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.

All PCAS lecture meetings have been canceled until further notice because of Covid-19. Please be safe.

April 9, 2020 Canceled

Paul Langenwalter II, Lauren Biltonen, and Aimee Montenegro

Relocating a Sacred Site from the Village of Cahuenga: Evidence of Violence and Its Aftermath


Paul Langenwalter II. Lauren Biltonen. Aimee Montenegro.

When modern life and archaeological resources occupy the same space, the past is occasionally impacted in unintended ways. Recently, landscaping activities disturbed a burial located on an undocumented archaeological site resulting in significance disturbance to the feature. The location and extent of the disturbance led to its removal and relocation to a secure place for the ancestor’s grave. This recovery project is an example of cooperation between the Native American community, archaeologists, and property owners to affect the preservation of an unintentionally disrupted “Sacred Site.”

The village of Kaweenga is located in the San Fernando Valley adjacent to the Santa Monica Mountains. Juan Crespí mentions the village when residents they had met at Kaweenga’s sister village, Siutkanga (Encino) in August 1769 greeted the Portolá Expedition as it traveled south on its return journey to San Diego in January 1770. Crespí’s description of the local geography leaves little doubt as to the identity of the site where the burial was discovered. Today residential housing conceals the village, which is largely lost to memory despite the discovery of artifacts in the 1930s and another burial in 1981.

Bioarchaeological examination of the burial revealed that it contained the remains of a man who had lived during the eleventh or twelfth centuries, and who died in his late 20s or early 30s. His remains bear evidence of a violent attack which left him crippled and with a chronic infection. Some of the evidence indicates that he survived for a considerable length of time within his community and provides information of his health and life.

Paul Langenwalter is past-Chair of Anthropology at Biola University where he teaches archaeology and biological anthropology. He serves as Program Director for the Mammoth Site Project and the MA Anthropology Program. His current work is centered in central and southern California, with projects addressing the archaeology and history of the Fresno River area involving rock art, conflict, and subsistence. Other projects involve animal ceremonialism, patterns of animal use, the Pleistocene paleontology of the eastern Los Angeles Basin, and the renovation of orphaned collections.

Lauren Biltonen is a 2019 graduate of the Anthropology Department at Biola University, where she studied both archaeology and paleontology field and laboratory methods and served as a Senior Teaching Assistant for three and a half years. During her field practicum in the summer of 2018, she worked in Cache Caves on the Wind Wolves Preserve with the University of Central Lancashire Field School, acting as a Crew Chief for logistics. She works as Field Director for Heritage Resource Consultants (HRC) and has experience in perishables, pictograph documentation, and burial recovery.

Aimee Montenegro graduated Magna Cum Laude from Biola University in 2017 with a BA in anthropology and is a member of Epsilon Kappa Epsilon (scholastic honor society). During her tenure, she developed competencies in both archaeological and paleontological field and laboratory methodologies and served as a Senior Teaching Assistant for three years. Her practicum centered on museology and the curation of Egyptian material culture collections through the UCLA Extension program in Turin. This was followed by internships at the Natural History Museum of Los Angeles County in paleontology and Bowers Museum in archaeology. She serves as Crew Chief for HRC projects and has experience in pictograph documentation, digital photography, and burial recovery. Presently, she is a field and laboratory technician for Applied Earthworks.

May 14, 2020

Dr. James Brady


June 11, 2020

Eric Plunkett

The Portolá Expedition in Orange County