The Archaeology of Community at Mission Santa Clara de Asís

Author(s): Lee Panich; Linda Hylkema; Sarah Peelo

Year: 2015


In this paper, we examine the challenges associated with understanding indigenous community formation and change through the archaeology of the native ranchería at Mission Santa Clara de Asís. The mission’s indigenous population had well-documented and distinct temporal shifts, initially drawing local Ohlone converts but eventually extending recruitment to Yokuts groups in the more distant San Joaquin Valley and Sierra Nevada foothills. These population changes pose an intriguing archaeological problem. We investigate the ways in which the archaeological record may illuminate how native people re-articulated regionally distinct material traditions at Santa Clara during moments of great demographic change within the mission’s indigenous community. We focus here on four main issues: 1) Identifying moments of important population movements within the mission; 2) Assessing ways to refine methods for dating archaeological features within the ranchería’s approximately 60-year period of occupation; 3) Identifying artifacts or other archaeological patterns that may be related to the expression of native identities rooted in ethnolinguistic background and/or relative status within the mission estate; and 4) Offering preliminary hypotheses regarding how Yokuts and Ohlone peoples formed community at Mission Santa Clara.

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Cite this Record

The Archaeology of Community at Mission Santa Clara de Asís. Lee Panich, Sarah Peelo, Linda Hylkema. Presented at The 80th Annual Meeting of the Society for American Archaeology, San Francisco, California. 2015 ( tDAR id: 395502)


Spatial Coverage

min long: -125.464; min lat: 32.101 ; max long: -114.214; max lat: 42.033 ;