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Lightfoot et al 2001

Lightfoot et al 2001 - Meiini Village Project 1 23—26...

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Unformatted text preview: Meiini Village Project: 1, 23—26. President is Message: 5 . Committee Reports: 447. Executive Board Minures: 8m] 2. 200] Annual Meeting Wrap: 13-16. Reports and Announcements: 1 7— 18. Ediiorial: 19. New Pubiica ii one: 20. Federal Report: .21 :23. Old Town San Diego: 26 Strange Land: 28 Russian Counterfeit Wampum: 30 Advertisements: 35—34. Galen o’er oi'Eren t9: 3 5. $$$$§fi$§$$$$$$ Newsletter 9(2):} {April 1975): Censore Vote Rescinded “moved by Paul Schumacher at the Annual SCA Business Meeting of March 21, 1975, ‘The vote taken by the Society for California Archaeology on April 7, 1974 at the Annual Business Meeting held at the University of California. at Riverside directing the S.C.A, Executive Commiiree lo censure Doctors Robert E Heizer and G. William Clewlow, Jr. for the publication of their book Prehistoric PEER Art of California published by Ballena Press, be rescinded; and seconded by several members from the floor" - 2180334711038 Park-Acology! Tile riferirii Vii/age Project: Collabor‘ofioe Reserve/1 in Me For?“ Ross State Historic Par/l? Kerri Lig/ztfoor, Otis Ferris/l, Roeer‘ro A. Jereerr, E. Brock Perelman, Daniel F. rlr’rrrilev Old Too/err r8121; Diego Store Historic Po 776' 1116021,! Home Rem rzsrrrrcriorr Projec!—~D.L. Felice Stronger in o Srrorrge Laird: Die For? Ross 8 21min! Isofaie—Smrdm E . Hollimon and Daniel F: flier/511' Russian Corrrerj‘eii lvl'fqrrrpirm: Porrro Qatar/in} ConrrolmGlerirz Ferris Figure 1: Merini Wliege Outreach Program at Work. Otis Parrish with young students on a Field Trip to the Fort Ross Stale Historic Park. The Mctini Village Project: Collaborative Research in the Fort Ross State Historic Park Kerr: 6'. Lgfig‘bw, Otis Pairwise, Rollie/rm A. Jewell, E. Bryce Peregrine, Dorrie! iv? il-i'irrley A collaborative room of scholars from the California Department ofParlrs and Recroarion, the Kashaya Porno tribe, and she University ofCalifornia, Berkeley recently initiated an investigation of the Merini Village sire (CA-SON~175) in thc For: Ross State Historic Park (Sonorna County, California). EVlctini was one ofthc principal villages inhabited by tho Kashaya Porno in the early and mid E8003; (possibly earlier as well}, located in the: heart of the multi—crhnic colonial community of Fort Ross. It offers an exceptional opportunity :0 examine Kashaya Porno interactions and entanglements with Russian, “Creole” (people ofrnixcd Russiamlndian herizagc). and native Alaskan workers stationed at For: Ross during the period of 1812 to 1841. Field work was undertaken at McEini in 1998 and 1999, and laboratory analysis of archaeological materials is currently being completed at the California Archaeological Laborarory at UC. Berkeley. Subsequent reporzs will detail tire results of the archaeological investigation. The purpose of this paper is to discuss our experiences in creating an archaeological project {hat involved full collaboration wish local Indian peoples in the development of the research design and public {rammed/gag!» 33,; 32 SCA Newsieizer 35(2) Another suggestion was that Dr. Mellon meet regularly with his counterparts in other land managing agencies to discuss the benefits of having the CllRiS system function in a uniform manner that would provide information to the land managers in a consistent, uniform and expedient manner. Dr. Mellon will take a leadership role in meeting with his counterparts. He will also attempt to seek adequate funding from additional sources to run the lnformatibn Center in California. An editorial note is warranted here, of all of the agencies which need a staff archaeologist and do not have one, Fish and Game still needs to hire archaeologists. They manage huge tracts of land with important archaeological sites yet do not have the expertise to care for the sites, l am hoping that, since they are in charge of the biological data system for lands throughout the state, that they can also be convinced to partner with CHRIS as well as lure the adequate cultural staff to do the job which has so gone wanting for such along time. Model states which have a system up and runningr include Arizona, New Mexico and Wyoming. Each state charges some type of user fee at some stage in the site tecordation or information access steps of record use. For those ofyou interesred in getting some desert experience or in saving the past for the tattoo, California BLM is in its third year ofits Archaeological and Cultural Resource Awareness Program. It is modeled after the Foresr Service’s successful Passport in Ti me program. All of the proiects the last three years have been located in the forested field offices of California. This year the Ridgecrest Field Office is hosting a reverse archaeology project in the Lava l‘i-Iountains, close to the town of Red Mountain. The projecr’s goals are to try and determine what