Latest News

Sample Article

What should you use the Article content type for?

The Article content type is intended for content that is time sensitive, such as a piece of news, a blog post, or an announcement.

February 26, 2016: Miniature Karuk Basket

This beautiful, miniature basket was woven by contemporary Karuk weaver Laura Sanders using traditional materials. The warps of the basket, which you can see poking from the edge of the lid as well as along the crossed-warp start, are made of willow shoots. The light-brown primary weft background is of willow root. The overlay, which makes up the design, consists of creamy-white bear grass and wine-red Woodwardia fern.

February 19, 2016: Indonesian Batik

This framed Indonesian batik was given to UC Davis in 1965 by Mrs. Howard (Idaho) Vaughn (1886-1968). Accession records indicated that it was displayed at Picnic Day in 1966, along with Indonesian puppets from Java lent by Dr. Denise O'Brien and Balinese wood sculptures from the collection of Katherine Branstetter.

February 5, 2016: Kawaiisu Resin Spoon, San-na-que-ah-but-zy

This resin spoon was used to coat water bottle baskets with resin from piñon or nut pine for additional waterproofing. That both water bottles and spoons used to coat water bottles were made as twined basketry speaks to the importance and diversity of California basketry.

Merriam’s account of collecting this basket is as follows, transcribed from his journals:

January 8, 2016: Nuu-chah-nulth Mask

Wood carving was a highly developed art of the Nootka people of Vancouver Island in British Colombia. Houses, boats, containers, furniture, masks, and decorative objects were made from wood, and even clothing was made from the bark of cedar. The Nootka lived in large, extended families, sharing longhouses that were as large as forty by one-hundred feet and could house up to around thirty-five people. Within the longhouse, family-groups had their own areas and cooking hearths.

December 12, 2015: Fort Rock Sandal

Artifact of the Week: Fort Rock Sandal

In 1938, on a volcanic butte in the most northwestern edge of the vast Great Basin, archaeologist Luther Cressman made a discovery in the Fort Rock Cave, near the Fort Rock Crater in Central Oregon. A cache filled with dozens of woven sandals lay beneath a layer of volcanic ash, determined to have been left by the Mount Mazama volcano that erupted about 7,500 years ago. This was big news, as it established a minimum date that the rare textiles could have been left.

November 25, 2015: Fish Slough Clovis Point

This Clovis point was discovered during a surface survey near Fish Slough, California performed by Mark Giambastiani during research for his dissertation. Evidence for its Clovis affiliation can be seen in the triple fluting at the base. Fluting, the process of removing a medial channel flake from the base of the point, usually on both sides of the point, is a hallmark of Paleoindian period (c.a. 10,000-12,000 years ago) and served as a method to aide in the hafting of the point. On this partial point, you can see where the central flute was removed, flanked by two side flutes.

November 20, 2015: Solarized Amethyst Glass

Here’s an age-old question: how do you make glass clear? Glass has been around for a long time, but not like we know it today. The earliest known archaeological glass dates to around 3500 BCE, from Egypt and Mesopotamia, and is mainly opaque beads and ceramic glazes. Hollow glass vessels using core-molds are known from around 1600 BCE and later in Mesopotamia and Egypt, but the technique seems to have also been developing independently in Greece, China, and Tyrol (Austria).

November 13, 2015: Yokuts Sue-u (Tule Basket), ca. 1902

This beautiful basket, called sue-u by the Wukchumni Yokuts, was purchased by Clinton Hart Merriam on the Kaweah River near Lemon Cove in Tulare County, California on August 5, 1902. It is made from tule, a large aquatic plant in the sedge family that is common in Central Valley wetland environments. The handle, made from a cloth string, is an innovation to the design. This loosely twined basket exhibits an interesting start, in that it is not the typical cross-warped start seen on many twined baskets.

November 6, 2015: Wintu Tel'-lek ca. 1903

For this week’s ‪Artifact of the Week we bring you CHM-786, a large Wintu cooking bowl called “Tel’-lek”. The striking design on this basket is referred to as “luk-um-lil-ly”, meaning flying geese and is woven using a double-sided overlay technique of beargrass and red-dyed woodwardia over the primary split pine root wefts. This basket was sold to C. Hart Merriam by a Wintu woman on the McCloud River near Baird, Shasta County, California, July 22, 1903.

October 30, 2015: Día de los Muertos Ofrenda

For this artifact of the week, we want to wish you a happy Día de Muertos! Here is a mock ofrenda showcasing some of our Día de Muertos artifacts. An ofrenda, “offering,” is a collection of objects placed on an altar in the home for someone who has passed away, usually associated with the holiday Día de Muertos, a day of celebration and remembrance for the deceased.

October 23, 2015: Birchbark Boat

Provenience: ???
Usually on Artifact of the Week, we like to bring you interesting bits of material culture from around the world with a little bit of a backstory to brighten your day and broaden your horizons. But this week, we present a problem instead.