Tag Archives: Archeology

Arch Dig 2010!

The back hoe begins to move dirt.


With the rise in temperatures, summer is upon us, and summer here at Los Angeles State Historic Park means archaeological digs! Some of you may remember last November’s dig and last June’s dig, both of which explored the remnants of car shops left by the Southern Pacific Railroad. For this dig they are working about 150 feet south of where they dug before, this time they hope learn more about the foundation of the roundhouse (a building in which trains can be moved with ease from garage back to train tracks). As the dig continues, we will post more photos of their exciting discoveries.

Mike Sampson measures the height of the roundhouse foundation.



An exposed clay pipe!

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The Archaeologists Have Returned!

archdig1

The CA State Parks archaeologists have returned to L.A. State Historic Park to continue exploring the site they exposed last june in hopes of getting a better understanding of the rich history of LASHP. Michael Sampson and his team have enlisted the help of a back hoe to uncover a foundation of bricks that may run as far as 70 ft north of where the first picture in this post was taken. The current spot where they are working is the old foundation of one of the car shops that were built when the Southern Pacific first arrived here in 1876.

Michael Sampson uncovering a possible light post foundation.

Michael Sampson uncovering a possible light post foundation.

When I spoke with Mike today, he told me that the grey square he is dusting off in the photograph above was possibly a foundation for a large light pole that may have been installed sometime in mid 20th century. He was not sure but hoped that as they uncovered more foundation, that he and his team may be able to gather more clues.

Brendon uncovers a corner of the foundation.

Brendon uncovers a corner of the foundation.

If you are interested in seeing a real live archeological dig in action, come down to Los Angeles State Historic Park and look for the back hoe. Remember, though, that these are professionals at work, who would be happy to talk about what they are doing, but please be respectful.

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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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