Lecture Series


Our general meetings are free and open to the public held on the 4th Tuesday of each month, except December (and summer months) at 7:30 pm. Come early to mingle, socialize, and network with fellow archaeology-minded folks – and enjoy light refreshments. Our June lecture begins our Summer Series for SDCAS. Our summer meetings will be held on the fourth Saturday of the summer months, June, July, and August, and we will start at 7:00pm.  Below is a map to Los Penesquitos Ranch House, also known as the Adobe.


October 24,2017 at 8:00pm BEWARE, HERE THERE BE PIRATES!

  • Tuesday, October 24, 2017
  • 7:30 PM  9:00 PM
  • Los Penasquitos Ranch HouseCanyonside Park DrivewaySan Diego, CA, 92129United States (map)

Ahoy, Mateys! Sandra and Karen are trying out their sea legs with this year’s presentation.  Have you ever wondered what drove people to piracy and the impact that piracy had with modern day culture?  Perhaps you had a fascination with a certain pirate and his treasure, making your friends follow a map to where X marks the spot. Then lend us your ears, bring your ditty bag and cutlass and join us as we set sail for uncharted waters. Just remember, all land-lubbers and landsmen will be required to sign the pirate’s code, all breakers of the code with be sent to Davey Jones’ Locker.


Karen Lacy has over 18 years of museum and writing experience as well as a Master’s degree in Museum Science and a Bachelor’s in History with minors in Art History and Anthropology. She is currently working towards a second Masters in Anthropology, which will be completed in early December 2017. Karen recently co-founded Muse Curatorial Consulting Group, a company that specializes in collections care, training, grant writing, and exhibit development of archaeological, historic, library and archive materials. Previously, Karen was the Collections Manager of the San Diego Museum of Man for seven years and the Curator of Exhibits of the San Diego Air & Space Museum for 5 years.


Sandra Pentney has called herself an archaeologist for 18 years. Born, raised and educated in Canada, she moved to the US after said education showed her that choosing a career based mostly on being out of doors in a climate where the out of doors was frozen and under two feet of snow for 5 months of the year wasn’t the best choice. She spent the first five years in the U.S. enjoying fieldwork in the very temperate climate of California, and now is firmly planted indoors at a desk for 49 weeks out of the year. Sandra received her Bachelor of Arts degree from Lakehead University in Thunder Bay, Ontario, and her Master of Arts in Archaeology from the University of Saskatchewan, Saskatoon, which no one outside of Canada seems to be able to pronounce.

August 26, 2017 at 8:00pm at Los Penasquitos in the adobe
Title of lecture: Insights from Archaeological and Historical Investigations in Downtown San Diego
Dr. Sinéad Ní Ghabhláin has recently retired from ASM Affiliates after over thirty years working as an archaeologist in southern California and in Europe. In addition to her CRM work in California, she has also directed research excavations of a medieva monastery site on the Aran Islands, Ireland.

Sinéad Ní Ghabhláin will discuss archaeological and historical investigations in downtown San Diego that have provided fascinating insights into social and economic conditions in this small border town around the late nineteenth century. Her recent projects have included a luxury hotel catering to the wealthiest travelers, boarding houses of the working poor, and a saloon and brothel in San Diego's red light district, all dating to San Diego's boom years of the late 1880s.

July 22, 2017 at 8:00pm at Los Penasquitos in the adobe
Lecture reschedule of our delayed May lecture, Richard Shultz will discuss recent archaeological work from a site in La Jolla.

Mr. Richard Shultz has nearly 30 years of experience in Cultural Resources Management. Work opportunities have taken him throughout California, as well as allowed him to lead numerous projects across the greater West. His interests within the discipline are wide-ranging including land use planning, architecture, lithic analysis, gender politics, geomorphology, history, among many others. Mr. Shultz has been a long-time member of the Sea Level Rise Coastal Survey Project, and has been known to “get stuck in” whether it be accidently surfing 10-foot waves, traveling to Japan without remembering the language learned two decades before, or striking out for a solo over-night in Joshua Tree National Park.

