To uncover, identify, and investigate centuries-old artifacts and features to develop a clearer picture of the Presidio's history.
Excavation and analysis are what most people imagine when thinking of an archaeologist at work. It is one of the most exciting aspects of the job - when students, professionals, and volunteers unearth objects not seen for centuries and when profound new insights are gained from seemingly mundane artifacts.
Excavation and analysis are linked and can be thought of as the information engine driving research. Excavation recovers buried artifacts while analysis illuminates the information the objects contain. The work includes:
- field surveys to identify previously undocumented sites
- excavations at known sites
- the organization of data into meaningful categories
- scientific analysis of artifacts
- the synthesis of historic maps, geophysical prospection, current excavation and collection data in a GIS framework
Cabrillo College Archaeological Technology Program
This field school meticulously excavated the remains of the 1780 colonial chapel adjacent to today's Officers' Club over several field seasons beginning in 1996, providing a valuable anchor point for continuing efforts to locate the remainder of the early colonial site.
The "Presidio Mound"
Working with archaeologists from CalTrans in advance of designs for replacing Doyle Drive in 2002, the Presidio Archaeology Lab worked to find this Native Ohlone shell mound, unseen since 1912, so it could be avoided during construction and preserved in place.
Stanford Lab Camp
After several seasons of excavation at El Polín Spring archaeologists took the summer of 2005 to focus exclusively on the detailed analysis of several types of artifacts (bone, metal, glass, ceramics) and invited the public into the laboratory to be involved with the process.
Prospection in Depth
The Trust partnered with the National Park Service in 2008 and 2009 to host workshops that employed ground penetrating radar, magnetometry, resisitivity, and x-ray fluorescence to see beneath the ground and better predict the location and depth of archaeological features at El Presidio and El Polín Spring.