David M. Van Horn, Laurie S. White, Lee A. DiGregorio,
Susan M. Colby, and Roy A. Salls

March 2003

This internet presentation of the Berger site report is a slightly edited version of an earlier report produced by Archaeological Associates in September of 1997.  Originally, the archaeological deposit covered a prominent hilltop and the encircling slopes.  When we first visited the location, it consisted of one undeveloped residential lot on the hilltop (Lan-206) and a peripheral scatter on the northerly slope across 80th Street (Lan-206"A").  The remainder of the site had been destroyed by development.
The surviving deposit contained evidence of both Millingstone and Intermediate Horizon use.  It has yielded the earliest C-14 date of any of the complex of archaeological deposits on the Ballona bluffs.  Moreover, the results of faunal analyses seem to indicate a sharp change in food preference during the period of the site's use.  For these and other reasons, we felt that the Berger investigations merited internet publication.

      BERGER SITE (LAN-206)
 A. Introduction
 B. Excavations
 C. Finds
 D. Faunal Analyses
 E. Chronometric Data
 A. Surface Scatter at LAN-206A
 B. Test Excavation Units
 C. Interpretation of LAN-206
 D. Evaluation of the Significance of LAN-206A

LAN-206, the Berger site, was a prehistoric archaeological deposit located on the top of a low hill about 1,500 feet south of the edge of the Ballona bluffs in the Westchester area of the City of Los Angeles.  It was probably the most ancient of a string of archaeological sites which once ran the full length of the bluffs overlooking the Ballona Creek wetlands.  The hilltop was bladed off between 1984-1985 to accommodate residential development.  However, considerable information was gathered by test excavation and volunteer teams prior to grading.
Because the deposit was situated on a hilltop, some cultural debris had scattered down the slope to the north.  The outer portion of this material extended onto the southwestern corner of the West Bluff property.  The purposes of this report are to: (1) summarize what is known about the Berger site and (2) to provide details regarding Berger peripheral material which was found on the West Bluff tract.
The first professionals to examine the Berger site seem to have been Charles Rozaire and Russell Belous who visited the location during their well-known 1950 survey of the Ballona Escarpment.  The site was officially recorded by Hal Eberhart in 1953 and re-examined by Robert Pence in 1979.  Pence's comments included the following:
Artifacts from this site included manos and metates and cog stones...but no mortars or pestles.  The lack of mortars and pestles may indicate that the site dates to the Millingstone Period or that it was single purpose encampment site of some later period.  The presence of cog stones would tend to argue that the site is of Millingstone age.   The area for the site is 123 meters by 62 meters.  Other designations for this site are LA-24 and William Deane's site #6.  (Pence 1979:n.p.)
One of the amateurs who had known about the Berger site for many years was William Deane.  His collection was photographically recorded by Marlys Thiel (1953; Deane's site #6).  Deane's collection included some bowl and mortar fragments (apparently contradicting Pence's observations) in addition to three complete and one fragmentary "cogstone," artifacts generally believed to be reliable indicators of considerable antiquity as noted by Pence.
In the fall of 1983, David Van Horn, John R. Murray, and Charles Rozaire surveyed a 30-acre tract of land east of Berger Place (Van Horn 1983).  After observing the topography, it became clear that LAN-206 had once extended eastward across the alignment of Berger Place and onto the residential lot across the street.  However, the results of the survey showed that the site had not extended far enough eastward for any portion to have survived development (although two marginal shell scatters were found nearby and subsequently tested; see Brown and Murray 1983).
A. Introduction
The information which follows relates to excavations which took place at LAN-206, an archaeological deposit which is located south across 80th Street from the West Bluff property (southwest corner of 80th Street and Berger Place; fig. 1).  The excavations are described here because they directly relate to subsequent work on the West Bluff property in the area designated LAN-206A.
Work at LAN-206 was conducted in two phases.  The first phase, which was sponsored by Howard Hughes Realty, Inc. in 1983, consisted of a limited test excavation.  The second phase, which consisted of additional hand excavation as well as machine digging was conducted in 1984 by a volunteer team of unpaid professionals.  The volunteer work was necessary because a grading permit for the property had been issued and the deposit was about to be removed.
Originally, Ms. Lee A. DiGregorio planned to write her Master's Thesis on the work at the Berger site.  Although she never completed the thesis, Ms. DiGregorio compiled the field notes, cataloged the finds, and arranged for mapping.  Thus, much of the information which follows is based upon her work.

