Hornbrook Site Testing 2018 - Passport in Time

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California - Redding FO
Closed! Hornbrook Archaeological Site Testing and Rehabilitation

Klamath_river_california.jpg By Blake, Tupper Ansel, U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service [Public domain], via Wikimedia Commons
Klamath River, California

June 11-15, 2018

Must commit to a minimum of 2 days

Join BLM archaeologists Alden Neel and Eric Ritter this summer for a venture into California’s past! In the state’s northernmost reaches, near the small town of Hornbrook in Siskiyou County, sits a puzzling archaeological complex – Site CA-030-1906 – currently named the Reed Mining Complex (which, itself, is not the original name). Here, gold miners in recent days have been mining within older placer gold extraction and settlement features creating un-reclaimed disturbances and archaeological data losses. The mining camp and features may date back to as far as the Gold Rush, but most certainly to the latter half of the 19th and very early 20th centuries. Noteworthy are cabin pads and foundations, artifact scatters, tailings, and the mined landscape. Furthermore, there is ephemeral evidence of Native American Indian uses here – territory inhabited by the Shasta Tribes. The site sits on the edge of the Klamath Mountains above the Klamath River in oak woodlands. An historic wagon road traverses it. Rocky outcrops include one small rock shelter with at least one occupation level, from which an early metal arrow point was recovered. The outcrop itself deserves a look for fossil evidence. The proposed work will include test excavations of the shelter and apron, feature and site mapping, metal-detecting, reclaiming disturbed ground, note taking, and processing finds. Individuals may want to research the location in the local Siskiyou County courthouse and museum in Yreka.

We will establish a basecamp nearby along the Klamath River, in an area that adjoins a prehistoric village and cupule petroglyphs. Several small RVs can be accommodated. The nearby town of Hornbrook has a gas station and a small market. The project weather can be quite warm in June, although an occasional rain shower can occur. The standard outdoor nuisances can occur here as well, such as poison oak, ticks, and the occasional rattlesnake. So come prepared for those things, but most of all, for a rare look into the area’s past, cultural and natural landscapes, a lot of fun, and an opportunity for some hands-on learning in the field – see you in June!

Number of openings: 15

Special skills: Must be physically capable of walking several miles each day in fluctuating (summer transitional – often hot) weather conditions, over rocky and hilly terrain; previous archaeological excavation, survey, site mapping/documentation, artifact identification, and/or metal detector use helpful, but not required

Please do note on your application if you own and are willing to bring a metal detector. While this is not a requirement for selection, the number of units we have will be limited, and extras on hand – as well as those folks familiar with their use – will be very helpful.

Minimum age: 10 years old, under 18 with a responsible adult

Facilities: Primitive camping within several miles of the site near Hornbrook; toilets and sun showers or equivalent; volunteers responsible for personal camping equipment, food, drinking water, and daily transportation to base camp (if opting to stay off-site); tables and chairs provided by BLM FO. Potluck dinner planned for Thursday.

Nearest towns: The large CALTRANS Collier Rest Area (with full facilities) is within 1 mile of our camp; Yreka, 12 miles; Ashland, OR, 26 miles; (both are along Interstate 5 where full facilities can be found)

Applications due: Ongoing until filled

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