Miwok

Tuolumne River by Brenda Hartshorn

I made it out this last weekend to take some photos with my IR and UV cameras.  I went on a field expedition with my dad to survey an area along the Tuolumne River where we found an ancient Miwok Village site.  He is in the process of confirming with UC Stanislaus to see if this is a documented site to the state or if it is another discovery that can be added to the list.  He has discovered several sites by reading Gold Rush Era publications and studying terrain on Google Earth.  We found several bedrock mortars along the river.

The Salmon Run is going on right now, which confused our Lab quite a bit.  She could tell that there was something else in the water, but the fish weren't visible from the surface.  First image is Alternative Processing with IR and the second is UV.  You will notice that the areas where the dog's fur is the most saturated with water is darker in the UV photo than in IR.  I also took some comparison photos or flowers, moss, lichen, and rust in the above gallery.  Each starts with the IR photo and then UV.

I will have to do a water lily study one of these days in homage to Claude Monet.  His eyesight suffered from cataracts and a side effect to his surgery was the ability to see Ultra Violet light.  It is speculated that this is why he had a started painting things in cooler tones later in his career.

A unique bedrock mortar formation was discovered along the Tuolumne River.

Update: Added YouTube Video 11/17/2014

Archaeology Photos: Miwok Village Sites by Brenda Hartshorn

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.