Mr. Shultz will be discussing Nearly Lost: How Small Units and Deferring to Authority Obscured the Big Picture and Nearly Resulted in a Missed Buried Deposit in La Jolla, California

For many years small excavation units – 50x50 to 50x100 cm – have been utilized to gain understanding of the contents and contexts of sediments below the sod and streets of La Jolla Shores. As practice this is simple enough. However, add to this a 1920s grading operation, professional experiences with previously undocumented fill profiles, and when combined with small excavation unit archaeology almost missed the big picture, until a recent recovery-oriented excavation program exposed sediment profiles that were not what they were presumed to have been.

First Saturday Summer Lecture : June 24, 7:00pm at Los Penasquitos in the adobe
Title: Kumeyaay Themed Game Night
Presenter: Barona Cultural Museum
Starting off our Summer Series, representatives from the Barona Cultural Museum will once again be sharing Kumeyaay-themed game with SDCAS! Get ready for Bingo in ‘Iipay Aa. Be prepared for a vocabulary lesson in addition to a lively and interactive evening. There will be prizes!

*NOTE: This will be the first of our Summer Meetings this year, held on Saturday evenings in the courtyard at Los Peñasquitos Adobe. The Summer Saturday Evening Meetings will replace the usual 4th Tuesday Programs during the summer months
only. There will be no 4th Tuesday Programs in June, July, or August.

May 23, 2017 at 7:30pm-8:30pm at Los Penasquitos in the adobe meeting was canceled due to power outage.
Lecturer: Richard D. Shultz
Title: Nearly Lost: How Small Units and Deferring to
Authority Obscured the Big Picture and Nearly
Resulted in a Missed Buried Deposit in La Jolla,


April 25, 2017 at 7:30pm-8:30pm at Los Penasquitos in the adobe
Lecturer : Dennis R. Gallegos
The author’s career in archaeology began in 1969 working for State Parks, followed by BLM Desert Planning Staff, and private sector CRM work for Wirth, Westec, SRI, and Gallegos & Associates (1990-Present). Publications by Gallegos or with others include: Cultural Resource Inventory of the Central Mojave and Colorado Desert Regions; Management Plan for Otay Mesa; Review and Synthesis of Environmental and Cultural Material for the Batiquitos Lagoon Region; Patterns and Implications of Coastal Settlement in San Diego County: 9000 to 1300 Years Ago; Environmental Change and Coastal Adaptation in San Diego County; Five Thousand Years of Maritime Subsistence at Ballast Point; Antiquity and Adaptation at Agua Hedionda; Southern California in Transition: Late Holocene Occupation; and, Archaeology in America, San Diego Area.

First People by Land or by Sea – This presentation provides a review of the earliest sites in San Diego County and identifies potential sites/areas for First People. Fresh water, not always available in the desert, was always available in San Diego County and provided the magnet for continuous occupation throughout the Holocene. Native American occupation was affected by environmental change which included sea level rise, sand transport, health of lagoons, and the creation of San Diego Bay and Lake Cahuilla. The hypotheses of First People by land and/or by sea, along with continuous occupation and environmental change are all part of this 12,000 year history.

March 28th, 2017 at 7:30pm-8:30pm at Los Penasquitos in the adobe

Celebrate San Diego’s diversity by learning about how immigrants from Asia have made important contributions to San Diego history beginning in the 1800s. The stories of the families that grew up and thrived in this neighborhood are explored and remembered through photographs and museum archives.

The Asian Pacific Historic District Walking Tour at SDCHM takes you to see many of the historical buildings and locations discussed in this lecture.

Lecturer: Kathleen Shiu-Yee Dang serves as the Education & Events Coordinator of the San Diego Chinese Historical Museum. Dang is a Master’s of Education Candidate at National University who will receive a California Teaching Credential on Social Studies and History. As coordinator, she facilitates all of the museum education programs such as tours, lectures, and field trips for students of all ages while updating the curriculum to match with current state and federal education content standards.

