By El Gaucho, May 12, 1960
Searching for buried treasure? Yes, in a sense. The “lost treasure” in this case is the knowledge of how a dead culture lived. Instead of digging up charts of pirates gold, students in a new class being offered this semester are unearthing a rock here, some seashell there, and perhaps a skull or complete burial, all very carefully removed.
Class Learns Techniques
The class is Archeology and is being offered for the first time during regular session as part of the new major given in Anthropology, in the Social Science Department. Basic techniques for carrying on archeological investigation are being taught the students. These basic techniques then are put in practice Saturdays on an Archeological dig.
Freeway Going Through
The site, which borders the edge of the El Encanto housing tract off Highway 101, only recently discovered as having been previously inhabited by Indians, is possibly 3,000 years old or older and therefore one of the more significant sites in the California Coastal area. The class is working against time presently trying to get as much material and data out of the site before scheduled construction of a freeway clover leaf must begin and consequently destroy the site.
Six Inches at a Time
Working in five-foot pits, digging down in six-inch levels with trowels to about 24 inches, the class has unearthed a number of burials, and tool types, such as metates, manos, scrappers, choppers, etc. Two general types of burials have been found, one where the individual was laid in a flexed position and the other where they were laid with the bones extended. The flexed burials have usually been associated with a hunting culture while the extended burials with what is called the Oak Grove culture or grinding culture. Because of the existence of these two types of burials in the same area the site may prove extremely significant for purposes of unraveling the pre-history of the Santa Barbara Coast.
How to Analyze
Besides the field techniques of mapping, laying out the site, careful digging, recording and removal of material found, the students learn the laboratory techniques involved in cataloging and analyzing the material they have found, in order to write a publishable report which will be published by the University of California later this year.
The Archaeology class is being taught by Roger C. Owen of the Social Science Department. The field and lab work for the class is under the supervision of Mr. Owen and Miss Patricia Lyon, an Assistant in Anthropology and a specialist on Santa Barbara Archeology.
Author of Indian Articles
The author of numerous research articles on the Indians of the South West, Mr. Owen received his B.A. degree from Michigan State University in Sociology and Anthropology, and his M.A. from the University of Arizona in Anthropology. At present he is working on his doctorate in Anthropology at UCLA.
Pat Lyon, who for the last three years has been doing Archaeological research at UCSB received her B.A. from the University of California at Berkeley in Anthropology and did graduate study in Anthropology at Columbia University in New York. Preceding her work at Columbia Miss Lyon did Ethnographic field work in the Montana region of Eastern Peru and will return there this summer to continue her work.