Plate I
Top: Vacant lot comprising portion of LAN-206 excavated in 1983-1984 (southwest corner of 80th Street and Berger Place.  Note: location of LAN-206A is north of stop sign in background.  Bottom: Water screening at LAN-206 in 1984.

B. Excavations
The total volume of soil excavated at LAN-206 is calculated to be 62 cubic meters.  A map showing both the 1983 and 1984 unit locations is presented as Figure 2 where it may be seen that all areas of the hilltop were sampled.
1983: Units 1-2; 1 x 1 m. hand excavated Units 3-4; 2 x 2 m. hand excavated (Unit 4 completed in 1984)
 1984: Units 6-8; 1 x 1 m. hand excavated
Unit 5; 2 x 2 m. hand excavated
TR 1-3; backhoe trenches totaling 48 m. in length
BH 3-5; backhoe pits totaling 16 m. in length and 2-3 m. in  width

Figure 1
Location of LAN-206A and excavated portion of LAN-206 as shown on a portion
of the USGS Venice 7.5' Topographic Quadrangle.

Figure 2
Site map showing locations of excavated units and trenches at LAN-206.
Location of LAN-206A is off map to the northeast of 80th Street and Berger Place.

The bulk of the material described in this report was recovered from the hand excavated units.  The soil in each of these units was excavated in 10 cm. levels dug in contour with the surface.  Backdirt was hydraulically processed in screens fitted with 1/8" mesh.  Level forms were filled out in the field and cultural materials were bagged and labeled by provenience and stored for analysis.  The total volume of the hand excavated deposit was 12 cubic meters.
Backhoe work commenced following completion of the hand dug units.  Its purposes were to further assess the stratigraphy, depth, and extent of the site and also to expand the artifact inventory.  In addition, it was anticipated that features might be uncovered using this method.  Since the volunteer crew's time was limited (the backhoe operator was also a volunteer) and since the entire deposit was about to be bladed off, machine exploration was the only available alternative for examining large areas of the site.
Machine dug excavations consisted of three trenches (TR units) and three large pits (BH units), the digging of which was closely monitored by the crew.  Trench 1 spanned the site from north to south, paralleling Berger Place.  The trench was 30 m. in length, 0.8 m. in width, and averaged 1.0 m. in depth.  Trench 2 comprised a 10 m. swath on the highest portion of the knoll at right angles to Trench 1.  It averaged 0.8 m. in depth.  Trench 3 bridged the distance between Units 6 and 7.  It was 8 m. in length and averaged 0.6 m. in depth.  The depth of each trench extended below the maximum depth of cultural material.  The combined volume of all three trenches was estimated to be 34 cubic meters.
The three irregular backhoe pits were dug to expand the area of the site where a discoidal was recovered (Unit 7).  However, few additional artifacts were recovered from the pits, the combined volume of which was estimated at 16 cubic meters.
C. Finds
The artifacts recovered during the excavations at LAN-206 were cataloged and statistically summarized by DiGregorio.  Some of the information which follows is based upon her records while other descriptions were written by her.

