New Acquisitions Virtual Exhibit

The San Diego Archaeological Center houses many prehistoric and historic collections from the San Diego County adjacent regions. The Center is equipped with over 5,000 square feet of vault space that allow us to provide long-term curation and care for a wide range of archaeological materials, including artifacts, ecofacts, maps, photographs, and site records. Partnering with local colleges and universities provides a setting for volunteers and students interested in archaeology to gain hands-on experience working with archaeological collections.

How Does the SDAC Acquire New Collections?

Most of the collections that are curated at the Center come to us from Cultural Resource Management (CRM) firms. These CRM firms work with developers around the county to make sure that construction is done using ethical and sustainable methods and that archaeological sites are protected and documented. Once their work is complete, CRM firms curate collections at the Center for long-term preservation and care.

What is in a Collection?

New collections delivered to the Center have many pieces. They must contain a site report, master catalog of curated objects, information about inadvertent discoveries, and other supplemental documentation such as field notes, maps, and photographs.


Catalog Number: CA-SDI-12337-2021-17
Material Class: Historic
Object Type: Ceramic fragment
Material: Porcelain
Quantity: 1
Weight: 39.3 grams

SDAC 748 – Delivered September 28th, 2021

Catalog Number: CA-SDI-12337-2021-14
Material Class: Ground stone
Object Type: Mano
Material: Granitic
Quantity: 1
Weight: 909.1 grams

Project Name: Cultural Resources Monitoring Report for the California Crossings Project
Site(s): SDI-12337 or P-37-012337-2021
USGS Quad Location: Otay Mesa 7.5’
Year of Excavation: 2021

This project encompasses site SDI-12337, which was first recorded in 1989. It consists of sparse lithic scatter ranging over 700 acres where debitage, stone tools, and cores have been found. The project monitoring lasted for thirty-two days and a total of thirty-eight prehistoric cultural resources were recovered during this period. Two historic artifacts, an amber glass shard and piece of ceramic, were also recovered. A metal pulley system was found and recorded, but not collected. Of the thirty-eight prehistoric resources collected, there was one mano, twenty-three pieces of debitage, two flakes, ten utilized tools, and two cores. Findings from monitoring of the project resulted in no significant effect on cultural resources in the area.

Catalog Number: CA-SDI-12337-2021-03
Material Class: Chipped stone
Object Type: Flake
Material: Chalcedony
Quantity: 1
Weight: 113.4 grams

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 


Catalog Number: CA-SDI-22522-14
Material Class: Historic
Object Type: Bottle, cleaner fragment
Material: Glass (Amber)
Quantity: 1
Weight: 92.1 grams
Comments: “CLOROX”; amber bottle base fragment

SDAC 747 – Delivered September 8th, 2021

Catalog Number: P-37-038123-22
Material Class: Historic
Object Type: Plate fragment
Material: Transferware
Quantity: 3
Weight: 13.3 grams

Project Name: Cultural Resource Monitoring for Sewer and AC Water Group
Site(s): SDI-22522; P-37-038123
USGS Quad Location: Point Loma 7.5’
Year of Excavation: 2019

This project consisted of monitoring during the replacement of existing water and sewage mainlines with new lines. During the project, historic debris was observed, and diagnostic resources were collected. The soil was heavily disturbed, which led archaeologists and Native American monitors to determine that there was a lack of significance at this site and the project could move forward.

The isolate site, P-37-038123 contained one amber glass bottle, possibly pharmaceutical in nature, with an Owens-Illinois makers mark dating the bottle to between 1929 and 1954. The second is a colorless glass bottle from the same maker.

