Dudekians Micah Hale, PhD (Senior Project Manager) and Loukas Barton (Archaeologist) were both students of Robert L. Bettinger, and this year, the Center for Archaeological Research at Davis published Cowboy Ecologist: Essays in Honor of Robert L. Bettinger a collection of articles in his honor, two of which are authored by Dr. Hale and Barton, respectively.
Square soapstone beads as micro-currency among Foothill Yokuts in the Southern Sierra Nevada (Cowboy Ecologist, ch. 14)
Archaeological investigations in the southern Sierra Nevada foothills identified a locally circumscribed soapstone bead-making industry. Made from a local soapstone source, these rough, thin, square beads accompany the entire range of production debris and bead-making tools, collectively dating to the Late Prehistoric period, probably through the post-Mission historic period. Dr. Hale argues that these soapstone beads represent a micro-currency developed by Foothill Yokuts as an energy-maximizing response to decreased availability of California’s shell bead money. The beads probably also functioned as a localized ethnic marker.
Read the entire article:
Hale, Micah J. 2020. “Square soapstone beads as micro-currency among Foothill Yokuts in the Southern Sierra Nevada.” In Cowboy Ecologist: Essays in Honor of Robert L. Bettinger, edited by Roshanne S. Bakhtiary, Terry L. Jones and Michael G. Delacorte, 289-308. Davis, CA: Center for Archaeological Research at Davis.
Something other than salmon: isotopic evidence of Late Holocene subsistence in California’s Central Valley (ch. 12)
This study explores broad patterns of pre-contact human subsistence in Late Holocene interior central California through stable isotope analysis of human and animal bone collagen and apatite. Specifically, Barton and colleagues evaluate the importance of marine resources in the diets of inland people buried near the lesser tributaries of the Sacramento River and Delta approximately 3500 – 500 years ago. Though fish feature prominently in many narratives about the subsistence economy of western North America, they conclude that seasonally structured, mass harvested, anadromous fish (namely, Salmonidae) were insignificant in the annual diets of people from this region, and therefore played little role in either demographic change or the emergent patterns of social complexity documented in different times and places. Instead, people of the region relied almost exclusively on plants, freshwater aquatic resources, and/or animals from the terrestrial biome.
Read the entire article:
Barton, Loukas, Jelmer W. Eerkens, Susan D. Talcott, Michael A. Kennedy, and Seth D. Newsome. 2020. “Something other than salmon: isotopic evidence of Late Holocene subsistence in California’s Central Valley.” In Cowboy Ecologist: Essays in Honor of Robert L. Bettinger, edited by Roshanne S. Bakhtiary, Terry L. Jones and Michael G. Delacorte, 239-268. Davis, CA: Center for Archaeological Research at Davis.