PCAS General Meetings

Monthly lecture meetings feature noted archaeologists and anthropologists who provide insight into a variety of topics. Lecture meetings are held at the Irvine Ranch Water District Community Room, 15500 Sand Canyon Avenue (between the I-5 and I-405) in Irvine, on the second Thursday of each month, at 7:30 pm. Meetings are free and open to the public. See vicinity and detail maps of PCAS meeting location. For additional directions, please call Scott Findlay, 714-342-2534.

Please Note: The Irvine Ranch Water District neither supports nor endorses the cause nor activities of organizations which use the district’s meeting rooms that are made available as a public service.

You are invited to join the speaker and PCAS members for dinner before the general meeting. It's an informal opportunity to visit with an acknowledged expert. We meet at 6:00 pm at a local restaurant. Please check the newsletter (left menu) for location.

Schedule and Speakers

Please note that last minute changes may occur.

December 14, 2017 Holiday Gathering at the Duck Club - see flyer and directions

Dr. Dennis L. Jenkins

Archaeology and Science at the Paisley Caves

Dr. Luther Cressman’s 1938–1940 excavations at the Paisley Caves in Oregon discovered exciting evidence suggesting that people may have lived there as early as the Late Pleistocene, some 12,000 to 15,000 years ago. However, it was not until recent developments in Ancient DNA testing that he was proven correct. Dating of camel and horse bones, artifacts, twigs, and dried human feces containing Native American DNA between 12,900 and 14,500 years ago indicates that people lived in the caves and probably hunted camels, horses, and other animals at the end of the Pleistocene. This colorful PowerPoint presentation explains the scientific processes and results of archaeological and paleogenetic investigations at the Paisley Caves, bringing the audience the most up-to-date information about the evidence for the pre-Clovis (13,000 years ago) interaction of humans and Pleistocene plants and animals in Oregon’s high desert country more than 14,000 years ago.


Dennis Jenkins is a Senior Research Archaeologist II for the Museum of Natural and Cultural History at the University of Oregon where he received his Ph.D. in 1991. A native Oregonian, he was raised in Las Vegas, Nevada, where he earned his BA (1977) and MA (1981) in anthropology at UNLV. He has taught and directed the UO’s annual Northern Great Basin archaeological field school in central Oregon since 1989. His research focuses on the first colonization of the Americas, obsidian sourcing and hydration, prehistoric shell bead trade, and settlement-subsistence patterns of the northern Great Basin. He is an active researcher with publications in such prestigious journals as Science and Nature. He has made 11 appearances in television documentaries aired on History Channel, National Geographic, Oregon Public Broadcasting, Canadian Broadcasting, the Archaeology Channel, Danish TV, and will soon appear on Japanese TV. Jenkins has authored, co-authored, and edited eight books, 47 journal articles, chapters, reviews, and published papers, and more than 40 professional reports. He has presented 66 papers at professional conferences and served as conference and symposium chairs for the Great Basin Anthropological Conference and Northwest Anthropological Conference. He is internationally recognized for the identification of ancient human DNA in Pre-Clovis coprolites more than 14,000 years old, the oldest directly dated human remains in the Americas, at the Paisley Caves in the Summer Lake basin of south-central Oregon.

January 11, 2018

Bernie Jones and Dr. Christopher E. Drover

Flower World Metaphor, Ideology, and Iconography of the Southern Colorado Plateau: The Puerco and Little Colorado River Watersheds


Jane Hill notes a prehistoric linguistic relationship in Uto-Aztecan language among flowers, fertility, life and death, in a parallel chromatic universe, known as the “Flower World” (Hill 1992). These linguistic relationships were quickly recognized to be apparent in iconographic imagery in early Mesoamerican and later southwestern agricultural societies by Kelley Hays-Gilpin and Karl Taube. Application of this concept has provided an interpretation of thirteenth and fourteenth century Puebloan rock art. We explore the breadth of icons associated with the meaning, function and ritual use of Flower World imagery in the southern Colorado Plateau.

Bernie Jones is a retired arts educator. He worked in arts education for 40 years both as a teacher and administrator at all levels. He has a history of engaging in painting and drawing. Currently he is working in the area of printmaking. He has had a lifelong interest in Native American culture, talking to various native peoples, reading ethnographies, and collecting cultural material from the time he was a boy. He has worked with archeologists in various parts of the country helping with excavations and recording the rock art found near sites that were being studied. Forty three years ago he attended a lecture on rock art at the Bowers Museum in Orange County, California. That encounter launched a fascination for this subject that has continued to grow. For the last 10 years he has been tracking the crook form as it is found in rock art and attempting to understand its many uses as a symbol. For years he has studied, written about and created art based on images drawn from rock art in various parts of the world. Like most of his fellow rock art researchers, he realizes that one lifetime will not be enough to see all there is of this wonderful visual legacy

Christopher Drover, Ph.D., RPA, is in his 34th year as a faculty member in the Anthropology Department at the University of California, Irvine. Professor Drover’s degrees are all in anthropology; he received his BA (1969) and MA (1970) from California State University, Fullerton, and in 1979 he was awarded a Ph.D. at the University of California, Riverside. He taught anthropology at Golden West College (38 years; retired 2011), and he also taught part-time at California State University, Fullerton (1971), Chapman College (1973), and the University of California, Riverside (1977). Dr. Drover has also been involved in CRM work since 1970, having served as Principal Investigator for the Museum of Northern Arizona and Director of Cultural Resources for Chambers Consultants and Planners, The Keith Companies, and TRW.

Hill, Jane H.

1992    The Flower World of Old Uto-Aztecan. Journal of Anthropological Research 48(2):117–144.

February 8, 2018

Dennis Gallegos

First People—A Revised Chronology for San Diego County


March 8, 2018  TBA

John Rafter

Coyote Hole Canyon


April 19, 2018

Don Liponi

La Rumorosa Rock Art


May 10, 2018

Dr. James S. Kus

What’s New in Machu Picchu?