Catalog Number: P-37-038123-20
Material Class: Historic
Object Type: Bottle, juice
Material: Glass
Quantity: 1
Weight: 200.7 grams

SDI-22522 had many glass bottles and fragments, ranging from pill bottles to condiment bottles, and even a glass deodorant bottle was collected. The bottles date from 1903 to present day, with a heavy concentration between 1930 and 1937. A reasonable amount of ceramic tableware was also collected, but unfortunately, none of the pieces had diagnostic maker’s marks.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 


Catalog Number: P-37-021194-23
Material Class: Historic
Object Type: Bottle, ink
Material: Glass (Aqua)
Quantity: 3
Weight: 337.4 grams

SDAC 746 – Delivered September 8th, 2021

Catalog Number: P-37-021194-35
Material Class: Historic
Object Type: Bottle, malted milk
Material: Glass & Metal
Quantity: 1
Weight: 70.9 grams
Comments: “Horick’s / Malted Milk / Racine-Wis-USA/ Slouch Bucks”

Project Name: Cultural Resource Monitoring Report for 15th and Broadway
Site(s): P-37-021194
USGS Quad Location: Point Loma 7.5’
Year of Excavation: 2020

This project was conducted to monitor the demolition and excavation of this site to make way for construction of a parking lot and residential spaces. Two previous archaeological investigations have taken place near this site. One of the structures that used to be at this site was an early 1900s automotive repair shop and dealership named the J.F McKnight building. It existed from 1918 to 1944 until it became the El Cortez Pontiac Company, followed by the Kasey Pontiac Company, and then the American Business College.

Catalog Number: P-37-021194-36
Material Class: Historic
Object Type: Bottle, condiment
Material: Glass (Green)
Quantity: 1
Weight: 119.1 grams
Comments: Mustard condiment bottle; “LOUIT”
Catalog Number: P-37-021194-28
Material Class: Historic
Object Type: Jar, cosmetic
Material: Milk Glass
Quantity: 1
Weight: 227.1 grams
Comments: “ELCAYA / JAMES C. CRANE, NEW YORK”

Archaeological resources found during excavation were recorded, and diagnostic artifacts were collected for analysis before being permanently curated at the SDAC. Diagnostic artifacts range from 1870 to 1920. The artifacts consist of mostly alcohol and liquor bottles, personal hygiene items, and tableware. Additionally, there were hardware, construction, and home décor items. Two sherds of Chinese Brown Glazed Stoneware and fragments of a celadon bowl were observed as well as precontact lithic materials, which indicate the presence of Chinese and Native American communities within this site.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 


This image shows the collection of shell fragments found at the sites.

SDAC 745 – Delivered June 30th, 2021

Catalog Number: CA-SDI-14414-2021-7
Material Class: Chipped Stone
Object Type: Modified flake
Material: Metavolcanic
Quantity: 1
Weight: 60.1 grams

Project Name: CALTRANS R-75 Relinquishment Project
Site(s): CA-SDI-59; – 14414
USGS Quad Location: Point Loma 7.5’
Year of Excavation: 2021

This project included test excavations at four sites that had been previously recorded to determine significance of the sites. SDI-59 was originally recorded as a prehistoric camp site located near what we now call the Silver Strand. SDI-14414 was recorded as a likely prehistoric shell scatter, but no cultural resources had been observed there previously. Archaeologists observed that both sites have been heavily disturbed with modern debris (plastic, glass, and asphalt fragments).

Catalog Number: CA-SDI-59-2021-1
Material Class: Historic
Object Type: Cartridge casing
Material: Metal
Quantity: 1
Weight: 14.4 grams

During this project, a total of seven objects were collected from these two sites, including three lithic cultural resources, a historic artifact, and shards of mammal and fish bone.

Catalog Number: CA-SDI-14414-2021-7
Material Class: Chipped Stone
Object Type: Flake
Material: Metavolcanic
Quantity: 1
Weight: 42.7 grams

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 


Catalog Number: P-37-039071-2019-167; -172; -180; -182
Material Class: Historic
Object Type: Plate or bowl
Material: Ceramic
Quantity: 4
Weight: 30.6 grams

SDAC 744 – Delivered April 6th, 2021

Catalog Number: P-37-039071-2019-2567
Material Class: Historic
Object Type: Bottle, water
Material: Glass
Quantity: 1
Weight: 420.5 grams

