Events and More

Living Room Lecture: El Cuervo Adobe

The Ruiz-Alvarado Adobe, known as El Cuervo, is located at the west end of the Los Peñaquitos Canyon Preserve. Like the Rancho Peñasquitos Adobe to the east, both structures are located on land owned by Francisco Maria Ruiz. They are some of the oldest existing adobes in Southern California and are listed on the National Register of Historic Places. While much is known about the Rancho Peñasquitos Adobe, not much is known about El Cuervo.

This discussion explores the occupant chronology of the adobe as well as a review of the only archaeological field excavation to have been conducted by San Diego State University in 1982 and 1983. Palomar College has been given limited access to the adobe and surrounding area to map and record the still existing features on the property. The goal is to add to the story of the canyon through boots-on-the-ground and drone surveys, GPS data point collection and mapping. No excavation of El Cuervo will take place as a result of the permit.

This event will be held on Zoom. Proceeds from our Living Room Lecture series help provide support for the care of Center collections and programs for all ages.

Date: Thursday, October 6, 2022
Time: 6:30 PM
Location: Online on Zoom
Cost: Pay what you wish

Register for Lecture

Registration closes on Thursday, October 6 at 4 PM.


About the Speaker

Betsy Pain is an Assistant Professor of Anthropology at Palomar College. She is also the Archaeology Program Coordinator. Since 2012, Betsy has been co-teaching Palomar College’s hands-on excavation class at Rancho Penasquitos Adobe with her colleague Jim Eighmey.

As with Palomar College, all of Betsy’s field experiences have been academically based. As an undergraduate at UCLA, she had the opportunity to excavate the slave quarters on the site of an old sugar plantation in Jamaica. This was a shift away from focusing on the landowners and toward wanting to understand more about the people who were forced to work there.

While in graduate school at California State University, Northridge, Betsy was the field director for an NSF funded field school that took place at San Elijo Lagoon here in San Diego.  The project was a collaborative effort between UCSD and ASM and Affiliates. As a result of her work on the project, Betsy chose to do her Master’s thesis on the temporal shellfish use at the lagoon spanning the Holocene.

With experience in both historic and prehistoric archaeology, Betsy’s goal is to add to the history of the preserve by highlighting the connection between the two adobes and to help in the interpretation of the people who have lived in the canyon over the last 10,000 years.

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.

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.

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; tour web app content creation, integration, and management; 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

With the assistance of Center staff, interns will research, design, and produce a project that educates the public about archaeology or a related field using the Center’s archaeological collections. Interns may create museum exhibits and related activities, develop curricula for K-12 programs in line with current content standards, or plan and present a public class or lecture. Per approval, special projects of the intern’s choosing are also available. During the course of the research and planning, the intern will receive guidance as appropriate to the selected project.