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Below Rock City – Bay Area Native Sites
Below Rock City
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Below Rock City


Below Rock City
12 bedrock mortars on a nice shelf
Elevation 1567 ft.

We found two milling stations at this site, which lies on the north side of the north fork of Sycamore Creek just off the Trail Through Time. Its proximity to the Rock City parking lot and its relative seclusion commend it as a fine picnic spot.

One ot the two milling stations


A pair of compound mortars with bowl-shaped outer mortars. The inner mortars are roughly funnel-shaped. The mortar surfaces gently taper from a relatively wide mouth to a transition point where they “straighten out” and assume a form we call bullet-shaped. Note the shallow mortar (distinguishable from a natural indentation by its smooth surface and lack of lichen) probably used as an anvil or “starter mortar” for cracking or preprocessing nuts or seeds.


Another compound mortar–note the recessed rim–with an associated starter mortar. Beyond it lies a probable grinding slick with a mortar in it.


Photographs by Bob Bardell


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