Archeological Investigations in the Central Sierra Nevada: the 1981 El Portal Project

Author(s): Mark F. Baumler; Scott L. Carpenter

Year: 1982


This report documents information from archeological investigations at several previously recorded sites in the El Portal Administrative District, Yosemite National Park, California. This work was conducted to provide data necessary for proper management within the guidelines of National Park Service policy and historic preservation laws for cultural resources.

Material from both surface and subsurface collections at these sites spans a considerable time range in the cbronology of the Yosemite region, from the prehistoric Crane Flat complex (pre-A.D. 500) and protohistoric Mariposa complex (A.D. 1500-1850) to the ethnohistoric Miwok occupation. Cultural deposits exceed 2 m in depth at some of the sites. Artifacts recovered include ground stone, worked bone, and shell, in

addition to a large amount of obsidian tools and debitage. This obsidian was obtained from the Great Basin, probably in the form of biface preforms. Small biface thinning flakes and flake fragments make up over 70 percent of the more than 18,000 pieces of debitage recovered and


A relatively large sample of faunal bone was also recovered, in addition to a small collection of archeobotanical remains. A few human bones were identified, but no intact burials were found. In the upper levels of one of the sites, 4-MRP-250, there was an intact house floor (including hearth and ash pit)1 associated with stone tools and historic manufactured items suggesting a late aboriginal settlement around the middle of the 19th century.

Analysis and interpretation of the major data classes (chipped and ground stone, bone, botanical remains, pollen, and soils) are presented in the report in the form of appendices. The body of the report provides site specific information and a general discussion of the research potential of the prehistoric remains. Although limited in scope, these preliminary investigations provide valuable information for evaluating the archeology of El Portal and for planning future archeological data recovery in the area.

Cite this Record

Archeological Investigations in the Central Sierra Nevada: the 1981 El Portal Project. Mark F. Baumler, Scott L. Carpenter. Publications in Anthropology ,20. Tucson, Arizona: Western Archeological and Conservation Center. 1982 ( tDAR id: 4251) ; doi:10.6067/XCV81C1V5W

This Resource is Part of the Following Collections

Temporal Coverage

Calendar Date: 0 to 1900

Spatial Coverage

min long: -119.81; min lat: 37.653 ; max long: -119.767; max lat: 37.691 ;

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