Undergraduate Research & Scholarships

Mira McQuown L&S Social Sciences

Indigenous Lithic Resource Practices in the Santa Cruz Mountains

The project goal is to use microscopic approaches to statistically evaluate patterns in lithic resource utilization and obsidian sourcing using X-Ray Fluorescence (XRF) on samples from two archaeological sites in the Santa Cruz Mountains. XRF studies have led to knowledge about how Native people had wide-spread networks of trade, since obsidian can be sourced to specific locations across the state. Examining lithic (stone tool) samples provide markers for social interactions and exchange, showing the patterns of source use before and during European contact. If Native people living in the mountains of Santa Cruz maintained their lithic traditions during the Mission period, then evidence of this cultural persistence will be seen by comparing the obsidian datasets from both sites. I hypothesize the patterns of obsidian use at the two sites to be statistically similar in terms of material type and how the tools were used specifically.

Message To Sponsor

Thank you so much for your support! The amazing research opportunities and experiences UC Berkeley has to offer would not be be possible without your ongoing sponsorship. Your contribution to academic research is deeply appreciated. I would like to extend my personal thanks and gratitude for this research opportunity over summer, made possible through SURF.
Major: Anthropology
Mentor: Kent Lightfoot
Sponsor: Wishek Fund
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