February 28, 2017 at 7:30pm-8:30pm at Los Penasquitos in the adobe

Topic of the Night:
This presentation is a field report from Nicholas’s experience at the field school he attended last summer, including the poster project he will be presenting in March at the SAA annual meeting.

Nicholas Case
BA Anthropology
Archaeological Technician with ASM, Atkins, and panGIS

This study presents results from the photogrammetric documentation of rock art in western Mongolia. Unlike many traditional rock art documentation techniques practiced in Mongolia, photogrammetry presents unique advantages for the study and preservation of cultural heritage. These include the production of a digital 3D model, preservation of color and original lighting conditions, ease of documentation, and the inclusion of contextualinformation such as surrounding features, panel orientation, and geologic context. Using photogrammetric techniques, we documented ten late Bronze Age standing stones and three separate rock art localities in the Khangai mountains of Bayankhongor province, western Mongolia. By taking images at different times of day, we were able to produce high-visibility images of “deer stone” stelae, obviating the need for chalk or other substances which can damage the stone surface. By integrating our data with aerial photography, we produced high-resolution digital maps of our study sites. Results suggest that 3D photogrammetry may be profitably integrated into future research of late Bronze Age monuments in Central Asia.

January 24, 2017 7:30pm-8:30pm at Los Penasquitos in the adobe

Topic of the Night:
Peñasquitos Adobe and the City College Archaeology Program: An Update on the Research and the Students

Lecturer: Dr. Timothy Gross
PhD Assistant Professor of Anthropology San Diego City College

For over 20 years students from San Diego City College have been excavating at the Peñasquitos Adobe as part of the college’s anthropology curriculum.  The excavations are an integral now part the Certificate of Performance in Archaeology program at City which is designed to prepare students to work as archaeological field and lab crew. This presentation will describe the program and discuss some of the history of the work done by City College students, and it will include information from the latest field season, spring 2016, as well as some of the analytical results from the recently-completed Artifact Analysis class.  Some of the success stories of the program will also be discussed.

November 22, 2016 at 7:30-8:30pm at Los Peñasquitos in the adobe

Topic of the Night:
Dr. Phillip de Barros will be presenting some of the basic outcomes of 35 years of researchon traditional and ancient ironworking in the Bassar Region of Northern Togo, including the temporal and spatial extent, the technology, and the effects of ironworking on Bassar society. The emphasis of the lecture includes the Early Iron Age (400 B.C. to 150 A.D.), the discovery of a 2,200 to 2,400 year old smelting furnace in 2013, and the use of tall, natural draft furnaces during the Late Iron Age (1200 to 1950 A.D.).


About the Lecturer:
Dr. de Barros is a Professor of Anthropology at Palomar College, and has been studying ironworking in the Bassar Region since 1981, and spent 8 years in the Peace Corps in Togo teaching African History and Geography. He received both a B.A. and M.A. from Stanford University, and a Ph.D. in Anthropology and Archaeology from UCLA. Dr. de Barros has published journal articles and book chapters on topics ranging from ceramic seriation and a comparison of prehistoric and historic-age Tizon Brownware, to the history of archaeology in West Africa, the cultural context of ironworking in Africa, and the political economy in the Bassar Region of Togo. Dr. de Barros is the Founder and Coordinator of the Exploring Darwin Conference at Palomar College (since 2007), and works in the local Cultural Resources Management sphere as the President of Professional Archaeological Services. His wife Jeannine is from Togo and they have two children, Jason and Jillian. Jason is an attorney in San Francisco, and Jillian is a sergeant in the U.S. Army stationed at Fort Carson with her husband who is also a sergeant.


October25, 2016 at 7:30-8:30pm at Los Peñasquitos in the adobe  7:30 pm – 8:30 pm

Sandra Pentney and Karen Lacy are at it again. Come join us for a special Halloween themed talk at the haunted adobe on October 25th. Brooms are welcome, but please leave your curses at the door:

Double, double toil and trouble;

Fire burn and caldron bubble. 