1. Groundstone
Manos (Mullers):  Of 25 manos and mano fragments recovered, only three are intact while seven more are at least one-half preserved.  Eighteen specimens are bifacial and two are trifacial.  Four of the bifacial manos are wedge-shaped when viewed in section.  Twelve exhibit pecking, probably intended to roughen the surface to enhance its grinding capability.  Three exhibit battering suggesting use for other than milling purposes.  Eight are burned.
The raw materials from which the manos were manufactured is of some interest since almost half (12) are fashioned from sandstone.  The remainder comprise granite (11) and siltstone (2).  Why so many manos were manufactured from relatively soft and gritty sandstone is not known but one guess is that it relates to the kinds of plant or animal materials being milled.
The provenience of the manos is also interesting.  While more than half were recovered from the machine-dug trenches or the surface, eight were found at depths between 20 and 40 cm. in the hand excavated units.  The horizontal distribution was across the entire knoll top, manos having been recorded from Units 2,3,6 and 7.
Metates (Millingstones):  The metate collection consists of eleven fragments comprising five rims and five basins (one fragment is unidentified).  Once again, sandstone is the favored material, nine of the fragments having been manufactured from that material.  The remainder are granite and schist.  Hand excavated specimens occurred in Units 3 and 4 where most appeared between 20 and 60 cm. depth (one was found between the surface and 20 cm. in Unit 4).
Abraders:  Abraders are tools which exhibit ground surface or facets resulting from rubbing or abrading resistant surfaces.  It is possible that these tools were used in the manufacture of other implements such as shaping or preparing surfaces of milling equipment.
Three specimens are classified as abraders.  The first is a quartzite cobble heel which has had all angles rounded by abrasion.  Found on the surface, its dimensions are 9 x 7.5 x 4.5 cm.  The second abrader is a metavolcanic cobble section with three abraded surfaces and a few pecking scars.  It was recovered from Unit 6 at a depth of 40 cm. (7.5 x 6 x 5 cm.).  The third item is an abrader/hammer which is triangular in section and exhibits bifacial concave surfaces with striations (9.8 x 4.3 x 3 cm.).  Found in Unit 3 at a depth of 20 cm., its rounded ends bear scars from impacts with resistant materials.
Discoidal:  A single discoidal was recovered from Unit 7 at a depth of 30 cm.  The specimen, which is intact and in fair condition, is fashioned from well-indurated sandstone.  It measures 6 cm. in diameter and 3.3 cm. in thickness.  One of its flat surfaces grades sharply into the rim whereas the opposing surface is more rounded.  Several light-to-moderate unpatterned scratches and gouges are present on the specimen, which may be use-wear damage from farming activities or deterioration over time.

Plate II
Top: Discoidal from LAN-206, Unit 7:30-40 cm.
Bottom: Problematic items from LAN-206
(left-Unit 3:40-50 cm., right-Unit 3:80-90 cm.).

A similar sized discoidal, but of andesite, was reported by Lambert (1983:18, fig. 8D).  This object was found at the Bluff site (LAN-64).  Van Horn and Murray reported a discoidal from the Loyola site (LAN-61B) located on the bluff north of Lincoln Blvd. (1985:64).
It should be noted that discoidals are often found at sites which contain cogstones (see citations in following section).  This was also the case at the Berger site.
Cogstones:  Although no cogstones were found during excavations at the Berger site, four were collected by William Deane, an amateur.  These were photographed by Marlys Thiel and her photographic record is preserved at UCLA  (Thiel 1953:25f.; cf. fig. 2.b).  Two of these cogstones are conventional types characterized by "gear-like" grooves ground around the circumferences (Eberhart's "land and groove" type; 1961:362f.).  The third is a rather unusual cogstone which is roughly square in plan with pronounced incurves on the four sides.  The fourth is a fragment which we hesitate to identify from the photograph.
A fifth cogstone was shown to the excavation crew by a boy who said he found it on the site while digging a "fort."  This was a conventional land-and-groove type cogstone which was photographed by Van Horn.

Plate III
Top: Cogstone reportedly found at LAN-206 by boy digging "fort".
Bottom: View of LAN-206A looking west.  Site lies just south of white house adjacent to 80th Street.

