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

The Last Remnants of Anaheim’s Chinatown

What is thought to have been Orange County’s largest Chinatown was established in the early 1870s near the center of Anaheim, which was originally founded as a vineyard colony by Germans in 1857. From the mid-1850s to the 1880s, one of every ten Californians was Chinese.  When Anaheim was incorporated in 1876, about one-sixth of the city’s population was Chinese. By 1890, 75% of California’s agricultural workforce was Chinese. Anaheim’s “China Town” is depicted on 1907 and 1911 Sanborn maps near what was the center of the original colony at Los Angeles and Center Streets. In 1924, this small community was demolished, ostensibly for health concerns, and the last building torn down in 1940. This report describes a few artifacts that were found when this historic area was recently graded for development.

Mr. Strudwick was born and raised in southern California. He attended California State University, Long Beach, where he obtained both his bachelor and master’s degrees in anthropology, specializing in archaeology. During a professional archaeological career spanning 4 decades, Mr. Strudwick has conducted and managed all phases of archaeological and historic projects, including survey and excavation, laboratory analysis, research, and report writing in more than 20 California counties and on three of California’s Channel Islands. Mr. Strudwick was the field director and primary report author for the first cultural resource management project ever awarded for San Clemente Island. He has also worked as Native American coordinator for large multiyear projects and has numerous professional publications. For the past 25 years, Mr. Strudwick has been employed as a professional archaeologist at LSA in Irvine.

June 13, 2019

Barbara Tejada

Coming Home to Siutkanga: A Journey of Research and Repatriation of the Lost Village of Encino


Coordination to reunite and bring the collection from the "Lost Village of Encino" (CA-LAN-43), excavated in 1984-85, to Los Encinos State Historic Park began in earnest in early 2013. From the first delivery in early 2015, to the final van load in fall of 2018, the collection has undergone sorting and re-housing by a team of State Park staff, volunteers, and student interns. Along the way, new informtion has emerged on the lithics assemblage, olivella grooved rectangular (OGR) beads and bead manufacture, the high incidence of tarring pebbles, and the burial/cremation complex. Working with the Fernandeño Tataviam Tribe, the collection has helped instruct tribal members on lithic technology, and in turn, genealogical research sponsored by the tribe has revealed more about the ethnohistory of the village. Work continues to identify NAGPRA materials in the collection for repatriation. Sorting and cataloging this collection will enable continued research on this important Western Tongva site.


Barbara Tejada is the District Archaeologist for the California State Parks Angeles District, covering park units in Los Angeles, Ventura and Santa Barbara counties. She has over 20 years' experience in southern California archaeology. In addition to State Parks, Ms. Tejada has worked at Caltrans, the Getty Center and in archaeological consulting. She earned her bachelor's degree in anthropology and geological sciences at UC Santa Barbara, and completed graduate-level coursework at California State University Bakersfield. Ms. Tejada has been a board member of the Antelope Valley Archaeological Society, the Ventura County Archaeological Society, and the Society for California Archaeology. She currently is the board chair and acting director of the Chumash Indian Museum in Thousand Oaks


No lecture meetings in July and August

September 12, 2019

Richard Carrico


October 10, 2019

Natalie Brodie

Ashes from Ashes: Archaeologists and Forensic Dogs Recovering Lost Human Remains