Archive - Johnsondale Potholes

December 26, 2020

Johnsondale Potholes

Every weekend we present a notable item from our archives. This EPOD was originally published December 28, 2003.

Provided and copyright by: Tom McGuire
Summary author: Tom McGuire

This group of holes is on a granite outcrop in the southern Sierra Nevada Mountains at the former logging camp of Johnsondale. That is a milling station, the most common type of archaeological feature found in the Sierra Nevada. The individual cups are referred to as bedrock mortars. They were primarily used for pounding acorn into flour and could be used to process seeds and other nuts (e.g. pine nuts). The number of cups on a site can range from one to more than two hundred. A larger feature typically has a residential area associated with it, i.e. a midden with lots of obsidian artifacts.

Note: the caption has been updated December 2020.

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