Events and More

2nd Saturday Lecture Screenings

Join us every 2nd Saturday of the month for two screenings of our Living Room Lectures by archaeologists, experts, and authors. Lecture screenings start at 10:30 AM and 12:30 PM and are included with museum admission. No reservations needed. Seating is first come, first served.

Screening Schedule

March 9, 2024
10:30 AM – Archaeological Explorations in the Western Colorado Desert by Michael Sampson
This presentation discusses the results of archaeological studies within the western Colorado Desert of Southern California over the past 100 years. The region represents the traditional lands of the Cahuilla, Kumeyaay (Ipai and Tipai), and Kwaaymii. Malcolm Rogers worked in the western Colorado Desert during the 1920s and 1930s and made important observations about pictographs, petroglyphs, geoglyphs, cleared circles, trails, house remains, and other cultural remains throughout the region. A summation of results and a commentary of the major excavation projects in the study area from the 1950s through the 2000s are also offered, as well as the results of certain site survey projects. Michael Sampson’s observations about site survey data within this region will consist primarily of the cleared circle sites and similar sites, as well as certain occupation sites and food processing sites. The archaeological remains of this study area predominately date to the Late Prehistoric Period and early historic period; evidence of cultural remains from the Archaic Period is relatively sparse. However, the Archaic Period is well represented at Indian Hill Rockshelter, a site that will be discussed.

12:30 PM – Ironworking in Togo: Archaeological Research in the Bassar Region 2013-20 by Dr. Philip de Barros
A brief review of Bassar research from 1981-2013 will be discussed, focusing on regional survey, developing ceramic chronology, and major discoveries; Early Iron Age discoveries (400 BC-150 AD), including 68-acre smithing center including burials with iron grave goods and smelting site with 4th c. BC furnace remains. This presentation will focus on the ethnoarchaeology of the spatial organization of three abandoned smithing sites and the excavation of five smelting and smithing village sites ranging from the 13th -20th centuries. Discoveries include ceramic tobacco pipe fragments, spindle whorls, smelting slag and furnace remains, faunal remains, charcoal studies, radiocarbon dates, a burial and abundant ceramics.

April 13, 2024
10:30 AM – Textile Production in Historic California by Dr. Susan Hector
Spanish and Mexican textile traditions spread throughout what is now California when presidios (military forts), missions (churches with supporting industries), ranchos (settlements focused on grazing cattle and sheep), and pueblos (towns) were established in the late 1700s. Spinning wheels and looms were built for every location. As an archaeologist and fiber craftsperson, Susan Hector decided to research historic period textiles in California and then create fabrics for use in Old Town San Diego State Historic Park as interpretive and museum objects. This presentation will focus on cotton and wool textiles made in San Diego during the historic period and demonstrate how the continued production and use of these fabrics represented the diversity of cultures in Southern California at the time and the persistence of traditional methods of production. Susan will show examples including her interpretation of Jerga, Sabanilla, and Bayeta wool textiles. She will also share the results of her research on the quilt made by Juana Machado c. 1850 and curated at the San Diego History Center.

12:30 PM – A Human and Ecological History of California’s Northern Channel Islands by Todd Braje
A brief review of Bassar research from 1981-2013 will be discussed, focusing on regional survey, developing ceramic chronology, and major discoveries; Early Iron Age discoveries (400 BC-150 AD), including 68-acre smithing center including burials with iron grave goods and smelting site with 4th c. BC furnace remains. This presentation will focus on the ethnoarchaeology of the spatial organization of three abandoned smithing sites and the excavation of five smelting and smithing village sites ranging from the 13th -20th centuries. Discoveries include ceramic tobacco pipe fragments, spindle whorls, smelting slag and furnace remains, faunal remains, charcoal studies, radiocarbon dates, a burial and abundant ceramics.

Collections Research

With the assistance of Center staff, the intern will identify, design, and conduct an original research project that uses the Center’s archaeological collections. The intern will formulate a plan for public dissemination of the project results as a journal publication, a museum exhibit, or a public class or lecture. During the course of the research and dissemination planning, the intern will receive training in research design, collections management, artifact analysis, and exhibit design and production as appropriate to the selected project.

Archaeology Lab Positions

Volunteers will prepare one or more archaeological collections for curation. Center staff will instruct the volunteer on archaeological laboratory procedures such as basic artifact analysis, manual and computer cataloging, storage requirements, and preventative conservation.

Volunteers work in the Center’s Research Library, cataloguing materials and organizing on a computer-based system.

Marketing and Administrative Volunteers assist the Development Office or Administration Office with data entry, updating marketing materials and clerical tasks. Computer experience is a plus.

Docents welcome visitors and answer general questions regarding the Center and exhibits. Docents staff the gift shop and help out with administrative and curatorial tasks.

Volunteers support event activities at the Center, such as the Annual BBQ, lectures, workshops, and fundraising events. Be a part of the party!

Volunteer provide support for K-12 programs offered at the Center. These are fun, hands-on programs that kids really enjoy. Teaching experience is a plus, but not required. Background checks are required.

Photogrammetry

With the assistance of Center staff, the intern will use photogrammetry to prepare one or more archaeological collections for digital preservation, as well as create a virtual museum exhibit for our Public Archaeology department. Per approval, special projects of the intern’s choosing are also available. During the research and planning, the intern will receive guidance as appropriate to their selected project. Prospective interns should already be familiar with photogrammetric procedures, and Agisoft Metashape.

Development and Marketing

Under the direction of Center staff, the intern will support the department in various activities, including, but not limited to, fundraising and grant research; e-newsletter development; social media marketing; and website maintenance. This internship will give the intern valuable, real-world experience in non-profit fundraising and marketing.

Geographical Information Systems in Archaeology

Prospective Interns must have completed three courses: Introduction to GIS, GIS Database Management, and Intermediate/Advanced Methods in GIS. The intern will be assigned a project where they will create shapefiles and maps for curated archaeological collections, museum exhibits, and/or public outreach using ArcGIS 10.6. Center staff will instruct the intern on archaeological GIS laboratory procedures such as computer cataloguing, storage requirements, and database management.

Library Science

With the assistance of Center staff, the intern will arrange and catalog materials in the Center’s library. During the course of the internship, the intern will take a leading role in the cataloging, sorting and storing of research files and creating user guides for these collections. Center staff will instruct the intern on archival procedures, computer cataloging, storage requirements, and preventative conservation.

Public Archaeology

Harness your passion for Public Archaeology and gain hands-on experience with K-12 museum field trips, lectures, and public outreach. Additional projects may include creating virtual museum exhibits and activities, assisting in the development and implementation of K-12 curricula programs, planning and presenting public facing content, or educational field trip content of your own design. Must be able to pass a Live Scan.

Collections Management

With the assistance of Center staff, the intern will prepare one or more archaeological collections for curation. During the course of the internship, the intern will learn to identify artifacts and ecofacts common to the San Diego region, including lithics, ceramics, historical objects, and faunal, botanical, and mineral specimens. Center staff will instruct the intern on archaeological laboratory procedures such as basic artifact analysis, manual and computer cataloguing, storage requirements, and preventative conservation. In addition, the intern will become familiar with historical trends in archaeological practice in the San Diego area and will be introduced to current legal and ethical issues in archaeological curation as well as the concerns and rights of culturally affiliated groups with regard to archaeological materials.