Cogstones are usually found at sites near the coast in Orange and Los Angeles Counties although they have been reported from as far inland as the Mojave Desert (Herring 1968:12).  They are normally found in Early Millingstone contexts (6,000-2,000 B.C.; Wallace 1978:28; for studies of cogstones, cf. Eberhart 1961, Herring 1968, Salls 1980, Whitney-Desautels 1995).  Although the function(s) of cogstones are unknown, most writers suggest ceremonial connections for lack of any identifiable practical use.  Since the Berger site contained no burials or other features suggesting ritual, we are disinclined to accept this interpretation but it cannot be ruled out.
Problematic Items (Plate II.bottom):  The identity and function of two small ground stone items is uncertain (atlatl spurs represent a possibility).  The first is a small chlorite schist specimen (from Unit 3:40-50 cm.) which is shaped somewhat like a bowling pin (1.35 x 0.6 x 0.5 cm.).  The second item (from Unit 3:80-90 cm.), which is red sandstone, has a bulbous "head" and a constriction separating the head from the body of the piece.  Only 0.8 cm. of the body length survives, the remainder having been broken away.  The surviving fragment measures 1.8 x 0.9 x 0.5 cm.
Other Unidentified Groundstone Fragments:  Nine fragments are placed in the unidentified category.  One comprises a piece of pecked and ground andesite which is noteworthy due to the hardness of the raw material.  The remainder are sandstone.
2. Chipped Stone
Cores:  Thirty-seven cores are included in the collection.  Raw materials include chert (16), chalcedony (11), metavolcanic rock (5), quartzite (3), quartz (1), and siltstone (1).  Sixteen of the chert and chalcedony specimens have been classified as "micro-cores" because they are small (less than 2 cm. in maximum dimension) and manufactured from fine-grained material.  Most, but not all appear to have been used to produce prismatic debitage such as tiny bladelets or splinters (see "Drills" below).
Other types of cores include bidirectional (7), amorphous (12), single platform (2), and discoidal (1).  While some of these cores are chert, many are manufactured from coarser metavolcanics.  Most measure between 4 and 6 cm. in maximum dimension.  Twenty-seven cores were found in the hand excavated units and these tended to be concentrated at depths ranging from 10 to 40 cm.
Unutilized Debitage:  This category includes flakes as well as shatter and other fragments thought to have related to the knapping process.  A grand total of 1,564 flakes were cataloged from the excavation units.  Unit 3 was by far the most productive with a total of 986.  Table 1 provides the data from Unit 3.

Chert is the most frequent raw material and much of this is Monterey chert which is readily available around the nearby Pacific shore.  Metavolcanic and quartzite cobbles are also locally available.  One obsidian flake was found in Unit 3 at a depth of 100 cm.  One additional obsidian flake was found in Trench 3.  Nonetheless, the statistics from Unit 3 clearly show that obsidian was not a significant element in the raw material resource base of the people using the Berger site.
It is interesting to observe that unutilized debitage is especially frequent between the surface and 30 cm. depth.  This overlaps but does not entirely correspond to the concentration of faunal material in the vertical sequence (see "Faunal Remains" below).
Utilized Debitage:  Fifteen flakes, three of which are prismatic, were placed in this category.  Eight were recovered from the hand excavated units (3 from Unit 3).  These items are manufactured from chert (7), metavolcanic rock (3), quartzite (3), and chalcedony (2).  A few appear to have been deliberately retouched but most simply exhibit chipping or abrading wear.  The relatively small number of utilized specimens in comparison to the total debitage count is somewhat surprising and might suggest that most materials being worked were relatively soft.
Choppers:  Choppers are core tools characterized by bifacial or unifacial percussion flaked edges.  They are generally regarded as digging tools but may have served other purposes as well.  Three choppers are included in the Berger site catalog.  One is fashioned from a small andesite cobble and has a bifacial cutting edge.  A second was worked into shape from a large metavolanic flake.  Both  items were found in machine trenches.  The third chopper, which was manufactured from a large, cortical piece of quartzite, was recovered in the 90-100 cm. level of Unit 3.
Scrapers:  Twenty-one scrapers are in the collection, all having been found on the surface or in machine trenches except for five (4 from Unit 3, 1 from Unit 2; none occurred at more than 40 cm. in depth).  Only two of the scrapers are chert, one being a retouched flake and the other comprising a "thumbnail scraper" which is finely flaked and may have been manufactured from a broken point.
The remaining scrapers are larger plano-convex (10) or flake (9) types manufactured from metavolcanics (8), or quartzite (11).  Three of these were classified as "small domed" scrapers while two others were manufactured on cobble ends.  One quartzite specimen represents a "Teshoa flake" (i.e., a large roundish flake which is mostly cortical on its dorsal surface).
Drills:  All but one of the fifteen drills cataloged from the Berger site were found in hand excavated units (11 in Unit 3 [0-90 cm.], 2 in Unit 2 and 1 in Unit 1).  These are small tools often referred to as "micro-drills" usually manufactured from fine-grained materials (7 chalcedony, 7 chert, 1 quartzite).  Most are made on small splinters which are prismatic or rectangular in cross-section.  The micro-cores found at the Berger site (see "Cores" above) may have yielded some of the drills found on the site.  The drills are pointed or chisel-shaped on the ends and may have been used to drill holes in such items as beads or bone shanks of multi-barbed hooks.
Biface Fragment: Originally cataloged as a "graver" this fragment represents the edge of a Monterey chert biface.  To judge by the shape of the fragment, it represents a portion of either the base or point of the biface.  The fragment, which was found in the 60-70 cm. level of Unit 3, measures 1.6 x 0.8 x 0.6 cm.
Point:  The only projectile point known from the Berger site is a basal fragment found on the surface.  The specimen is a portion of a side-notched point which was manufactured from Monterey chert.  While one notch is well-defined, the other is shallow and poorly defined.  Judging by the size of the fragment (1.8 x 1.7 x 0.7 cm.), the point may have been hafted on an atlatl dart.

