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Prehistoric Life at the Borax Lake Site

Presented by Dr. Greg White

  • PhD, RPA, Principal Investigator, Sub-Terra Heritage Resource Investigations
  • SAA State/Provincial Education Coordinator for Northern California

More about the lecture

The Borax Lake site was identified and first recognized by a private citizen in the late 1920s and first reported to scientists in 1935. Anthropologist, archaeologist, historian, WWI veteran, and Curator Emeritus of the Southwest Museum, Los Angeles, M. R. Harrington, likened the finds to recent discoveries at Blackwater Draw Locality No. 1, and between 1936–1946 pursued six seasons of field work at the site. Harrington’s chatty and speculative reports were broadly rejected by U.C. scientists, but the finds were reappraised in 1967–1968 on the basis of seminal obsidian hydration studies by C. W. Meighan and geoarchaeological studies by C. V. Haynes. The new studies buttressed Harrington’s Clovis claim but found that the site produced a dense but tangled mix of Archaic and Clovis culture artifacts absent any evidence of stratigraphic differentiation, offering little more than a Clovis placemark. Several new surface collections and a re-reappraisal of site geomorphology offers evidence of horizontal and potential vertical stratigraphy. A recent regional synthesis offers new implications for chronology and culture history.

About the presenter

Dr. Greg White is the Principal and Owner of Sub-Terra Heritage Resource Investigations in Chico, California and the SAA State/Provincial Education Coordinator for Northern California. He earned his bachelor of arts in anthropology from Sonoma State University, and his masters and PhD at the University of California, Davis. Greg has worked as an archaeologist for over 40 years and has authored extensive publications on California history and archaeology.

Free For Everyone

Our virtual lectures are a part of our Outreach and Education efforts. They are free to our Members and the General Public.  Recorded lectures are posted on YouTube and on the event page after the event occurs.

For questions about the event or how to register, please contact Susan Bowdoin ( or Sarah Webber (