Archaeology in the Park

Last week, state parks archaeologists began digging in the center of the park in hopes of uncovering more of the rich history of Los Angeles State Historic Park. Bucky Buxton, Mike Sampson and their team uncovered parts of the foundation of the “car shop” dating back to the late 19th century when Southern Pacific Railroad owned this land. The main function of the car shop was to build train cars from the ground up to add to Southern Pacific’s fleet.

Arch Team at Work

Arch Team at Work

Talking with archaeologist Bucky Buxton, he mentioned that “most archeological discoveries are made in lab,” making the point that they may not know exactly what they have found until they are able to carbon date artifacts and examine them under a microscope. Bucky also pointed out that the lower strata of soil appears silty and is most likely part of the historic flood plain of the Los Angeles River. The layers of history at LASHP are certainly deep and multi-faceted, be they artifacts from the park’s industrial railyway history or ecological history and connection to the Los Angeles River.

Bucky sifting for artifacts

Bucky sifting for artifacts

If you are ever curious about the archaeology happening here in the park and you see the team out working, don’t be scared to approach them and learn about what they are finding.

"Dig" the view

DIG the view

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2 Comments

Filed under Events in the Park

2 responses to “Archaeology in the Park

  1. Michael Sampson

    You spelled my name wrong. Also, Our findings at LA SHP are not dependent upon looking under a microscope nor the use of radiocarbon dating. Radiocarbon dating is more appropriate for prehistoric site work. Our principal goal now is the study of architectural features and technology as evidenced by the construction techniques and the artifacts we uncover. “Railyway” [sic] should be spelled “railway.” But, anyways, thanks for your efforts in letting the public know about our work.

  2. Pingback: The Archeologists Have Returned! « Los Angeles State Historic Park

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