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Midden Deposits – Bay Area Native Sites
Whittell Marsh Shellmound
Albany Hill
Mortar Count: 4
Open
Alvarado Park
Mortar Count: 2
Open
Buckeye Canyon Mound
Canada del Cierbo
Mortar Count: 28
Open
Duncan’s Point Cave
El Sobrante La Honda
El Sobrante Library
Glen Cove Park, aka Sogorea Te
Mortar Count: 20
Open
Goat Rock Beach midden
Keller Ranch
Mortar Count: 2
Open
Mare Island shell midden
Miwok Meadows #1
Miwok Meadows #2
Parkman’s midden
Ring Mountain kitchen rock
Mortar Count: 1
Open
Suisun Creek Village Suisun City

Feature: Midden Deposits

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Duncan’s Point Cave

Duncan’s Point CaveRockshelters and extensive midden deposits.Elevation 98 ft.CA-SON-348/HJoel led us out here on a North Coast expedition. This is one of the oldest archaeological sites on the California coast. Charcoal and marine shell radiocarbon dates indicate this site was more-or-less continuously occupied for the last 9,000 years.Duncan’s point was a territorial boundary marker between […]

ESLH2

El Sobrante La Honda

El Sobrante La HondaMidden and probable village site.Elevation 134 ft.Joel strikes again.The house probably sits on top of a village site, perhaps one those along San Pablo Creek marked on Sherburne Cook’s map of East Bay Indian villages.Midden soil.

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El Sobrante Library

El Sobrante LibraryVillage site and shellmoundElevation 95 ft.Another one of Joel’s discoveries.The library was constructed right on top of a major village site, but you’d never know it.Midden soil.

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Glen Cove Park, aka Sogorea Te

Glen Cove Park, aka Sogorea Te3,500 year old village site, shell midden, and burial ground.20+ bedrock mortars visible at low tide on wave-cut benchs.Elevation 10 ft.Thanks to Joel for leading us here.Inhabitants of this village crossed the Carquinez Strait in tule balsas to greet the Fages expedition in 1772. Fages noted in his diary that […]

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Goat Rock Beach midden

Goat Rock Beach middenElevation 23 ft.Joel, who we now call “midden man,” led us here on a tour of his recent North Bay discoveries. Shell and bone fragments litter this mound of dark sandy soil. This is not a natural deposit.When we visited this site in December of 2011 a sand bar blocked the mouth […]

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Keller Ranch

Keller RanchTwo portable stone mortars incorporated into the ranch house foundation, which was constructed on an extensive midden deposit.Elevation 393 ft.A major Chupcan village occupied this area at the confluence of Donner, Mitchell, and Diablo Creeks.One of the portable mortars in the ranch house foundation.Obsidian debitage picked up from the ground surface around the ranch […]

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Mare Island shell midden

Mare Island shell middenDeteriorating shell middenElevation 23 ft.Joel seems to have a nose for midden. Keep sniffing ’em out Joel!This is probably one of the two “shell heaps” on Mare Island marked on N. C. Nelson’s 1909 map. Note the contrast between dark midden and tan soil.Joel thinks the shell fragments and midden soil are […]

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Miwok Meadows #1

Miwok Meadows #1Shellmound midden at the mouth of Miwok Meadows in China Camp State ParkElevation 25 ft.There are three known shellmounds in this general vicinity. We’ve found two. The map accompanying N. C. Nelson’s Shellmounds of the San Francisco Bay Region showed eleven shellmounds along this stretch of shoreline. Undoubtedly this was one of them.This […]

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Miwok Meadows #2

Miwok Meadows #2Shellmound midden at the head of Miwok Meadows in China Camp State ParkElevation 43 ft.Looking over the mound with San Pablo Bay and the Napa Hills in the background. There was a Miwok village at this site. The map accompanying N. C. Nelson’s Shellmounds of the San Francisco Bay Region showed eleven shellmounds […]

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Parkman’s midden

Parkman’s middenElevation 88 ft.We named this site after E. Breck Parkman, Senior State Archaeologist for California State Parks.We got to see Joel in action here. After locating a jasper boulder mentioned in one of Parkman’s reports, Joel paced out the distance to this midden, which was also mentioned in the report. He walked right to […]