Learning about archaeology in San Diego!

Kids learn about archaeology at Arch In The Park, an annual educational event at the Historic Ranch House in Los Peñasquitos Canyon Preserve.
Kids learn about archaeology at Arch In The Park, an annual educational event near the Historic Ranch House in Los Peñasquitos Canyon Preserve.

Today I headed to the Historic Ranch House in Los Peñasquitos Canyon Preserve to enjoy the 20th Annual Arch In The Park!

Arch In The Park, hosted by the San Diego County Archaeological Society, is an educational event where curious people of all ages can learn about archaeology in San Diego and the surrounding Southern California region!

I enjoyed looking at many displays and learning about opportunities to intern and volunteer with different organizations. Students talked about what they were learning, and kids got a glimpse of what it’s like to work as an archaeologist. Other exhibits concerned anthropology, our natural environment, and enjoying our local State Parks and National Forests.

After I checked out the various booths near the old adobe Ranch House, I headed to a nearby field where actual excavations could be viewed. Archaeology students from Palomar College told me about what they were doing, how they were doing it, and what they’d discovered!

To read information on the following posters, click my images and they will enlarge.

If you’d like to learn more about the historic Los Peñasquitos Ranch House, click here!

Visitors check out displays by colleges, businesses and organizations concerning the region's archaeology, anthropology and natural environment.
Visitors check out displays by colleges, businesses and organizations concerning the region’s archaeology, anthropology and natural environment.
People learn to how to weave baskets, an essential skill of the region's Native American Kumeyaay people.
People learn to how to weave baskets, an essential skill of the region’s Native American Kumeyaay people.
A poster shows California State Parks Southern Service Center's various Archaeological Projects 2017-2018.
A poster shows California State Parks Southern Service Center’s various Archaeological Projects 2017-2018.
Another California State Parks display shows interns at work sorting and identifying material from excavations in Southern California.
Another California State Parks display shows interns at work sorting and identifying material from excavations in Southern California.
This curious dog was more interested in learning about archaeology than that nearby bobcat.
This curious dog was more interested in learning about archaeology than that nearby bobcat.
A display contains info regarding the Anza Borrego Foundation and the Colorado Desert Archaeology Society.
A display contains info regarding the Anza Borrego Foundation and the Colorado Desert Archaeology Society.
Members of the Colorado Desert Archaeology Society can volunteer and become citizen scientists at Anza Borrego, Palomar Mountain and Rancho Cuyamaca State Parks!
Members of the Colorado Desert Archaeology Society can volunteer and become citizen scientists at Anza Borrego, Palomar Mountain and Rancho Cuyamaca State Parks!
Rock samples from different geological formations in Penasquitos Canyon.
Rock samples from different geological formations in Penasquitos Canyon.
Guinevere, the Merlin Falcon, is an animal ambassador for the San Diego Humane Society. (She had a wing injury and can't fly properly.)
Guinevere, the Merlin Falcon, is an animal ambassador for the San Diego Humane Society. (She had a wing injury and can’t fly properly.)
At Red Tail Environmental's table, kids could create sand art based on a ground painting by Native Americans at Mesa Grande.
At Red Tail Environmental’s table, kids could create sand art based on a ground painting by Native Americans at Mesa Grande.
Chambers Group had an interesting poster concerning fossil mastodons and whales.
Chambers Group had an interesting poster concerning fossil mastodons and whales.
Kumeyaay artifacts were displayed at the SDSU Department of Anthropology's table. If you're a teacher, it might interest you they offer free classroom presentations.
Kumeyaay artifacts were displayed on the SDSU Department of Anthropology’s table. (If you’re a teacher, it might interest you that they offer free classroom presentations.)
Enjoying a sunny San Diego day at Arch In The Park, presented each year by the San Diego County Archaeology Society.
Enjoying a sunny San Diego day at Arch In The Park, presented each year by the San Diego County Archaeological Society.
The Forest Fire Lookout Association had a cool display of all the Lookouts of Southern California.
The Forest Fire Lookout Association had a cool display of all the Lookouts of Southern California.
When smoke is spotted from a fire lookout, this simple device is used. Visually lining up the sighting determines the fire's direction, or azimuth.
When smoke is spotted from a fire lookout, this simple device is used. Visually lining up the sighting determines the fire’s direction, or azimuth.
Cleveland National Forest had a big display, too. They also like volunteers.
Cleveland National Forest had a big display, too. They also love volunteers.
Some photos from the Laguna Mountain Recreation Area, one of my favorite places.
Some photos from the Laguna Mountain Recreation Area, one of my favorite places.
Some artifacts on display created by Native Americans from San Luis Rey. Two of the baskets (near the top of this photo) were made in the 1800s.
Some artifacts on display created by Native Americans from San Luis Rey. Two of the baskets (near the top of this photo) were made in the 1800s.
A friendly student at this table talked to visitors about the California State University San Marcos Anthropology Club.
A friendly student at this table talked to visitors about the California State University San Marcos Anthropology Club.
As I headed over to a field where real archaeological digs can be seen, I was passed by people on horseback, enjoying their day at Los Peñasquitos Canyon Preserve.
As I headed over to a field where real archaeological digs can be seen, I was passed by people on horseback, enjoying their day at Los Peñasquitos Canyon Preserve.
Excavations at Los Peñasquitos Canyon Preserve are carried out by students in the Archaeology Program at Palomar College.
Excavations at Los Peñasquitos Canyon Preserve are carried out by students in the Archaeology Program at Palomar College.
I learned the Kumeyaay in this region obtained obsidian for projectile points by trading with other native people who lived to the east, by the Salton Sea.
I learned the Kumeyaay in this region obtained obsidian for projectile points by trading with other native people who lived to the east, by the Salton Sea. Ancient arrowheads and other mysterious objects are sometimes unearthed in this area.
A field east of the Los Peñasquitos Ranch House where archaeology students search for clues about the historic and prehistoric past.
A field east of the Los Peñasquitos Ranch House where archaeology students search for clues about the historic and prehistoric past.
Walls and drainage structures poke out from the field. Their exact story is a puzzle that will eventually be pieced together.
Walls and drainage structures poke out from the field. Their exact story is a puzzle that will eventually be pieced together.
A part of a torn down barn's foundation has been discovered here.
A part of a torn down barn’s foundation has been discovered here. Small, interesting finds are collected by general type in a cupcake pan!
Tunneling gophers make reconstructing the past more difficult. They move materials about as they dig.
Tunneling gophers make reconstructing the past more difficult. They move materials about as they dig.
Nearby I saw several devices used for wet screening excavated soil, a process that follows dry screening.
Nearby I saw several devices used for wet screening excavated soil, a process that follows dry screening.
Smokey Bear checks out debris left on the ground in another corner of the field, the area used for dry screening.
Smokey Bear must also be an archaeology enthusiast! I spotted him checking out debris left on the ground in another corner of the field, the area used for dry screening excavated soil!

