California - Mendocino NF
Archaeological Investigations in the Snow Mountain Wilderness
June 26-30, 2017
Must commit to entire session
Come to the Snow Mountain Wilderness of California for a “hike into the past” this summer! The Snow Mountain Wilderness Area is within the Mendocino National Forest, in the northern end of the newly-designated Berryessa Snow Mountain National Monument. The region has a rich archaeological history, dating from the early prehistoric period (ca. 8,000-5,000 years B.P.) through the historic period (a.k.a. ‘European Contact,’ ca. A.D. 1650 and beyond). As a wilderness area, there has been little development and, as such, the area has received very little survey to identify archaeological sites within its boundaries. As three tribal territories (Pomo, Yuki, and Nomlaki) meet in this area, it is likely that all three utilized the area at one time or another. Known sites in the wilderness include prehistoric base camps, task sites in the upper elevations, and winter villages in the lower elevations. Significant historic resources are also abundant here, and include the 1863 Nye Cabin, which is near our camp. The focal point of this year’s study will be along the Cold Creek Trail and vicinity, which begins at 5,000 feet near the crest of the North Coast Ranges and extends well into the winter range of the Yuki Tribe, to the west, at about 2,400 feet.
Volunteers and FS staff will perform “pedestrian reconnaissance” (foot survey) to identify and document archaeological sites along the Trail. The hardier volunteer may even choose to assist with the longer stretches of survey in the lowlands to the west. Documentation will include site mapping, photography, GPS, use of standard site forms, measurements of site features, and environmental descriptions. Volunteers will learn to identify both historic and prehistoric artifacts and features using proper, modern archaeological techniques. Evening activities may include visits to known archaeological sites, and flint-knapping demonstrations or other cultural programs hosted by local Tribes.
Number of openings: 6
Special skills: Volunteers must be physically capable of hiking moderate distances (up to eight miles) each day, carrying a daypack including water, food and any other personal gear, over often difficult and steep terrain, and in a variety of weather conditions; sturdy (yet broken-in) hiking boots are required; previous archaeological survey, mapping, documentation, photography, GPS, and/or artifact identification (particularly early prehistoric) experience helpful, but not required
Minimum age: 18 years old
Facilities: Tent camping at no charge at primitive FS campground; pit toilet, no potable water; volunteers responsible for personal camping equipment/day pack; meals, water, and transportation to designated meeting areas
Nearest towns: Elk Creek, 40 miles
Applications due: May 15, 2017