Two women sit in a Native American camp near the base of Four Mile Trail in this historic 1901 image. Archeologists study the Ahwahneechee, who have lived in this region for generations.
D.H. Wulzen / Yosemite Research Library
To honor Yosemite’s past means to preserve it today through archeological and architectural recognition. Structures, artifacts, and trails symbolize more than their tangible worth by revealing underlying human values. Archeologists systematically study the things left behind—such as tools, ornaments, buildings, food remains, and changed landscapes—to uncover clues about historic cultures, economic systems, settlement patterns, demography, and social organizations. Yosemite archeologists have documented more than 1,500 sites that hold material remnants of past lifeways. Architects make note of the Rustic design of many Yosemite structures representing the belief that buildings should blend in with their natural surroundings and that natural settings influence architecture.