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Yankee Baleeiros whaling exhibit opens at Cabrillo.

Looking out the rear of the Cabrillo National Monument Visitor Center on a beautiful day.
Looking out the rear of the Cabrillo National Monument Visitor Center on a beautiful day.

I saw on the morning news that an important exhibit was opening today in the Cabrillo National Monument Visitor Center. I haven’t been up that way since I blogged about the park’s centennial, so I figured I’d go check things out!

The traveling exhibition is called Yankee Baleeiros! The Shared Legacies of Luso and Yankee Whalers. That’s quite a long title, but it’s fitting for the epic displays that occupy about half of the sizable visitor center. Developed by the New Bedford Whaling Museum, the exhibit “celebrates the interwoven Luso-American stories of the Azorean, Cape Verdean, and Brazilian communities in the United States from early immigration in the 18th century through the latter half of the 20th century.” Sounds like a long and tedious thesis! But it’s actually fascinating! Basically, it shows the rich history of Portuguese speaking whalers in the Northeast, primarily New Bedford, and how they interacted with Yankee whalers.

As San Diego is one of the world’s best places to encounter a large variety of whale species, and as this is the season for migrating gray whales, the exhibit is more than appropriate. The displays also address how whaling techniques evolved over the years, the success of modern conservation efforts, and how whale-watching is now a much larger industy than whaling.

After listening to a short opening presentation by Park Superintendent Tom Workman and Christina Connett, PhD, Curator of Collections and Exhibitions at the New Bedford Whaling Museum, I headed out to Cabrillo’s excellent Pacific Ocean viewing areas to scan the horizon for spouts. I didn’t see any, but there were a bunch of boats off Point Loma whale-watching on this sunny Sunday afternoon. I got more pics from my visit coming, so stay tuned!

If you haven’t been to Cabrillo National Monument in a while (or ever), head on over! The special exhibit will be on display through April 12, 2015.

Park Superintendent Tom Workman talks while Christina Connett of the New Bedford Whaling Museum listens.
Park Superintendent Tom Workman talks while Christina Connett of the New Bedford Whaling Museum listens.
People listen to presentation at opening of Yankee Baleeiros whaling exhibit.
People listen to presentation at opening of Yankee Baleeiros whaling exhibit.
Displays recount the history of Lusophone (Portuguese-speaking) whalers in America.
Displays recount the history of Lusophone (Portuguese-speaking) whalers in America.
New Bedford was the major port for whalers in the Northeast.
New Bedford was the major port for whalers in the Northeast.
Inside the visitor center is a section of the 1848 Grand Panorama of a Whaling Voyage ‘Round the World by Benjamin Russell and Caleb Purrington.
Inside the visitor center is a section of the 1848 Grand Panorama of a Whaling Voyage ‘Round the World by Benjamin Russell and Caleb Purrington.

