Last winter the Siemer family contacted the Conservancy about buying their property in northeast California. The Siemers own 300 acres that are located on the south-central edge of Big Valley and border the Modoc National Forest. The property, which affords picturesque views of Big Valley and the surrounding area as well as a glimpse of the top of Mount Shasta, consists of flatlands covered by grass and sage and rolling hills dotted with junipers. Several intermittent drainages run down the hillside to the valley and a spring is located at the southern border.

There is no official record of cultural resources having been found on the property, but the Siemers have discovered artifacts such as projectile points that suggest a prehistoric habitation. While conducting a cursory survey, the Conservancy found cultural resources in eight different areas. Five of these areas are situated along the drainages and contain surface artifacts and prehistoric pithouse depressions. The depressions are circular or oval, several feet in diameter, and as deep as two feet. Two of these areas contain at least 10 depressions. A lithic scatter with several stone tools and two trash dumps dating to the first half of the 20th century were also found on the property.

Summary. Read More  in our Fall 2015 Issue of American Archaeology, Vol. 19 No. 3

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