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Mound-building, Site Structure, and Land Use Patterns in the Sacramento-San Joaquin Delta

Author(s): Angela Younie ; Jack Meyer ; Brian Byrd

Year: 2017

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Mound sites are a notable characteristic of mid- to late-Holocene occupation throughout the Central California. Most recent archaeological research on the region’s mounds has focused on the their dense clustering along the San Francisco Bay margins; in contrast, much less attention has been focused on the mounds of the adjacent Sacramento-San Joaquin River Delta. Although often grouped together, few systematic studies have been undertaken to evaluate differing site patterning, the structure of mortuary practices versus residential activities, and the impact of local landscape features on the distribution and visibility of mounded middens. Mounds along the San Francisco Bay are often considered to occur in clusters complete with densely-deposited shell and earth middens, non-mounded cemeteries, and petroglyphs. Although of a similar age, mound sites in the productive but otherwise marshy mosaic of streams and wetlands in the Delta region appear to have differing structural signatures. Naturally formed relict sand dunes provided viable dry land for habitation and were repeatedly occupied over time. Though geoarchaeological modelling and exploration of site structure, our research focuses on the Hotchkiss cluster of dune-mounds in the South Delta, and then applies these results to a broader consideration of dune-mound patterning throughout the Delta.

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Mound-building, Site Structure, and Land Use Patterns in the Sacramento-San Joaquin Delta. Angela Younie, Jack Meyer, Brian Byrd. Presented at The 81st Annual Meeting of the Society for American Archaeology, Vancouver, British Columbia. 2017 ( tDAR id: 430234)


Spatial Coverage

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

Record Identifiers

Abstract Id(s): 17532

Arizona State University The Andrew W. Mellon Foundation National Science Foundation National Endowment for the Humanities Society for American Archaeology Archaeological Institute of America