Witches’ brew and cauldron stew; 

Leave behind evidence too. 

Digging through centuries past; 

Reveals evidence that lasts,

Of witches help and witches harm;

And possibly an old charm.

Come join us as we explore;

The history of witch’s lore.

But not for the faint of heart, we implore!


September27, 2016 at Los Peñasquitos in the adobe  7:30 pm – 8:30 pm,

Speaker: Dr. Todd Braje

Lecture Title: Shellfish for the Celestial Empire: The Rise and Fall of Commercial Abalone Fishing In California


August 27, 2016 atLos Peñasquitos in the adobe  6:30 pm – 8:30 pm,

The Anthropology of Food: Eating as Culture
Do you have a favorite family recipe, one that’s been shared by generations? Do certain foods make you feel nostalgic? This special event at the Ranch House will feature a short lecture about food and cultural continuity and why the act of eating is so important to how we define ourselves. Dr. Ramona Perez from San Diego State University will be discussing the culture and politics of food (a glimpse at her Graduate Seminar: Politics of Food in Latin America). Please bring your favorite recipe or food to share, as we will have a potluck dinner and discussion. This event will begin earlier than usual, at 6:30pm to allow for eating! Drinks (non-alcoholic) will be provided, but you can also bring your own beer or wine.

July 23rd, 2016,  at  Los Peñasquitos in the adobe at 8:00pm-9:30pm


Do you know the location of the first archaeological site recorded in San Diego County? In what year did the great Hatfield Flood occur? How long was the flume that transported water from the headwaters of the San Diego River to reservoirs near University Heights in the 1890s? What do you know about the history and archaeology of San Diego County? Our summer series continues with an exciting, no holds barred, TRIVIA CHALLENGE. Get your teams ready to tackle the fascinating and unique history behind California’s oldest city. Prizes will be awarded to the winners.

June 25th, 2016,  at  Los Peñasquitos in the adobe at 8:00pm-9:30pm

*NOTE: This will be the first of our Summer Lectures this year, held on Saturday evenings in the courtyard at Los Peñasquitos Adobe. The Saturday Evening Lectures will replace the usual 4th Tuesday Programs during the summer months only. There will be no 4th Tuesday Programs in June, July, or August. The public is invited to arrive early and bring a picnic dinner, chairs, and drinks. It can get cool in the canyon at night – especially when there is “June gloom” around, so long-sleeves, jackets, and/or blankets are recommended. Bug repellent is also recommended. SDCAS will provide dessert. The program begins at 8:00 p.m.

Presenter: Louise Torio

Topic: Villa Montezuma

On June 25, SDCAS will be joined by Louise Torio from the Friends of the Villa Montezuma community group to discuss the intriguing 1887 Victorian mansion located in San Diego’s Sherman Heights neighborhood. The lecture will be a follow-up for those members who may have missed our field trip to the Villa Montezuma earlier in the day. Learn the secrets behind the infamous inhabitant at the Villa Montezuma, the spirit medium, Jesse Shepherd, and the current efforts to save and restore this one of a kind Villa Montezuma, 1964. www.weirdca.com resource in San Diego’s downtown. 

May 24th, 2016, Los Peñasquitos in the adobe :

Speaker: Susan Hasegawa

Title: Creating a Nikkei (Japanese American) 

Legacy: From Onigiri (rice balls) to Spam Musubi
This multi-media presentation will explore the development and evolution of the Nikkei community in San Diego. The presentation will highlight common Japanese American experiences in terms of popular culture including food, faith, and socio-cultural activities, the impact of incarceration during World War II, and the rebuilding of ethnic community institutions in the post- World War II period.
Professor Susan Hasegawa teaches U.S. history, Asian history and Asian American history at San Diego City College and is the current chair of the History and Political Science Department. She has researched and wrote on the Japanese American experience in San Diego for the past twenty years and curated numerous exhibits locally. Based on oral history interviews and archival photographs, her community history, Japanese Americans in San Diego, was published in October 2008. She has also written articles for the Japanese American National Museum and consulted on numerous projects concerning the Japanese American experience for Oxford Publishing, University Press of Colorado, and The Old Globe.