Portions of the 1848 Grand Panorama of a Whaling Voyage ‘Round the World by Benjamin Russell and Caleb Purrington were on display inside and outside the visitor center. The complete work is 1,275 feet long and eight and a half feet tall! It’s believed to be the longest painting in the world! The piece went on a national tour shortly after completion, and appeared at the 1964 New York World’s Fair! Cool!

The fantastic displays are museum quality and extremely informative.
The fantastic displays are museum quality and extremely informative.
Photos of sailors rowing out to hunt whales, and a harpooner at the ready.
Photos of sailors rowing out to hunt whales, and a harpooner at the ready.
A dead whale is hauled to the ship's side and stripped of blubber by many hands.
A dead whale is hauled to the ship’s side and stripped of blubber by many hands.
People point out spots on a map of historical whaling grounds.
People point out spots on a map of historical whaling grounds.
The opening presentation is over and folks head out to take in the many sights around Cabrillo.
The opening presentation is over and folks head out to take in the many sights around Cabrillo.
Is there a whale out there? Probably not. This back door faces San Diego Bay!
Is there a whale out there? Probably not. This back door faces San Diego Bay!

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The beautiful California Building and Quadrangle.

Elaborate facade of the beautiful Museum of Man in Balboa Park.
Elaborate facade of the beautiful California Building in Balboa Park.

Here’s one iconic sight in Balboa Park I always lift my eyes to enjoy. The elaborate facade of the California Building, home of the San Diego Museum of Man, contains sculpted historical figures molded from clay and plaster. These figures include Junipero Serra, father of California’s Spanish missions, and Juan Rodriguez Cabrillo, who discovered San Diego Bay nearly five centuries ago in 1542.

This fantastic building, inspired by the church of San Diego in Guanajuato, Mexico, was erected for the 1915 Panama-California Exposition, an event that celebrated the opening of the Panama Canal and promoted San Diego as a destination. Like other similar buildings to the east along El Prado, it is in the Spanish Colonial Revival architectural style, which was largely developed by Bertram Goodhue.

The California Building and adjacent California Tower, and the more simple structure to the south across El Prado–housing Evernham Hall and the St. Francis Chapel–form the California Quadrangle. The courtyard-like area at the quadrangle’s center, where visitors can sit at tables and through which cars today travel, is called the Plaza de California.

Every few years I venture into The Museum of Man just to refresh my memory. There are a number of interesting anthropological exhibits, including a whole room full of spooky Egyptian mummies!

Here are some more pics…

Gazing up at the colorful dome and the California Tower.
Gazing up at the colorful dome of the California Building, and the California Tower.
People on the street in front of the Museum of Man.
People on the street in front of the Museum of Man. El Prado runs through the Plaza de California.
Plaster figures from local history adorn the ornate facade.
Plaster figures from local history adorn the ornate facade.
Three exhibits running at the Museum of Art.
Banners near the entrance show current exhibits at the Museum of Man.
Plaque by Museum of Man commemorates Cabrillo's discovery of California.
Plaque a bit west of the Museum of Man, beside the archway into Balboa Park’s California Quadrangle, commemorates Cabrillo’s discovery of California.
Sitting at table under an umbrella near Museum of Man.
Sitting at a table under an umbrella near the beautiful Museum of Man.

Here are even more photos from a later date…

Sign in the California Quadrangle. Built for the 1915 Panama-California Exposition, the Plaza de California and surrounding buildings served as the grand west entrance for the exposition.
Sign in the California Quadrangle. Built for the 1915 Panama-California Exposition, the Plaza de California and surrounding buildings served as the grand west entrance for the exposition.
Photo toward the southeast corner of the California Quadrangle shows Mission Revival style arches.
Photo toward the southeast corner of the California Quadrangle shows Mission Revival style arches.
Photo of the iconic California Tower from a point east on El Prado.
Photo of the iconic California Tower from a point east on El Prado.
The ornate upper levels of the California Bell Tower.
The ornate upper levels of the California Bell Tower. Tours up the tower’s stairs provide amazing views of Balboa Park and San Diego.
Photo of the beautiful California Building from the east, near the Old Globe Theatre.
Photo of the beautiful California Building from the east, near the Old Globe Theatre.
Elaborate ornamentation around the archway outside the east side of the California Quadrangle.
Elaborate ornamentation around the archway outside the east side of the California Quadrangle.
Colorful dome tiles, part of the Spanish Colonial Revival masterpiece of exposition architect Bertram Goodhue.
Colorful dome tiles, part of the Spanish Colonial Revival masterpiece of exposition architect Bertram Goodhue.

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