Olivella shell beads are ubiquitous at Central California Indian sites and were traded far inland by the local inhabitants. Their distinctive patterns of manufacture provide archaeologists with important chronological, morphological, and distributional information. This guide—authored by a professional artifact replicator and an archaeological expert on shell bead typology-- offers a well developed 16-category typology, including the descriptive, temporal, and metric characteristics of each style, illustrated with almost 200 color photographs. Spiral bound to facilitate field and laboratory work, it is an essential tool for conducting archaeology in the American west. Sponsored by the Society for California Archaeology and Pacific Legacy, Inc.
Recent archaeological research on California includes a greater diversity of models and approaches to the region’s past, as older literature on the subject struggles to stay relevant. This comprehensive volume offers an in-depth look at the most recent theoretical and empirical developments in the field including key controversies relevant to the Golden State: coastal colonization, impacts of comets and drought cycles, systems of power, Polynesian contacts, and the role of indigenous peoples in the research process, among others. With a specific emphasis on those aspects of California’s past that resonate with the state’s modern cultural identity, the editors and contributors—all leading figures in California archaeology—seek a new understanding of the myth and mystique of the Golden State.