3. Miscellaneous Items
Hammerstones:  A total of 32 specimens were placed in the hammerstone category.  They are divided into three groups: 26 core hammers, 2 cobble hammers, and four fragments.  The core hammers are remarkably consistent in appearance.  They tend to be round to oval in plan and roughly triangular in section with 21 of 26 ranging from 4 to 6 cm. in length.  Generally, they retain at least 50% of their cortical surface and exhibit moderate-to-heavy impact scars on perimeters, projections, and arrises between flake scars.
All but two of the hammers are either quartzite or metavolcanic rock (the two exceptions are granite and siltstone).  It is interesting to observe that of the 18 excavated hammers, 17 were recovered above 50 cm. in depth.  Thus, hammers, like milling equipment, are concentrated in the upper potion of the vertical sequence.  This may not be surprising since the hammers were probably mostly used to roughen milling surfaces to enhance the grinding characteristics.
Fire-Cracked Rock:  Fire-cracked rock (FCR) occurred everywhere in the matrix of the Berger site.  For the most part, these rocks were not recorded.  However, in order to have a vertical index of FCR frequency, these rocks were counted in the levels of Unit 3.  The results can be found in Table 2.
FCR comprise the same rocks from which the milling equipment was manufactured (granite, sandstone, quartzite, etc.).  Their distribution across the vertical sequence is noteworthy since they are clearly concentrated in the upper 30 cm.

Ochre: Ochre, an extremely soft mudstone of sedimentary origin is composed of high concentrations of iron oxides which produce various colors in the material.  Ochre is believed to have been ground into powder to make pigments for paint.  Numerous small pieces of ochre were recorded across the vertical sequence of Unit 3 (Table 3).  It may be noteworthy that the only level to yield a statistically significant quantity of ochre was 30-40 cm.  This point in the vertical sequence is slightly below the corresponding area for FCR (see Table 2 above).
Asphaltum & Tar Rock (by Lee A. DiGregorio):  One chunk of asphaltum measuring 4 cm. in diameter was recovered from Unit 3 within 10 cm. of the surface.  Also, a crazed angular rock, measuring roughly 4 x 3.5 cm., was coated with asphaltum.  It was found in backhoe Trench 3.
Human (?) Tooth:  A molar believed by the field staff to be human occurred in two pieces in the 40-50 cm. level of Unit 3.  However, this tooth has not been submitted to an expert for identification.
Modern Debris:  The distribution of modern debris across the vertical sequence is of interest because it illustrates how much mixing due to rodents and other forms of disturbance have taken place over a relatively short period of time.
Glass fragments were found in the 30-40 and 50-60 cm. levels of Unit 1 and the 60-70 cm. level of Unit 4.  A "Federal Hi-Power" 12-gauge shotgun shell base was recovered from the 70-80 cm. level of Unit 4 and a .22 caliber rimfire case was found in the 30-40 cm. level of Unit 6.  On the other hand, modern material occurred only as deep as 20 cm. in Unit 3 (plate glass, a nail, and a piece of plastic).
D.  Faunal Analyses
1. Faunal Remains (Susan M. Colby [1986])
A total of 238 grams of faunal remains from 5 units at LAN-206 were submitted for analysis [this included 0.4 gm. from Unit 1A at LAN-206A; see Section V below].  The largest sample by far was from Unit 3 (224.6 gm.) representing 94% of the total bones from the site.  Therefore, the following analysis will be based primarily on the Unit 3 data.
The faunal remains from all the units were highly fragmented permitting the identification of less than 14% of the site total (by weight).  The identified taxa are listed in Table 4.  The sample is too small to generalize with confidence on the relative importance of various species to the diet.  However, the variety of species present indicates that a broad spectrum of resources was utilized including many small animals.  If the samples is representative, it reflects opportunistic hunting of locally abundant resources, rather than specialized hunting far afield.
Approximately half of the specimens were burnt indicating roasting as a common method of meat preparation.  Burned specimens of raccoon, dog/coyote, rabbit, hare, turtle,
bird, snake, squirrel (and perhaps badger and sea otter) indicate these taxa were used for food.  The one identifiable deer specimen was not burnt but it is probable that a high percentage of the large unidentifiable mammal bones (43% of which were burnt) represent deer (Table 5).


