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

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 University of Oregon’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 the History Channel, National Geographic, Oregon Public Broadcasting, Canadian Broad Casting, the Archaeology Channel, Danish TV, and will soon appear on Japanese TV. Jenkins has authored, co-authored, and edited 8 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


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?