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historical artifact or litter?

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historical artifact or litter?

Postby BillyBobBurro » Wed Oct 07, 2015 7:35 pm

I just returned from a trip into the Golden Trout Wilderness in the Monache Meadows area. Laying on the bank of the South Fork of the Kern I spotted an abalone shell. The shell was 8" across, fairly fragile and seemed that it would crumble with a good wack.

So, how did this shell end up in the Golden Trout Wilderness? I know that California coastal indigenous people used obsidian from the Coso range which is about due east of where I found this shell. Was this shell an item of trade? Or did someone 'recently' bring it up to the mountains for some odd reason?

-Bill



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Re: historical artifact or litter?

Postby freestone » Wed Oct 07, 2015 7:43 pm

If you collected it, I recommend you surrender it to the proper authorities and let the professionals decide. A Mammoth doctor is in hot water over collecting.
http://www.latimes.com/local/california/la-me-artifacts-indict-20151005-story.html
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Re: historical artifact or litter?

Postby BillyBobBurro » Wed Oct 07, 2015 8:45 pm

I did not say anything about collecting it. I like to come across artifacts out in the wilderness and fully understand that this won't happen if people collect these items.

Anyways...
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Re: historical artifact or litter?

Postby freestone » Wed Oct 07, 2015 8:57 pm

Billybobburro, I apologize for even suggesting that you did. I also enjoy seeing these things, and collecting can be such a temptation! Not even sure that the shell is an artifact, but could have been an item used as payment from the coastal tribes. Abalone would not be fossil in that area.
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Re: historical artifact or litter?

Postby RoguePhotonic » Thu Oct 08, 2015 12:37 am

Jeez I had no idea Jonathan was in such legal trouble. I met him back in 2013 at Tunemah Lake and then again this summer with an SPS group on top of Lion Rock. He is a hiking machine. If you see old pennies in the summit registers he is the one who leaves them.
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Re: historical artifact or litter?

Postby rlown » Thu Oct 08, 2015 11:34 am

I'm guessing there is no picture of the shell?
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Re: historical artifact or litter?

Postby Jimr » Thu Oct 08, 2015 12:06 pm

My guess is historical artifact. Bling fodder.
What?!
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Re: historical artifact or litter?

Postby Tom_H » Thu Oct 08, 2015 5:33 pm

My guess would be artifact. I would have photographed it, denoted the location very carefully, left it in situ, then reported it to one of the universities with a Native American archeological program.

My opinion, and it is only opinion, is that these kinds of things should not be left there to decay. They belong in museums, but only authorized archaeologists should be allowed to remove them following strict protocol.
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Re: historical artifact or litter?

Postby RoguePhotonic » Thu Oct 08, 2015 7:07 pm

My opinion, and it is only opinion, is that these kinds of things should not be left there to decay. They belong in museums


It's like I said awhile back in a thread. It's one thing when you have a location of many artifacts and you want to preserve the site for people to enjoy but when you find a random piece in the middle of no where like a bow thawing out of an ice field why is it some horrible heinous crime to remove it? Especially in a case where if you had left it then it likely would never be seen by another ever again and lost forever.
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Re: historical artifact or litter?

Postby BillyBobBurro » Thu Oct 08, 2015 7:48 pm

I did not get a picture of it. I take pictures of obsidian tools I spot but as a person who grew up in SoCal, abalone is rather common adornment from the era of over fishing them. I guess abalone in the high sierra is a bit less common.

Hopefully this item survives the high run-off from the much anticipated El Nino.

Regarding artifacts spotted in very remote locations. I vote to leave them be since increasingly these are the only artifacts we ever find these days and I have learned that my 'remote' is not always that remote.
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Re: historical artifact or litter?

Postby rlown » Thu Oct 08, 2015 7:55 pm

k. no pic. was it shell down or shell up? did you pick it up and look at it? did you report it's approximate position to anyone?

Abalone is not common at altitude as you state.

Please report it to someone.

Heck, I took pics of fresh water clam shells on the West side of Puppet, because, I know sometimes the fish go deep to feed off the bottom. and that's what they eat. I even check their teeth to see if they've been clamming or doing top water.
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Re: historical artifact or litter?

Postby Tom_H » Fri Oct 09, 2015 1:42 pm

The thing about leaving it and reporting it is that it could lead to archaeologists uncovering a whole lot more. Perhaps there was a summer village nearby, or a rendezvous trading location. Things need to be left perfectly in situ so archaeologists can carefully deconstruct the site and document the location of every artifact found. It is amazing what these people are able to determine through their careful processes.
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