Project Name: The Kettner Project
Site(s): P-37-039071
USGS Quad Location: Point Loma 7.5’
Year of Excavation: 2019

This project was conducted in what is now known as Little Italy, and according to historic map review, there were five historic residential occupations identified in this project area. All five residences were demolished or reconstructed between the 1910s and 1940s and replaced by commercial and industrial developments. These residences were single-story and multi-family, likely constructed in the 1890s. Historic records indicate that the residences were occupied by many tenants from 1892 to 1909 including an attorney, a plasterer, a widow, a teamster, and many laborers. From 1913 to 1926, there were a foreman, a phone operator, and military members. More than 3,000 historic artifacts were collected from this site, glass and ceramic being the most common materials.

The chart above represents the types and quantity of materials collected during excavation.


Catalog Number: CA-SDI-278-2014-05
Material Class: Chipped stone
Object Type: Hammerstone
Material: Granite
Quantity: 1
Weight: 249.7 grams

SDAC 743 – Delivered January 28th, 2021

Catalog Number: CA-SDI-278-2014-13
Material Class: Ceramic
Object Type: Body sherd
Material: Tizon Brownware
Quantity: 1
Weight: 11.6 grams

Project Name: The Miller Road Project
Site(s): CA-SDI-278
USGS Quad Location: Valley Center 7.5’
Year of Excavation: 2014

This project is being developed for commercial and retail use in the Valley Center area of San Diego County. During the monitoring for this project, fourteen cultural resources were recovered from disturbed earth, including debitage, a hammerstone, manos, metate fragments, and ceramic fragments. Prehistoric use at this site was determined to be sporadic, mostly for temporary food processing and resource collection. Since there is limited water access near this site and minimal cultural resources were collected, it is doubtful that it was used much for food or lithic procurement.

 


Catalog Number: CA-SDI-39-2020-29
Material Class: Chipped stone
Object Type: Tool
Material: Volcanic
Quantity: 1
Weight: 153.3 grams

SDAC 742 – Delivered January 20th, 2021

Project Name: Bush Residence
Site(s): CA-SDI-39
USGS Quad Location: La Jolla 7.5’
Year of Excavation: 2020

Catalog Number: CA-SDI-39-2020-45
Material Class: Ground stone
Object Type: Mano
Material: Granite
Quantity: 1
Weight: 461.9 grams

This project consisted of excavation and recovery of archaeological materials during a residence modification. CA-SDI-39 is a large site that has been studied and excavated many times throughout the 20th and 21st centuries. It is called the Spindrift Site and has been determined significant according to CEQA and the City of San Diego. This site has been previously recorded as a prehistoric occupation complex spanning the Early Archaic to the Late Prehistoric cultural periods. This site is closely associated with marine resource that are present in the La Jolla bay area. Cultural materials recovered included cores, flake tools, manos, a pestle, debitage, prehistoric ceramic, faunal bone, marine shell, fire affected rock (FAR), brick fragments, nails, bottles and containers, a cosmetic jar, marble, tableware fragments, and saw-cut faunal bone.

The range of recovered artifacts from the Bush Residence Project allows archaeologists to identify this site as a primarily Late Period habitation site occupied circa 900 to 300 BCE.

 


Catalog Number: CA-SDI-9976-2019-96
Material Class: Ground stone
Object Type: Mano
Material: Granite
Quantity: 1
Weight: 587.9 grams

SDAC 741 – Delivered December 17th, 2020

Catalog Number: CA-SDI-9976-2019-92
Material Class: Shell, unmodified
Object Type: Fragment
Material: Pecten
Quantity: 1
Weight: 9.3 grams

Project Name: The SDG&E Tie Line Wood to Steel Street Project
Site(s): CA-SDI-9976
USGS Quad Location: Otay Mesa 7.5’
Year of Excavation: 2019

This project consisted of excavation and recovery of archaeological materials in quantities that are sufficient enough to mitigate the impacts of the project on the integrity of the site. Excavation and recovery revealed that the sediments were heavily disturbed but that cultural resources and materials were sparse. Three radiocarbon dates indicate that the area is older than previously had been expected, dating back to 7,998 to 7,407 BCE. Even though this is a very old site, the lack of soil changes and cultural materials recovered here indicates that the area is not a significant. Anything that had potential significance was properly retrieved, analyzed, and used for scientific research.