April 26th, 2016, Los Peñasquitos in the adobe :

Speaker: Lauren Trimble-masters thesis data

Lauren Trimble grew up in Rancho Peñasquitos. She earned her undergraduate degree in Sociocultural Anthropology from UCSD. After graduating from UCSD, Lauren took internships with the NOAA Northeast Fisheries Science Center in Rhode Island and with AECOM in San Diego. She attended graduate school at the University of Missouri, studying archaeology. She spent two years in Missouri before moving back to San Diego and accepting a fulltime position at AECOM. She just recently defended her master’s thesis.

Paper title: Ceramic Vessels and Squatting Facets: Posture in the Medio Period Casas Grandes Culture

The Medio period (A.D. 1200–1475) Casas Grandes culture was a distinct cultural and religious system in northwest Mexico, southern Arizona, southern New Mexico, and western Texas. The economic and political center of this Casas Grandes region was Paquimé (previously known as “Casas Grandes”). One of the most distinctive forms to come out of the Medio period Casas Grandes ceramic tradition were human effigy vessels. These vessels exhibit primary and secondary sexual traits, and the males and the females are seated in different postures. The males are usually seated in a squatted position, whereas the females typically sit with their legs straight out. To see if these vessels reflected real-life habitual postures, Medio period skeletal remains from Paquimé were examined. The hypothesis was that the positions assumed by the vessels are the typical postures for social or ritual activities (not day-to-day activities), and that the ceramic effigy vessels represent specific individuals or specific subsets of the population.

January 26th, 2016 at 7:30pm, Los Peñasquitos in the adobe

Topic: The Latest Ötzi Information

Speaker: Betsy Pain

This presentation will focus on Ms. Pain’s quest last summer to visit Ötzi the 5,000-year-old Iceman and his belongings at the South Tyrol Museum of Archaeology in Bolzano Italy.  Covered in the talk will be the history behind the discovery, his death, mummification, his clothing and equipment, along with what current research has revealed about the most famous individual from the Copper Age.  In addition, Betsy will talk about her experience hiking in the Italian Dolomites near to where the mummy was originally found.

February 23rd, 2016 , Los Peñasquitos in the adobe

Speaker: Sarah S. Elkind

Lecture Summary: 

Oil Drilling vs Public Recreation on Los Angeles Beaches:  Or, Things to Consider in the Age of Global Warming:  Today, Los Angeles is lined with public beaches, campgrounds, lifeguard stations, bathrooms, showers, and parking lots.  But in the 1920s, most of the shoreline was either about to become a private playground or a heavily polluted industrial zone.  Small cottages and private beach clubs closed the beach to public use in some areas.  Oil wells loomed over and polluted beaches in others.  A talk about the history of Los Angeles’ beaches will explain (briefly) why Americans saw beaches as important recreational lands in the 1920s and 1930s, and how the political movement to preserve beaches began.  But it also discusses the negative side of the public beach movement:  racial segregation in the early twentieth century United States.  The problems of regulating the energy industry, and conflicts over scarce recreational resources have implications for current debates over energy policy, global warming and access to public resources.

March 22nd, 2016, Los Peñasquitos in the adobe: Barona game

Itinerary For The Night:

Representatives from the Barona Cultural Museum will once again be sharing a traditional Kumeyaay game with SDCAS! Following on last year’s successful demonstration of Pshok during our February meeting, this year we’re lucky to have a hands-on demonstration of Shahuuk ‘Emaay Sarraap, another Kumeyaay activity. Be prepared for a vocabulary lesson in addition to a lively and interactive evening.

Previous Years Lecturers: