Events and More

San Diego’s First Peoples Tour Series

As a supplement to the new By Land and By Sea exhibit at the San Diego Archaeological Center, this field trip series will explore the physical locations and landscapes that the first people in the America’s lived in. We will explore early survival strategies and ceremonial practices that archaeologists have uncovered in over 100 years of study in San Diego. We will also hear from the descendants of these First Peoples and their understanding of how they came to be in San Diego.


Tour 2 – Submerged Prehistory (March 2, 2019)

During the earth’s last glacial period, global sea level was lower by more than 100 m from the sea level of today.  The continental shelves exposed by these lower sea levels would have been an important landscape for migration and habitation of peoples coming into the Americas.  The La Jolla region of San Diego County is the location of an offshore submarine canyon, bringing marine resources near to the shoreline, both today and at the time of lowered sea levels.  In this field trip, we will examine the geology, marine ecology and archaeological record of the La Jolla region, and discuss the role of submerged landscapes in understanding North American prehistory.

The tour will start at the parking lot of La Jolla Shores Beach and features a visit to the Scripps Institution of Oceanography.  This event will take place regardless of the weather. Space is limited to 25 people.

About the Presenter

Dr. John Hildebrand is a Distinguished Professor at the Scripps Institution of Oceanography and the co-Director of the Scripps Center for Marine Archaeology.  He has been involved in local archaeology for more than 40 years.  He has a BS from University of California San Diego and a PhD from Stanford University, and has conducted studies in marine geophysics, geoarchaeology and marine mammal biology.

Date: Saturday, March 2, 2019
Time: 9 AM – 12 PM
Starting Location: Parking lot of La Jolla Shores Beach, adjacent to Kellogg Park
Cost: $25; Members $20

Purchase Tickets for Tour 2


Tour 1 – The View From San Diego’s Coast (February 16, 2019)

How did people come to the Americas? Recent research has opened discussion of a potential coastal migration of people into the continent. San Diego is strategically located in an area with a rich archaeological record and a long history of research that can be brought to bear on the topic. It is also an area where people have been suggesting very early occupations for decades, the Cerruti Mastodon being the latest case. In this coastal field trip, we will examine the lagoons, coastal geological processes, and the archaeological record, and we will discuss the current state of knowledge, as well as put San Diego into the larger perspective North American coastal archaeology.

The tour will start at the Crest Canyon North Interpretive Kiosk on Racetrack Dr. in Del Mar, and feature additional stops on the way to the final destination at the San Diego Archaeological Center. This event will take place regardless of the weather. Space is limited to 25 people.

About the Presenter

Dr. G. Timothy Gross, PhD, had his first experience in archaeology along the coast of San Diego as a high school volunteer over 50 years ago. He has been involved in local archaeology ever since. He earned a BA from San Diego State University and participated in the development of the CRM program there in the early 1970s. His interest in understanding the environment and peoples in the past led him to Washington State University, where he earned an MA and PhD. His studies there emphasized geoarchaeology, and his graduate research took him Siwa Oasis in Egypt and the Dolores River Valley in southwestern Colorado, but he also participated in some coastal archaeology in Washington State. Since receiving his doctorate, he has worked throughout the west on CRM projects, and he has taught at San Diego area colleges and Universities. He is currently a professor at San Diego City College, where he directs the college’s excavations at Los Peñasquitos Adobe. He is coauthor (with senior author Sarah Neusius) of a text book on North American archaeology (Seeking Our Past), and he wrote the chapters dealing with the archaeology of the Pacific Coast.

Date: Saturday, February 16, 2019
Time: 9 AM – 12 PM
Starting Location: Crest Canyon North Interpretive Kiosk on Racetrack View Dr, Del Mar
Cost: $25; Members $20

Registration for Tour 1 is sold out. To join the wait list, email Stephanie Sandoval at sjsandoval@sandiegoarchaeology.org.