• The Point Reyes Beach as viewed from the Point Reyes Headlands

    Point Reyes

    National Seashore California

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  • 2014 Changes to the Superintendent's Compendium

    Point Reyes National Seashore will be including an unmanned aircraft closure to the Superintendent's Compendium. The NPS invites the public to submit written suggestions, comments, and concerns about this change. Comment deadline is August 19. More »

Coast Miwok Material Culture

The Coast Miwok are the only known Native American tribal group to occupy all of Marin and Southern Sonoma Counties. Obsidian hydration has dated their occupation back several millennia. A collection of worked obsidian, bone, stone mortars and tools, and shell are now held in the museum with faunal remains and debitage. These materials were excavated by archeologists from San Francisco Bay Area universities in the 1960s-1980s in cooperation with the National Park Service on lands within the park boundaries. Unique coastal materials used to make tools and ornaments include whale bone, abalone, clam and olivella shells. Studies indicate significant prehistoric manufacturing sites existed on the Peninsula where beads and ornaments were made from these materials.

A larger type sample of individual items from a number of excavated sites is available on the National Park Service web catalog site where catalog records with images are posted. Use search term Coast Miwok.


Did You Know?

Bull elephant seal © Richard Allen

Four species of pinnipeds (seals and sea lions) rest onshore or breed at Point Reyes: the Northern elephant seal (Mirounga angustirostris), the harbor seal (Phoca vitulina), the California sea lion (Zalophus californianus), and the Steller sea lion (Eumetopias jubatus). More...