufactured material was a close second with glass,
chipped stone, and dietary shell also recovered.
Site maintained as a public service by Archaeological Research, PO Box 1353, Lucerne, CA 95458.
|History and Prehistory of Lake County
This manufactured material included square nails (3), sheet
metal, a horseshoe, brass boat hardware, steel washer, leather,
and a percussion cap (H4-12).
Glass included parts of a car headlamp, four alcohol bottles, one cologne bottle
(purple glass), and 4 unidentifiable bottles. The two bottle fragments that
could be identified were hand-blown indicating manufacture before 1917.
Ceramics included stoneware,
creamware, and porcelain.
Identifiable pieces included parts of
one main course plate, one cup, one
saucer, and one washbasin.
No Asian ceramics were recovered from this feature.
The volume controlled samples from this feature obtained
enough dietary bone to allow some basic analysis. As was
expected from the ¼” sample, mammal bone weights were the
highest (top graph). This is more a function of mammal bone
being bigger and heavier whereas most small fish and bird
bone are both lighter and smaller, tending to fall through
this screen size. The 1/8” sample (bottom graph) is a more
realistic indication of the relative amounts of bone at this
As would be expected of a lakeshore village, fish, shore birds and migratory
birds would have made up a significant amount of the protein in the diet. As
this is a historic feature, it is likely that chicken is also represented.
Financial constraints prevented an analysis of bird and mammal bone,
however, the abundance of fish bone recovered from the 1/8” sample was
submitted for species analysis (Gobalet 2007).
Of the individual bone that could be identified, 31 were from the minnow and
carp family (Cyprinidae), 7 were from Sacramento perch (Archoplites
interruptus), 5 were from the Sacramento sucker (Catostomus occidentalis), 3
were from Sacramento blackfish (Orthodon microlepidotus), 2 were from the
tule perch (Hysterocarpus traski), and 1 was from a hitch (Lavinia exilicauda).
There were many pieces from unidentified ray-finned fishes.
A significant amount of shellfish remains were recovered from the 2,000cc soil
sample. These remains were dominated by gaper clam (tresus), lake mussel, and
Washington clam (saxidomus). The lake mussel would have represented a food
resource, however, the coastal shell (tresus and saxidomus) would have been used for
shell bead manufacture. In addition to the shell, rounded and partly drilled (broken)
bead blanks were recovered in the soil sample. This suggests that shell bead
manufacture and use was still very strong during the late 1800’s and early 1900’s. A
single milk-glass Spanish trade bead was also recovered.
Hand-blown glass suggests that this feature represents discard before 1917. The
existence of boat hardware and abundance of fish bone suggest that this household
included a fisherman and that a substantial amount of the household diet came from
fish. The abundance of shell bead manufacturing material indicates the presence of a
traditional person who was very-much a part of the shell-bead money economy. The
general lack of Asian ceramics suggests that this household didn’t have members of
If the percussion cap represents firearms activity, then it would have been for a gun
manufactured prior to 1870. By 1846, the pin-fire metal cartridge was developed and
used widely in Europe between 1846 and 1870. By 1870, most firearms in California
used rim fire or centerfire cartridges, bringing an end to percussion cap firearms