Santa Clarita Valley History In Pictures
> TATAVIAM CULTURE   > AGUA DULCE

Social Complexity at Vasquez Rocks:
A Bioarchaeological Study of a Middle Period Cemetery

Abstract:

"The Tataviam have been an under-represented and under-studied group of southern California Native Americans. Due to the existence of convoluted and oftentimes contradictory historic documentation and obscurity surrounding the Tataviam, they have been marginalized as simple bands of hunter-gatherers that occupied the mountains of the upper reaches of the Santa Clara River drainages until they were driven out of their native territory by disease and missionaries and eventually integrated into the mission system. Past research, providing preliminary and contextual information, has only begun to shed light on the Tataviam. Overshadowed by their archaeologically and ethnographically visible coastal neighbors, the Tataviam have been, for the most part, pushed to the back burner of southern California archaeology. This research, following similar studies of coastal and inland prehistoric cemeteries, sheds new light on Tataviam social complexity and completes analysis on a curated collection that was excavated four decades ago. I propose that the Tataviam were more socially complex than previously thought, much more integrated into the sphere of southern California coastal groups, and should be considered complex hunter-gatherers. Through a bioarchaeological study of a Vasquez Rocks cemetery (CA-LAN-361), I attempt to demonstrate that the causes, consequences, correlates, and conditions for the institutionalization of new labor relationships and ascribed hierarchies, two organizational features essential to complexity (Arnold 1996), were present among the Tataviam during the Middle Period."

TATAVIAM ARTIFACTS

Bowers Cave

Peabody Museum Index
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Bowers Cave Specimens (Mult.)

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Bowers on Bowers Cave 1885

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Stephen Bowers Bio

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Bowers Cave: Perforated Stones (Henshaw 1887)

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Bowers Cave: Van Valkenburgh 1952


• Bowers Cave Inventory (Elsasser & Heizer 1963)
• Chiquita Landfill Expansion DEIR 2014: Bowers Cave Discussion

Vasquez Rocks

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Vasquez Rock Art x8

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Ethnobotany of Vasquez, Placerita (Brewer 2014)

Castaic Area

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Fish Canyon Bedrock Mortars & Cupules x3

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Steatite Cup, 1970 Elderberry Canyon Dig x5

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Ceremonial Bar, 1970 Elderberry Canyon Dig x4

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Projectile Points (4), 1970 Elderberry Canyon Dig

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Paradise Ranch Earth Oven

Piru Creek

Lopez Report 1974
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Twined Water Bottle x14

Tejon Area

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Basketry x2

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Coiled Basket 1875

Other

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Riverpark, aka River Village (Mult.)

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Riverpark Artifact Conveyance

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Leona Valley Site (Disturbed 2001)

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Bowl x5

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2 Baskets

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So. Cal. Basket

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Arrow Straightener

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Biface, Haskell Canyon

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Grinding Stones, Camulos

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