While doing some recent work in northeastern California, TAC’s western office stopped at the Lorenzen Preserve near the small settlement known as Day, California. This conservation easement was acquired in 2011 and contains the remains of a large prehistoric village.
The site was excavated in 1960, under the direction of Dr. Martin Baumhoff, of the University of California, Davis. The excavation of the midden rich soil yielded faunal and freshwater mussel shell fragments, shell beads, projectile points, metates, mortars, pestles, charmstones, baked clay fragments, and lithic debitage. The stratigraphic continuity of the Lorenzen site indicates 3000 years of uninterrupted occupation by the ancestors of the current day Achomawi, or Pit River Indians.
While monitoring the Preserve, TAC personnel observed numerous obsidian flakes and artifacts in every place the ground surface was exposed or within the excavated mounds of dirt left by resident gophers or moles. The Lorenzen Preserve is positioned adjacent to a hot spring, a resource used by the prehistoric inhabitants. Today, the water source has a thriving bird, bee, and flowering plant population.