Live Oak Campground28 bedrock mortar milling station; nearby pictograph cave of probable historic origin.This settlement and the one at Rock City are the highest habitation sites in the Volvon Territory. Many ancient trails converge near Curry Point, not far from here, suggesting that these two sites sat at the gateway to the top of Mount […]
Near Intersection of Blue Oak and Miwok Trails5 bedrock mortars, slicksElevation 2064 ft.Just when we’d thought we’d probably seen it all in Morgan Territory, we took this little single-track trail and … The mortars here are all borderline examples. They may have started life as natural featuresBob studies a probable bedrock mortarA likely mortar.
Silva Creek.2 bedrock mortars on a single rock.Elevation 905 ft.Silva Creek is the next tributary of Kellogg Creek south of Mallory Creek.It’s hard to imagine this being a congenial year-round habitation, but someone spent time here long ago.This rock has tipped over. The mortar-bearing surface was once horizontal and level.
Canyon Milling siteTwenty-nine bedrock mortars, three probable bedrock-mortars.Ten small mortars on one rock could be considered cupules.Elevation 1477 ft.Our name for this site comes from Table 1 of the 1992 report Evaluation, Request for Determination of Eligibility, and Effect for the Los Vaqueros Project.A partial view of the site.Photograph by Bob BardellA closer look at […]
Greenhill Ranch, aka The Green RanchElevation 2,440 ft.We call Greenhill Ranch the “Shaman’s Redoubt” because we think it likely that shamen worshipping on Mt. Diablo used this beautiful site as a camp/staging area. In 1938-9 William Wurster, later to become Dean of the Architecture Department at Cal Berkeley (Wurster Hall is named for him), designed […]
Long Canyon and Marsh Creek36 bedrock mortars, 29 on one rock.The location of this site near the mouth of Hog Canyon meant that this was a “gatehouse” settlement guarding one of the principal routes into the Volvon heartland. This was one of the bedrock mortar sites known to early 20th century Contra Costa County historians.This […]
Mallory Creek #2Second Mallory Creek confluence south of Volvon Village.7 bedrock mortars, two probable mortars, and rock circles.Elevation 980 ft.This sweet site sits at a bend in Mallory Creek near an ancient trail.Check out the rocks. Do they look like they’ve been moved into place?This view looks toward Mallory Creek.This one looks away.Two mortar rocks […]
Near the top of Hog CanyonPossible bowl Metate with 3 bedrock mortarsThis is either a bowl metate, a rarity in these parts, or what Ernest Johnson in “The Stone Mortars of Contra Costa County” would classify as a type “C3” mortar. Johnson says “Type [C3], which resembles a deeply worn metate, is a true mortar, […]