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Deer Island – Bay Area Native Sites
Deer Island
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Deer Island


Deer Island
Two bedrock mortars and two anvils
Elevation 155 ft.

This is another one of Joel’s North Bay discoveries. The mortars are on the other side of this somewhat unpromising-looking rock.


Why are mortars conjoined like this? The difference in depth suggests that the shallower one is a “starter” mortar where nuts like acorns are broken up into pieces for further processing in deeper, “finishing” mortars. Usually starter and finishing mortars are physically separate. Was there some advantage in conjoining them for processing certain nut types? Could the relatively cramped working surface on this rock be the reason? So many questions, so few answers.

Note the anvils lying to the left of the conjoined mortars.


Photographs by Bob Bardell


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