San Miguel Island, Channel Islands National Park, California

Study of Selected Historic-Period Archaeological Resources on San Miguel Island. By Julia Costello and Linda Thorpe, 2010, for the Channel Islands National Park.

The investigation of a selection of historic-period sites near Cuyler’s Harbor was undertaken by Julia G. Costello, PhD., of Foothill Resources, Ltd. (Foothill) under contract with Ann Huston, Chief of Cultural Resources, Channel Islands National Park (CINP). Work was carried out in March of 2009 and focused on recording the three major ranch headquarters sites as well as documenting other historic resources in the vicinity. Site record Updates, or new Primary forms or Archaeological Site Records, were completed for all sites. Download the report.
Documentary and oral history research provided a basis for reconstructing the evolution of the island’s ranches. Particularly helpful were prior historical studies and memoirs, historic photographs, and the expertise of CINP personnel. Profile excavations were carried out at the Nidever Adobe (CA-SMI-546) and the Mills-Waters Ranch (CA-SMI-582) in order to establish their physical characteristics and determine their preservation needs. Other site recordings were based on surface features and artifacts and on documentary information. Management recommendations were made for the preservation and interpretation of existing sites.
A digital Resource Notebook was compiled of all documentary materials collected as part of this study including prior site records, reports, articles, and historic photographs.

Kuan YinSan Bernardino Chinatown

The Luck of Third Street: Historical Archaeology in Chinatown, San Bernardino, California.  By Julia G. Costello and Kevin Hallaran, 2004, for California Department of Transportation, District 8.

In 2001, field excavations were completed at the site of the San Bernardino, California, Chinatown, yielding about 10,000 items. At the end of the excavations, nearly 9,000 square feet of Chinatown backyards had been exposed and twenty-one important features recovered spanning the time period from the 1840s to the 1930s. Thirteen of these features reflected the history of Chinatown including three privies, two roasting ovens, several refuse pits, artifact-filled water channels, and a dog burial.

Download the final report (part 1 - part 2), released in 2010 by Caltrans, which addresses the artifact recovery as well as prominent Chinese residents and events, the Kuan Yin Temple, ceramic serving and storage vessels, consumption of meat and fish, parasites found in the privy primary deposits, backyard roasting ovens, pets and vermin, seeds and pollen, and artifact conservation. Gambling activities in the early twentieth century were represented by an extraordinary abundance of artifacts in Privy 1035 including a horde of more than 1,300 Asian coins, the largest ever found on an excavation in North America.
Also recovered during the project were matanza (cattle slaughtering) remains associated with the 1840s Mexican-Period rancho, and four artifact assemblages reflecting operations of the prominent Starke’s Hotel between 1885 and 1897.