On the other hand, many of the small animal bones probably represent intrusive events.  There are no burnt specimens of gopher, rat/mouse or weasel.  However, since approximately 49% of the unidentifiable small animal bones were burnt (Table 5), we can surmise that at least half of the remains of small animals (and probably more) do represent food refuse.
The remains are densest from 40-60 cm. in depth (Table 6) with a constant but lower density from 60-120 cm.  This profile is consistent with an interpretation that this was a campsite used repeatedly over a long period of time to utilize the abundant and varied local resources.
The duck, goose, loon and grebe specimens represent marsh feeders most common in the area in late fall to spring.  However, use of the site in summer as well cannot be ruled out.

2.  Fish Fauna (based on a study by Roy A. Salls [1986])
 The fish faunal elements from the Berger site consisted of 185 elements representing a minimum number of individuals (MNI) of 57.  The sample yielded three species of sharks, five species of rays, and eleven species of bony fishes.  The data are summarized in Tables 7 and 8 where it may be seen that fish remains were especially plentiful in the 50-100 cm. levels.  Fish bone was recovered only from Units 1, 2 and 3.


Underwater surveys and species observations within all possible catchment areas for LAN-206, based on Allen's (1985) research, disclose that the fishing activity was conducted in two local nearshore marine environments:  (1) open coast sandy beach and (2) bay and estuary.  There is no evidence of pelagic fishing at LAN-206.  The fish in the faunal assemblage do not even indicate a necessity for watercraft.  Balsas would have improved the estuary catch; however weirs and nets were the probable method of capture.

3. Shellfish Remains (by Lee A. DiGregorio)
Marine shell was separated from the other excavated material after it had been washed through 1/8th-inch mesh.  The shell was dried, bagged, and labeled.  The next step was to identify and count diagnostic portions of the valves for further analysis.  For bivalve species, at least half of the umbo and hinge teeth portion had to be intact to represent one valve; the apex was required for the univalve species.  All counts used in the analysis were based exclusively on these diagnostic portions.
Shell was separated by species using several reference publications for identification (Morris 1966, Abbott 1968, Reish 1972; these were also used for habitat information).  The shell was very fragmented and chalky in the upper levels while the lower levels, where most of the shell was concentrated, exhibited many whole valves with an intact outer layer (periostracum).
A total of 776 diagnostic specimens of shell were counted from the Berger site.  These "diagnostics" plus the identifiable fragments represent 15 species of marine shellfish.  It is apparent that only five of the species were purposefully collected for food by the occupants of the site.  All, save one, would have been available on the mud flats and intertidal zone of the nearby estuary.  The single exception is the bean clam (Donax c.) which is represented by only one valve; it is commonly found in the surf zone of the open coast.
The five predominant species of marine shell divide into three common shellfish types: Venus clam or cockle (Chione sp.) followed by the Speckeled scallop (Plagioctenum circularis), and Native oyster (Ostrea lurida).  Since these three groups comprise 98% of the shell collection, they are the focus of further analysis.
By far the most favored species was the venus clam or cockle followed by scallop and oyster.  All but eight specimens were recovered from Unit 3 which serves to illustrate that marine shell was concentrated in the northern portion of the site.  Table 9 provides the provenience, frequency, and percentage of each of the three primary genera in Unit 3.
The vertical distribution reveals that few shells were recovered within the first 50 cm. of depth, but the count dramatically increased from 50 cm. to 90 cm., then began to diminish.  Thus, few shells were visible on the surface to indicate the presence of a buried shell midden.

E. Chronometric Data
1. Radiocarbon
A sample of marine shell (Chione sp.) was excavated from Unit 1 between 50 and 60 cm. below the surface.  It was submitted to Beta Analytic, Inc. for radiocarbon analysis.  The sample, which weighed 42.83 gm., yielded a date of 6750 B.P.
Since the Beta lab "normalized" the result, that is, it contains an implied reservoir correction of 410 years, the magnitude of correction is reduced from 680 + 15 to 270 + 15.  The reservoir corrected date then becomes 6480 B.P or 4530 B.C.

