Archeology in Yosemite National Park: The Wawona Testing Project

Author(s): John C. Whittaker

Year: 1981


The Wawona Testing Project evaluated three potential sewage development locations and examined some other sites to produce general information on Wawona prehistory. Systematic surface collections and/or test excavations were conducted at five sites. Two of these were relatively

large and important prehistoric sites for the Wawona valley. Host of

the material recovered relates to the late prehistoric occupation, the

Mariposa Complex, or protohistoric Miwok. There is also evidence of

occupation during the Crane Flat Complex, probably before A.D. 500.

Analysis of the obsidian tools and debitage revealed that an important

activity at the Wawona sites was the working of obsidian bifaces, probably

obtained by trade from the Great Basin groups across the Sierra to

the east. This was a longstanding tradition in Wawona prehistory, evidenced by the similarity of material at all the sites studied, and from

the latest to the earliest levels. Historic material relating to the

early settlement of Wawona and the development of the Sierran tourist

industry was also analyzed. The intensive analysis of a small amount of

excavated material proved effective in producing new information on

Wawona's past, and in aiding management decisions.

Cite this Record

Archeology in Yosemite National Park: The Wawona Testing Project. John C. Whittaker. Publications in Anthropology ,18. Tucson, Arizona: Western Archeological and Conservation Center. 1981 ( tDAR id: 3977) ; doi:10.6067/XCV8PZ578S

This Resource is Part of the Following Collections

Temporal Coverage

Calendar Date: -300 to 1900

Spatial Coverage

min long: -120.619; min lat: 36.818 ; max long: -118.158; max lat: 38.694 ;

Individual & Institutional Roles

Contributor(s): Lisa Huckell

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