February 10-11, 2007

Anza-Borrego Foundation and institute

PO Box 2001, Borrego Springs, CA  92004  (760) 767-4063     FAX (760) 767-0465

Press Release

January 24, 2007

Contact: Deborah Knapp, Manager Anza-Borrego Institute. 760.767.4063

**For Immediate Release**

What:  Fourth Annual Archaeology Weekend – Ancient Dwellers of the Colorado Desert

When:  February 10-11, 2007

Where:  Anza-Borrego Desert State Park Visitor Center, Borrego Springs, CA

Who:   Sponsored by the California State Parks Colorado Desert District, Anza-Borrego Desert State Park, the Anza-Borrego Foundation and Institute, and the Colorado Desert Archaeological Society  - Open to the general public

Borrego Springs, CA.

Newly installed Colorado Desert Archaeology Society president Chuck Bennett announced the 4th Annual Archaeology Weekend at Anza-Borrego Desert State Park.  This year’s event called “Ancient Dwellers of the Colorado Desert’, will be held Thursday, February 8, 2007 through Sunday, February 11, 2007.  Archaeology Weekend is jointly sponsored by California State Parks Colorado Desert District, Anza-Borrego Desert State Park, the Anza-Borrego Foundation and Institute, and the Colorado Desert Archaeological Society (a Colorado Desert District volunteer archaeological group).

A symposium, the “End of the Archaic,” and focused on the weekend theme, will be held as a pre-weekend event and is  supported by the Begole Archaeological Research Grant, a non-wasting endowment created by Robert S, Begole.  Begole, an avocational archaeologist, has been active in archaeological research in the Anza-Borrego Desert State Park for more than 35 years.  The event was organized by Zachary Hruby, Ph.D., Miriam Daduhl  M.S. and originated from a proposal submitted to the Grant program.

 “New data has been gathered from development and research projects as a result of rapid growth in many desert communities”  said Dr. Joan Schneider, Associate State Archaeologist with the Colorado Desert District of California State Parks. “A synthesis of information and a scholarly consensus about what the new data mean is critically needed”, she stated. 

While this symposium is not open to the general public, a summary of the symposium findings will be the subject of a free lecture for the public on Saturday, February 10 at 10 am at the Anza-Borrego Desert State Park Visitor Center Discovery Room.

Other lectures will be offered over the weekend.  On Saturday, February 10, archaeologists and historians will offer a series of presentations giving visitors a first look at the forthcoming celebration of the 150th anniversary of the San Antonio to San Diego Overland Mail route. The SA&SD route was the first intercontinental communication link joining the newly-won western territories with the Midwest and the East Coast.  The Butterfield Stage route followed in 1858.  The route crosses some 35 miles of the Anza-Borrego Desert State Parklands. 

To commemorate this historical accomplishment California State Parks and San Diego County Parks are having a year long celebration. Working closely with Colorado Desert District archaeologist Sue Wade who is spearheading the effort, the Anza-Borrego Institute has joined several agencies in the southland in planning events to celebrate the occasion. Saturday afternoon lectures will include discussions about the remnants of the Overland Mail Route in ABDSP, the importance of the mail route to the nineteenth-century California frontier and the archaeology of the Carrizo Mail Station in the Park.

A lecture by Nick Clapp about Space Imaging/Desert Archaeology will kick off events on Sunday morning.  Clapp will review the use in archaeology of images transmitted from satellites and will show images from the newly acquired Desert Cahuilla area which borders on the ABDSP eastern boundary.  Steve Jacques will follow with a presentation on the Glass Point Site: A Kumeyaay Temporary Camp.  This lecture discusses his CSU Fullerton  Masters degree work at this site near Blair Valley.

Three guided field tours are planned for the weekend. On Saturday, archaeologists Joan Schneider, Ph.D. and Bonnie Bruce will guide a group to the little understood rock outlined circles found throughout the Park. On Sunday, another group will explore the Indian Hill Rock Shelter, one of the few scientifically confirmed Archaic Period sites in ABDSP.  For those interested in the Overland Mail history, a special car-tour retracing the route from Warner Ranch to Carrizo Stage station will also be offered.

Many other events are planned for the weekend.  Children’s activities will be hosted both days at the Visitor Center plaza area.  Activities include a simulated archaeological dig, demonstrations on packing a mule (with a live mule) and assorted crafts. 

Tours through the new Begole Archaeological Research Center will be led by CDAS volunteers both days.  A Silent Auction will be featured on Saturday and funds raised will be used for CDAS programs.  A free Ice Cream Social will begin at 3PM on Saturday to coincide with closing of the auction.  The public is encouraged to attend both the Silent Auction and Ice Cream Social.

Fees for field trips are $35 for members and $45 for non-members. All lectures and other activities throughout the weekend are free of charge and will be held at the Anza-Borrego Desert State Park Visitor Center. Information about registration and other details is available at the Anza-Borrego Foundation and Institute website – www.theabf.org and by calling the  Anza-Borrego Institute at 760.;767.4063.