2. Obsidian Hydration
Of the two flakes of obsidian found at the Berger site, one was examined for hydration rims by J. Linscheid at Archaeological Associates' laboratory.  This specimen was recovered from Unit 3 at a  depth of 100 cm. below the surface.  The procedure resulted in a hydration thickness measurement of 7.875 microns.  Based on Meighan's Malibu-derived index of 220 years per micron (Meighan 1978), the measurement suggests an age on the order of 1732.5 B.P. or A.D. 217.

It was abundantly clear to the field staff that the Berger site had been heavily disturbed by rodent activity and that this disruption to the vertical sequence had been sufficiently severe that no confidence could be placed in the provenience of any particular find.  On the other hand, the statistics for occurrence of some types of objects in the vertical sequence of Unit 3 seem to indicate a pattern.
This pattern suggests that the deposit at the Berger site consists of at least two and probably three components (Table 10).  The character of the three components may be summarized as follows:
Component A (Surface to 40 cm.)
Component A, representing the latest use of the site, is characterized by abundant fire-
cracked rock and chipped stone debitage.  Milling equipment is also relatively abundant although Component B shares this characteristic.  The bottom of the component (Unit 3:30-40) yielded relatively plentiful ochre.  The only point found on the site, which may represent an atlatl dart point, was found on the surface and should, therefore, be associated with Component A.  Faunal finds are relatively sparse.
Component B (40 to 60 cm.)
This is the most poorly defined component.  Like Component A, it is characterized by relatively abundant milling equipment.  However, unlike Component A, Component B exhibits a heavy concentration of animal and fish bone.  Marine shell remains sparse.
Component C (60 to 120 cm.)
Artifacts are not at all frequent in Component C but marine shell and fish bone are abundant.  Although the contexts of the cogstones from the Berger site are not known for certain, it stands to reason that they should be associated with Component C since this component would represent the Millingstone Period.
These components lend themselves to translation into local cultural eras.  Component C represents the Millingstone Horizon to judge by the early C-14 date (circa 4500 B.C.) and the presence of the cogstones which are associated with the Millingstone Period by virtually all students of the subject.  The people who were using the site during this period gathered shellfish from the lagoon and left the valves concentrated in a small area around Unit 3, the
highest elevation of the hill.  They also fished as evidenced by the fish bones.  While they did use cogstones for some unknown function, they manufactured few chipped and ground stone tools on the site.
Figure 3.
Vertical sequence of finds at Lan-206.

Component B use of the location seems to be characterized by the introduction of more milling equipment and a decrease in shellfish gathering.  Chipped stone scrapers are first found in this component.  Fishing is indicated but the dramatic increase in animal bone suggests a new emphasis on hunting.  Game included most of the large and small animals available in the area as well as marine mammals.  Component B may relate to an earlier phase of the Intermediate Period (perhaps the first millennium B.C.)
The finds associated with Component A reflect the most intensive knapping activity the site experienced (the only projectile point known from the Berger site was found on the surface of Component A).  Milling equipment is frequent and abundant fire-cracked rock suggests considerable roasting although animal bone, fish bone, and shellfish valves are sparse.  Obsidian comes into use in Component A.  The single obsidian hydration date from the site came from an obsidian flake which was found at a depth of 100 cm.  We think that this flake attained that depth through disturbance and that the hydration date of circa A.D. 200 should be associated with Component A.  Assuming this interpretation is correct, Component A should be associated with the late Intermediate Period (first half of first millennium A.D.).
It is important to recognize that the characteristics just described relate only to the use of the Berger site in particular.  Since different people may have used the location for different purposes, the features of the components may not accurately reflect cultural characteristics in general.
On the other hand, micro-cores and small drills are also characteristic of nearby sites closer to the edge of the bluff.  The Marymount site (LAN-61), Del Rey site (LAN-63) and Bluff site (LAN-64) all produced these types of tools and it seems reasonable to conclude that they are a feature of the culture inhabiting the area sometime following the close of the Millingstone Period.
In summary, it appears that the Berger site was in use by around 4500 B.C. and that fish and shellfish consumption were prominent activities on the hilltop during the early period.  The distribution of shellfish valves indicates that this early use was probably confined to the highest elevation of the hilltop.  At some unknown time represented by the 50 cm. point in the vertical sequence, marine shell gathering ceased to be of importance to the site's users.  While fishing did remain important, increased animal bone suggests that there was a new emphasis on hunting.  Finally, during the latest period of the site's use, manufacture of chipped stone implements, most notably micro-cores and scrapers, and use of milling equipment become prevalent.