types of artifacts were removed from the site when it was subjected to major episodes of looting nearly 25 years ago. catalogue the artifacts, analyze the data, and then rake and shovel the site to its natural condition as it appears to have been over 233 years ago. Maturango Museum is co—sponsoring the project and will assisr in the analysis and report completion. The site is written about in popular rock houndingjournals and is well known locally. The project will last three days in September, over Labor Day weekend, except for h-londay which is Labor Day. Four wheel drive vehicle is recommended as it is sandy in some areas. The project is also hosted by the California Archaeological Site Stewardship Program as well as the BLM. Sixty people can be accommodated on a first come basis. Contact Judyth El Reed at 760—384—5422 ifyou are interested. All participants will get good desert experience. If there are enough volunteers, additional inventory will also be conducted. All participants will receive a proiect T—Shirt for their efforts. Iontact me at 916 9784635 ifyou have information which you would like to have included in this report. 23 The Metini Village Project Carmelita/from page 1 education program. There is no question that archaeologists are becoming increasingly involved with local stakeholders and public outreach in implementing successful research programs in California state parks. What makes this project. somewhat unique is that from the very outset the h-‘letini Village site was recognized as a sacred place by the contemporary Kashaya Porno. This raised some interesting challenges in the development ofthe research design and public ourreach program. MedelAs At. Sacred..l?1lace Since Metini is considered a place of great spiritual reverence to the Kashaya Pomo, it has been off~limits to archaeologists working in the Fort Ross State Historic Park for many years. Our collaborative program represents the first detailed investigation of the site since it was initially recorded in 1935 and £949. The center of the site is marked by a substantial pit feature, measuring about 13 meters in diameter, with a prominent berm that rises about .3 to .5 meters above the surface. This pit feature is viewed with special deference by Kashaya peoples. as they recognize it as the remains of a round house strucrure where the ceremonies and dances of their ancestors took place. The proposed work at lvietini raised the ticklish question ofwhether archaeological research can be undertaken at places imbued with sacred meaning. That is, can archaeologists undertake field programs that are sensitive to the sacred nature ofa place but still robosr enough to address questions raised by contemporary native peoples and scholars alike about the hisrory, lives, and encounters of the people who once lived there? We believe that field programs can be created collaboratively that provide balance between the sacredness of the place and the study of the past. In our investigation of Metini, the spiritual significance of the site took center stage in all decisions made about the project. All participants on the projecr had to respect and follow Kashaya “rules” about the proper etiquette of working on a sacred place. This involved treating the site with proper respect at all times, following strict taboos such as inhibiting women to be on the site during their menstrual period, forbidding any excavation near the “round house” depression, and minimizing subsurface impacts in other areas. Field crews were carefully comprised so that they included Kashaya Porno participants, State Park archaeologists. and UC. Berkeley students and staff. We implemented an experimental “contextual" approach that employs practice theory to investigate the magnitude, SCA Newsletter 35(2) 24 Figure 2: Topographic, Magnerometer and Artifact fsoploth Maps Showing the Spatial layout of Marin! Village. direction. and meaning ofculture change that resulted from culture contact. The approach builds upon a major tenet of practice theory _ that individuals will enact and construct their underlying organizationai principles, world views, and social identities in the ordering ofdailv life. Previous work in the Fort Ross State lrlisroric Park demonstrated the promise of this approach that examines both change and continuity in cultural practices through the detailed spatiai analysis ofarchitectural features extramurai space, midden deposits. artifacts, and food remains (Lightfoot, et al. 1998, Lightfoot, et al. 1997). We viewed the work at Metini as an opportunity to refine further the methodoiogv for this contexrual approach, and to address questions about the chronoiogv of the site and treatment of Indian workers at Fort Ross that were raised by collaborating tribal scholars. The field program was designed to be as non—intrusive as possible by maximizing information about the spatial organization ofthe site based on surface and near—surface investigations before subsurface testing was undertaken. Our strategy was to undertake the work in several coordinated phases that aiiowed Kashava Pomo, State Park, and LEG. Berkeley participants to comment upon each phase of invesrigarion. After each phase of investigation was SSA Newsletterfifil‘fl compieted, participating scholars and elders provided input for designing the next phase based on the results of the preceding one. The basic idea was to start with a series of surface and near-surface investigations that could be used to construct an increasingly more detailed modei of the site structure before any significant subsurface intrusions were allowed. As the site structure came into focus, and potentiai house structures, middens, and activity areas began to emerge, native schoiars and elders could provide more informed opinions about areas of the site where excavation shouid be prohibited for spiritual reasons, and areas Where it may be useful for better undersranding the past. Thus. our initiai goal was to construct a model of the spatial structure of the site that could then be used to make informed decisions about the strategic placement of excavation units that would not compromise the sacred nature of the place. The multi—phased field program began with the least intrusive methods. We began by producing a detailed topographic map ofMetini using an optical transit and tape. This was followed by two detailed geophysical surveys, one empioving a Geometries 8—858 cesium gradiorneter and the other a Geonics EM-SS electromagnetic conductivity inszrument. We then conducted an intensive collection of surface materials-employing a systematic, unaligned sampling strategy. This involved the random selection of one unit (l~hy»l meter in size) from each 5_by—5 meter grid unit mapped across the site (4%sample fraction}. A total 183 units were collected from across the site area that measured about 90 meters (northfsouth) in length and 65 meters (east/ weSt) in width. Each unit was surface collected by removing the overlaying grass turf (about 840 cm) in depth} so that a clear View of the ground surface could be had. All artifacts were collected and provenienced by surface unit. No surface collection units were placed near the “round house” depression. The first phases ofresearch were designed to document the spatial layout of Metini Village by producing a series of overlapping topographic, geophysical. and artifact lsopleth maps {Figure 2). The spatial Structure of the site, constructed from both surface and near surface investigations. was then used to place test excavations. Members of the research team collaborated in the placement of three excavation units (each 1-bywl tn in size} to evaluate specific geophysical anomalies and surface artifact spatial patterns. Each excavation unit was dug to sterile level. While the results are still preliminary. the field investigation suggesrs that Metini was a planned village. Metini residents constructed a substantial pit structure in the center of the village. Based on Kashaya oral traditions, this structure served as a communal “round house” for holding dances. ceremonies, and other ritual activities. The area immediately west of the large pit structure appears to have been demarcated as a “clean” zone. Few geophysical anomalies were found in this area, and the density of artifacts and faunal remains were very sparse. Kashaya Pomo tribal scholars noted that this would have been the place where outdoor dances and ceremonies took place. They indicated that such areas were traditionally kept clean of trash. The eastern section of the site contained the majority of materials resulting from the daily performance of domestic practices {e.g., food processing, preparation, cooking). It appears that households may have resided in the southeastern quadrant of the site, immediately south of the “round house" structure. Qutreachffrogram The field work at Metini was planned from the outset to be part of a broader outreach program of the California Department ofParks and Recreation. Under the direction of Breck Parkman, a Web Site had already been esrablished to foster public outreach and education about the Fort Ross Colony. Known as the “Fort Ross ~ Global Village” Web Site (http:f/www.mcn.org/edfross/gv.htrn), it links together researchers, teachers, and students from California, Alaska, and Russia who are studying Fort Ross history. One component of the Web Site in the spring of 1999 was to expose students and other interested people to the field methods and pracrices ofarchaeology in the Fort Ross State Historic 'Park by having them participate in the Merini Village project. Daily updates on field work could be downloaded by participating classes in Russian, Alaska, and northern California. Teachers from local grade schools in northern California were invited to take part in the outreach program that provided their classes with opportunities to follow the field work on the Web Site and to visit the Metini Village field program. The outreach program involved four specific acrivities: 1) Teacher Workshop. Teachers from nearby grade schools in Mendocino and Sonoma Counties were contacted about participating in the outreach program. During the 1998 field season, eight grade school teachers from nearby schools participated in a two-day (June 16‘“, 17*} workshop at the Metini Village site. They were introduced to the research questions being asked by the project, and the field methods employed to address the questions. The teachers were also introduced to Kashaya Porno elders, who emphasized the importance of oral traditions and cultural values in understanding their tribal history. The teachers provided advice and guidance on the kinds ofmaterials that my be appropriate to present on the Web Site for grade school students (primarily 4‘“ graders). 