 

 


Catalog Number: CA-SDI-10299-2019-509
Material Class: Ground stone
Object Type: Metate
Material: Granite
Quantity: 1
Weight: 7937.9 grams

SDAC 740 – Delivered October 28th, 2020

Project Name: Lonestar Site
Site(s): CA-SDI-10299
USGS Quad Location: Otay Mesa 7.5’
Year of Excavation: 2019-2020
Site Description: Middle Holocene milling tools found in Otay Mesa during monitoring program.

Archaeologists think it is likely that this is a small, localized single deposit, disturbed habitation site dating to approximately 5,500 years ago with milling tools, steep edge unifacial tools, battered implements, bifaces (points and knives), flake tools, cores, unifacial rejuvenation flakes, debitage, and a small amount of shell.  The presence of these cultural resources indicates this site was used for a special purpose, likely short-term habitation used on a seasonal basis to acquire, process, and utilize seasonal resources.

 

 


Catalog Number: CA-SDI-22913-2019-3
Material Class: Historic
Object Type: Bottle
Material: Glass
Quantity: 1
Weight: 333.8 grams

SDAC 739 – Delivered September 29th, 2020

Project Name: Third and A Street Project
Site(s): CA-SDI-22913
USGS Quad Location: Point Loma 7.5’
Year of Excavation: 2019
Site Description: Historic site consisting of early 1900s house foundation and isolated artifact recovery.

Catalog Number: CA-SDI-18428-2019-4
Material Class: Historic
Object Type: Bottle
Material: Glass
Quantity: 1
Weight: 398.91 grams

Archaeologists conducted mitigation monitoring at this site and one historic brick house foundation feature and four isolated cultural resources were indentified, recovered, and returned to the lab for processing. They were able to associate this site with a historic residence situated here using Sanborn maps from 1906, 1921, and 1950. The portion of the foundation identified represents an expansion of the home between 1906 and 1921. Using historic aerial photographs, it was determined that the residence was demolished sometime between the years 1950-1953.

A glass cosmetic jar, decorative porcelain jar, and two soda bottles were recovered from this site. The cosmetic and decorative jars are likely from 1900-1920, representing household and individual residents. The two soda bottles, one Coca-Cola bottle and one 7-Up bottle were manufactured in 1956 and 1957. These items were recovered from the perimeter of the site and likely represent trash disposal by employees or patrons of nearby businesses.

 

 


Catalog Number: CA-SDI-18428-2019-1013
Material Class: Chipped Stone
Object Type: Debitage
Material: Fine-grained Metavolcanic
Quantity: 1
Weight: 103.58 grams

SDAC 738 – Delivered August 27th, 2020

Project Name: Avion Project
Site(s): CA-SDI-18428; -18429
USGS Quad Location: Poway 7.5’
Year of Excavation: 2019

Three hundred sixty-one cultural resources were recovered from the test excavations at CA-SDI-18428: 359 flakes (pieces of stone removed from a core) and 2 tools. Archaeologists on the project were able to conclude that the limited range of materials recovered indicates that tool production was not taking place on-site, but rather it was a place where final shaping and re-sharpening happened.

Thirteen cultural resources were recovered at CA-SDI-18429, all debitage (waste or byproduct of stone tool production). The material recovered was predominantly fine-grained metavolcanic. No tools, cores, or milling implements were found. Archaeologists concluded that this site was most probably used as a single use episode of locally available material produced for core preparation or tool re-sharpening.

 

 

 


Funded in part by the City of San Diego Commission for Arts and Culture and the County of San Diego

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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.

Exhibitions

Exhibitions Volunteers assist with the design, construction, and installation of Center Museum exhibits.

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.