Archaeology of Shifting Landscapes on the Historic San Francisco Waterfront

Author(s): Kale M. Bruner; Allen G. Pastron

Year: 2015


Geographically situated at the northern margins of the Spanish empire and the among outposts of multinational commercial activities, the San Francisco Bay served as a hub of maritime traffic on the western coast of North America in the early nineteenth century. Evidence for use of the San Francisco waterfront in its natural state is preserved more than twelve feet below the modern city surface at Thompson’s Cove (CA-SFR-186H).  Stratified deposits document the sequence of physical alterations and improvements to the waterfront leading up to and through the Gold Rush era and the transition of the physical, natural landscape to the constructed, commerce-based landscape of the Gold Rush waterfront. Coupled with the historic record including texts and maps, and using a multi-scalar interpretive approach, the archaeology of Thompson’s Cove reflects the shift of the San Francisco waterfront from peripheral to pivotal in maritime history.

Cite this Record

Archaeology of Shifting Landscapes on the Historic San Francisco Waterfront. Kale M. Bruner, Allen G. Pastron. Presented at Society for Historical Archaeology, Seattle, Washington. 2015 ( tDAR id: 434072)


Temporal Keywords
Nineteenth Century

Spatial Coverage

min long: -129.199; min lat: 24.495 ; max long: -66.973; max lat: 49.359 ;

Record Identifiers

PaperId(s): 498