Old Salt Lake | Virtual Museum
[ Transcribed ]
Dr. F. M. Palmer, Curator of the Southwest Society of the Archaeological Institute
Probably many residents of Redondo are not aware that we number among our citizens a gentleman who devotes himself to the collection of relics of a long-past age, piecing out from them the evidences of a primitive civilization. We refer to Dr. F. M. Palmer, curator of the Southwest Society of the Archaeological Institute of America.
And Dr. Palmer has found right here in our midst fields rich in these aboriginal relics containing some unrivaled specimens of primitive art. The doctor began his researches about thirty years ago, when he located a burial place at the margin of the bluff. Thirty burials were found, though these are thought to be but a remnant of the original cemetery, the major portion of which had evidently crumbled down into the sea.
Near Fisherman's Cove is an ancient quarry where signs of extensive excavations exist. At the apex of the gorge the soil on the tableland has been excavated to a depth of from three to six feet. Chalcedony, chert, jasper and agate exist in various strata, and fro these the natives wrought their implements, both of peace and war. At present the gorge is sprinkled with nodules of various minerals rejected by the artisans, either for their irregular shape or because their refractory nature made them hard to manipulate. Many of the latter show evidences of attempts to work them by means of stone hammers. A fine collection of wrought and unwrought nodules, flakes and chips and thirty-three stone hammers were found in the quarry.
About one and one half miles west of the quarry is a village site occupying a commanding location on the western shore line of the Palos Verdes mountain. This covers an area of about twenty acres. A large shell mound formed of the waste from the primitive menu, alternating with the layers of sand placed for sanitary purposes, is a feature of this village, as is the case with all those of the ancient coast dwellers.
This mound yielded many interesting objects, including a number of bone implements three of them being whistles made from the bones of birds wings. One hundred and fifty stone implements, spear heads, arrow points, knives, scrapers and drills, implements used in manufacturing shell ornaments and tools use in manipulating steatlite and serpentine were also found in the debris lost through the carelessness of the tribesmen.
The doctor says that the implements and utensils ranks with the finest in the world. There are stone ceremonial knives eight to ten inches in length, an inch wide and often not more than an eighth of an inch in thickness of perfectly symmetrical proportions and with an edge as straight and true a if drawn by a rule.
At the time Catalina Avenue was being graded, numerous interesting objects were unearthed. A. K. Rutter secured many of these, among them various figures of animals carved out of stone and several beautifully wrought little boats of the same material. All this collection was purchased by Dr. Palmer and added to the museum
The doctor's field work is a wide one, though his personal work has so far been confined principally to southern California and Arizona. He is in charge of the work of the Society covering the territory south of San Francisco, reaching east to the Mississippi river in the United States and also including Mexico, Central America and the west coast of South America.
His collection is the finest of its kind in the world. At present part of it is in the Chamber of Commerce in Los Angeles and part in Room 3117 of the Pacific electric building, where it is open to the public daily except Sunday between the hours of 2 and 4 p. m., the doctor being in personal charge.