Archaeology Photos: Miwok Village Sites / by Brenda (Hartshorn) Licitra

My dad is a modern day Indiana Jones.. but with less encounters with Nazis, biblical relics that melt your face, sacrificial temples, and aliens (can we please forget the last movie?)  Ok, so maybe he's nothing like Indy, but he has been doing some archaeology lately.   Using a combination of old maps, written periodicals, and Google Earth he has been able to locate several ancient Miwok Village sites.  Many Miwok sites are known to the State of California and have been examined before many major modern day reservoirs, towns, and factories were constructed.  However, some of these locations have been lost due to the influence of the Gold Rush driving the Miwoks away from their homes.  By studying old records and comparing them to current topographical maps, he has been able to rediscover some of these lost village sites.

Above are some photos that I have taken during these explorations.  You can see bedrock mortar (more commonly referred to as Indian Grinding Rocks) that clearly shows evidence that Native Americans were indeed living in these areas.  I've also included some wide shots of the landscape to provide the backdrop of where these villages were located.  In some of these photos, we can see how the '49ers had moved into these areas by building bridges and small dams for mining.  

The video below briefly explains his method of finding these sites.