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

April 11, 2019

John Bretney

Rock Art of the Rodman Mountains

The Rodman Mountains contain some of the most well known and popular rock art sites in the Mojave Desert. Just Google Surprise Tank and see the number of sites that link to that inquiry. The Kane Spring petroglyph site is a second well-known area. In spite of the popularity of this area, surprising little has been written or reported about its rock art.


The large rock art sites are located in a lava field bounded by a number of large washes or canyons. In Bill Mann’s book about the Mojave Desert, he calls a canyon on the north side of this lava field the “Grand Canyon of the Rodmans.” The area is bordered on the west by a large lava cone used for commercial mining. In spite of the name, the lava field is relatively flat and about 5 miles in length and 2 miles in width. It is just south of the Mojave River flood plain located east of Barstow between the 15 and 40 interstates. There are dozens of archaeological sites in this area with mostly petroglyphs and some ground figures. This talk will discuss a number of the rock art sites and the geographic relation of the sites in the lava field. Some ideas as to why we find them in this location are also discussed.


John Bretney is a System Engineer who has worked at Raytheon for more than 20 years. He has worked on a number of military projects including a targeting pod for the F/A-18, high altitude imaging and high energy laser projects. He is a volunteer at the Rock Art Archive, which is part of the Cotsen Institute of Archaeology at UCLA.  He is the co-author of Rock Art at Little Lake. Mr. Bretneyhas presented papers at ARARA, PCAS, and the Southern Nevada Rock Art Association.

May 9, 2019

Ivan Strudwick

Anaheim’s Chinatown


June 13, 2019

Barbara Tejada