The Ritual of Return: Mounded Landscapes in Colonial California

Author(s): Tsim Schneider

Year: 2017


In the United States, prehistoric and historical archaeology subfields are characterized by distinct intellectual histories, methods, and theoretical frameworks that continue to guide where archaeologists apply their craft. For California prehistorians, deeply layered shellmounds long represented ideal sites for chronology building. Until recently, shellmounds were also unlikely places for historical archaeologists to investigate interactions between Native Americans and colonial institutions. Building on a recent study comparing shell isotope data to colonial mission records, this paper explores Native American mobility and the possibility of persistent visits to San Francisco Bay shellmounds during the Mission Period (1776-1830s) and afterward. Focus here is on the ritual of return, or Native people’s trips to and reuse of aged mounds, for assessing the resiliency of people and mounded landscapes.

Cite this Record

The Ritual of Return: Mounded Landscapes in Colonial California. Tsim Schneider. Presented at The 81st Annual Meeting of the Society for American Archaeology, Vancouver, British Columbia. 2017 ( tDAR id: 429664)


Spatial Coverage

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

Record Identifiers

Abstract Id(s): 14454