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, […]
Silva Creek Cave1 bedrock mortar in a rock shelter; a possible basin metate.Elevation 713 ft.Bob stands at the mouth of the cave. There’s plenty of room inside and comfortable sleeping areas.This beautiful cone-shaped mortar sits right in the middle of an ergonomically contoured rock slab.We believe the trinomial for this site is CA-CCO-6.
Upper Pond Village Creek10 bedrock mortars and 10 cupules.Elevation 1888 ft.This site sits beside the creek that flows down to the Pond Village. One of the mortars here is on a nice, flat slab in the creekbed.All ten cupules are on this rock, although it’s hard to make them out in this picture. Two are […]