What is archeology?
Archeology is the study of the material past. It is a way of studying people, like anthropology (study of culture) and history (study of events). All three disciplines, and their sub-disciplines, are put to work in Yosemite to understand the story of humans in the park.
In Yosemite, the focus of research is ancient peoples, American Indians, and groups after the Mariposa Battalion entered the Yosemite Valley in 1851 (which include European-Americans, African-Americans, Asian-Americans and more). With over 1500 archeological sites identified in the last 100 years, Yosemite has a rich diversity of human stories told through artifacts left behind. At least 10,000 years of humans visited or lived in what is now Yosemite National Park. We know that thanks to archeological research. Just like today, past peoples left their mark.
What does an archeologist do?
Archeologists have several roles. In the field, they can be seen with their tools and equipment searching for artifacts. In the museum, they can be found examining objects and doing other research.
To see the archeological collections at Yosemite National Park...
Visit the Indian Cultural Museum to see artifacts that are on display highlighting the work of Miwok people in Yosemite Valley. Other objects may be on display at other sites within the park or in other exhibits.
You can also contact the Yosemite Museum staff by email or by phone at 209-379-1314.
Last updated: August 11, 2017