2) Classroom Visits. An outreach team of U.C. Berkeley students visited several of the schools prior to the planned outreach program in April and May, 1999. The Berkeley students outlined the research design of the project and presented slides from the 1998 field season. They also had a “show and tell” session with artifacts and other archaeological remains from the site. The outreach visits were coordinated by Autumn Payne, a graduating senior majoring in Anthropology at Berkeley. 3) Daily Updates. During the spring 1999 1l'ield season, daily updates of field findings from the Metini were uploaded to the Fort Ross ~ Global Village Web Site. This allowed the participating grade schools in the local area to keep informed of the latest findings ofthe project, as well as other participating classrooms in Alaska and Russia. Students could contact members of the outreach team with questions via e—rnail. Daily updates were provided for the last two weeks of April and early May. They were written by Anne Olney, an Anthropology major at Berkeley, and Roberta Jewett, a senior staff member of the prolecr. in addition, Brock Parkman and Anne Olney sent a dispatch from the Society for California Archaeology Meetings in Sacramento on April 24 and 25, where a paper on the Metini Village site was presented by Otis Parrish. Other kinds of information were also presented as part of the outreach program. For example. there was an update on “what is a site grid,” and some Kashaya oral traditions were presented, such as the “Yellowjacket and the Fleas.” In addition. some favorite SSA Ne wsletfer 35(2) 26 Kashava Pomo recipes for cooking fried seaweed. acorn mush, and abalone and gravy were also put on the Web Site. ‘ 4) School Visits to Merini. Three schools made field trips to the Fort Ross State Historic Park to view and participate in the archaeological investigation (Figure l). The nearby Fort Ross school visited on April 29‘“, while the l'loricon School and Kashaya School (on the Kashaya Porno reservation) toured thesite on April 30‘“. The field trips were structured as follows. The students were introduced to h’letini Village through a tour ofthe site. The students then discussed Kashaya Porno history with tribal elders, Violet ParrishaChappell and Vivian Wilder. Different field techniques were then demonstrated, including the use of the optical transit, gradiorneter. surface collection methods, and excavation methods. Finally, the Students were divided into “lield teams“ that participated in collecting surface units and/or screening sediments from excavation units. in sum, the outreach program was successful in highlighting to young students the importance of using archaeology and native oral traditions for studying the past. In experimenting with the outreach program, participating members of the research team learned much about what works with grade school students and What does not. We found teaching sessions involving Kashaya scholars and archaeologists to be a powerful combination. Tribal scholars talked about the “Kashaya” as a living. vibrant people with along history. and archaeologists discussed the kinds of methods that can be employed to unearth this history and make it come alive. flonclusion The future of running successful archaeology programs in California state parks will depend upon working closely with local stakeholders and developing education programs that reach the broader public. There is no question that these important components of archaeological research will prove challenging to future investigators. l-Iowever, our experience suggests that collaborative ventures can lead to significant refinements in our field methods and theoretical perspectives resulting in much more sophisticated research and outreach programs. Given the sacred significance of Metini Village, we were forced to rethink how we would approach the study ofthc site. Much information about site Structure can be obtained from surface and near surface investigations using relatively non—intrusive methods (especially on relatively shallow sites in California). But there is a tendency to both underuse and undervalue these methods in comparison to excavation. in situations where sites are protected, such as on state parkland, it m...
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