Archeologists find trove of relics at Ventura Mission site
The artifacts — terra cotta floor tiles, an irrigation channel, bowls, beads and other evidence of 18th century mission life and the Chumash tribe that preceded it — may impede efforts to develop the parcel.
When archeologist John Foster started peeling the asphalt from a parking lot in downtown Ventura, he knew he wouldn't have to dig deep to find a cache of long-buried relics.
He just didn't realize how many he'd find and from how many different eras.
Digging down 5 feet, Foster and his crew have found shell beads, a stone bowl used for mixing pigment and lots of cattle bones — leftovers from the tanning and tallow-rendering that brought cash into Mission San Buenaventura. They've also plucked out empty champagne and wine bottles, shards of porcelain dishes and gas lamps from the elegant hotel that occupied the site after Ventura became a bustling commercial center in the 1880s.
The corner lot, bounded by a thrift store and a French restaurant, is in a neighborhood rich with history. It's just a block from the mission church founded by Junipero Serra in 1782. Nearby excavations have uncovered a museum's worth of artifacts, from a centuries-old lavanderia — laundry — to remains of the Chumash tribe, which was nearly wiped out by European diseases.
But it's been years since the last big discovery — and even in a downtown that likes to call itself "historic," there's no consensus about what to do with the history that's underfoot.
comments powered by Disqus
- U.S. Textbook Skews History, Prime Minister of Japan Says
- Recalling a Film From the Liberation of the Camps
- Skull Fossil Offers New Clues on Human Journey From Africa
- Are crude conspiracies right? Research shows nations really do go to war over oil
- Famed SC civil rights protesters have convictions erased
- Columbia University professors Eric Foner, Alan Brinkley, and Alice Kessler-Harris to retire
- A powerhouse appropriations subcommittee is now headed by a historian: Republican Rep. Tom Cole (OK)
- Slavic scholars divided over a scholarship sponsored (and withdrawn) by Stephen F. Cohen
- Claire Strom to Step Down as Editor of Agricultural History
- Joan Peters’s legacy assessed by one of her fiercest critics, Norman Finkelstein