In 1986, the excavation team working on the Del Rey and Bluff sites (LAN-63 & 64), conducted an investigation of the north slope scatter of the Berger site which they designated "LAN-206A."  The investigation was largely restricted to that portion of the scatter which was within the boundaries of the West Bluff property.  Thus, the work took place northeast of the main site.  The purpose of the investigation was to determine whether a significant deposit was present (pursuant to the provisions of the California Environmental Quality Act [CEQA]).  The project consisted of plotting the surface scatter and excavation of three 1 x 1 m. square test units (fig. 4).
A.  Surface Scatter at LAN-206A
The surface scatter was plotted by walking the slope in parallel transects and pin-flagging all cultural material found.  The pin flags were then located using transit and stadia (for details regarding the method, see Van Horn and Murray 1982).  Cultural material was found to be scattered over an area measuring approximately 90 m. N-S by 75 m. E-W.
Figure 4.
LAN-206A site map indicating locations of units and distribution of surface finds.

Since the principal purpose of the mapping program was to determine the best places to excavate test units, only unique or particularly interesting items were collected (a large collection of artifacts with secure proveniences had already been assembled during the excavations at the main site).
The results of the mapping program may be seen in Figure 4.  The scatter was found to consist of the following items:
     54 Flakes
     47 Fire-cracked rocks
     10 Hammerstones
      9 Cores
      3 Mano fragments
      2 Scrapers
   Total  125 items

The map shows that the scatter extended from 80th Street all the way down to the top of an arroyo which cuts through the bluff at the northwest corner of the West Bluff property, a distance of about 100 m.  However, the pattern of the scatter appears to have a radius which conforms to the slope.  The scatter did not extend all the way to the southern property boundary (80th Street) but it is believed that this portion may have been disturbed by construction of the road.
Because the slope has been cultivated and disced for decades, movement due to mechanical forces and erosion have undoubtedly "smeared" the original pattern.  Nonetheless, the general configuration of the scatter conforms to what one might expect.
All of the cultural material types observed on the surface are commonplace in the area and could be found in association with sites of any date.  However, the presence of an obsidian flake and three pieces of ochre (found after the plot was completed) suggests that some, if not all, of the cultural material at LAN-206A should be associated with the latest use of the Berger site.
B.  Test Excavation Units
Three 1 x 1 m. test units were excavated at LAN-206A at the locations shown in Figure 3.  Units 2 and 3, the more outlying test locations, yielded almost nothing (all three levels of Unit 2 were sterile; Unit 3 yielded 4 Monterey chert flakes in the 0-10 cm. level, 1 quartzite flake in the 10-20 cm. level and nothing between 20 and 40 cm.).  The finds from Unit 1 are summarized in Table 10.

The excavators of Unit 1 noted evidence of considerable rodent activity.  They also recorded finding bottle glass fragments as deep as 30 cm., a point where the soil color lightened perceptibly.

C. Interpretation of LAN-206A
It seems reasonable to conclude that LAN-206A represents a peripheral scatter of material relating to the later phases of the Berger site (Components A and/or B).  The strongest evidence favoring this interpretation is the configuration of the scatter on a slope which once ascended to the hilltop where Berger site activity was concentrated (southwest corner of 80th Street and Berger Place).
The complete absence of marine shell at LAN-206A suggests that the scatter relates to the later use of Berger since marine shell is plentiful in the earliest component (Component C).  The presence of a single obsidian flake and three pieces of ochre in the scatter also suggests that it relates to the later components of Berger.
The results from Units 2 and 3 show that almost no cultural material lies buried in the outlying area of the scatter.  Unit 1, which was placed upslope (i.e., closer to the hilltop), yielded a small amount of cultural material but most of this was found in the upper 30 cm., well within the plow/disc zone.  Faunal material was too sparse to suggest habitation at LAN-206A.
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