Archaeology Weekend at Anza-Borrego Springs State Park

It was a fabulous day for the desert.  The 80 degree weather was tempered by a large cloud that kept down the temperature and the glare.  We went for the Archaeology Weekend at the Visitor Center of the Park.  The highlight was a tour Begole Archaeological Research Center (BARC).  The facility has two full-time archaeologists and maintains documentation of thousands of sites in the Park and hundreds of artifacts.  We met some of the dedicated volunteers, saw looked at the minute detail of a site description and saw some of pottery, obsidian and stone objects.

The Visitors Center had special activities for children and displays about basket-making, native plants and more.  The Center is small, but nice exhibits of prehistoric fauna, geology and more.

We had lunch nearby and then saw some of the Galleta Meadows.  This is a sculpture park that runs throughout the town with huge metal works by Ricardo Breceda.  These depict the fauna, both current and prehistoric of the area.  They are so impressive and evocative.

The area used to have smilodons:

Breceda depicts a smilodon attacking a horse

One interesting feature of the Begole Center is that it is post-and-beam construction with straw bale walls covered in adobe.  This little window reveals the bales within the wall.  It is cheap and a good insulator.


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