Photos: Archeology of Montara, AD 1500
This weekend, State Parks archeologist Mark Hylkema directed about a dozen participants in a dig on the bluffs of Montara. You may have seen the work from the highway as you passed through town Friday and Saturday. By nightfall Saturday, he would be gone and the site would be returned to its previous condition.
The Chiguan sub-band of Ohlone Indians butchered sea otters at a settlement overlooking the ocean around AD 1500, leaving behind the mound that overlooks the ocean here. The workers were recovering shells and bones. These would be used to research the natives’ diet, as well as assess changes in climate in the last 500 years.
Hylkema last dug at this site 25 years ago, when he was graduate student, and when carbon dating was less sophisticated.
Hylkema also took a core sample, which will be used to look for much smaller remains, such as fish bones and otoliths—tiny earbones from fish which must be examined under a microscope, but which can provide information about the species butchered on the site.