Search Results for: William Hildebrandt

William R. Hildebrandt, PhD

William Hildebrandt, Far Western Anthropological Group
Bill Hildebrandt
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Dr. Hildebrandt’s archaeological research focuses on hunter-gatherer adaptations in California, Oregon, and the Great Basin, with particular emphasis given to prehistoric people occupying coastal environments. Bill is also a leader in the field of cultural resources management, and he has helped many government agencies preserve and better understand important archaeological sites under their management. His research is published in a variety of peer-reviewed journals and he has authored numerous monographs and book chapters published by UC Berkeley, UC Davis, UC Los Angeles, University of Utah, and the Nevada State Museum. He is currently working on the evolution of prehistoric hunting patterns in California and the Great Basin, applying modern approaches of human behavioral ecology to this research effort.

Evaluation and Testing
Effects Mitigation
Sensivity and Constraints
Environmental Planning Support
GIS and Cartography
Public Outreach and Interpretation

Bill’s Featured Projects

Bill’s Featured Publications

Hockett, Bryan S., William R. Hildebrandt, and Jerome H. King


Identifying Dart and Arrow Points in the Great Basin: Comment on Smith et al.’s “Points in Time: Direct Radiocarbon Dates on Great Basin Projectile Points.” American Antiquity 79:561-565.

Hildebrandt, William R., and Kelly R. McGuire


A Land of Prestige. In Contemporary Issues in California Archaeology, edited by Terry L. Jones and Jennifer E. Perry, pp. 133-151. Left Coast Press, Walnut Creek, California.

Gilreath, Amy J., and William R. Hildebrandt


Current Perspectives on the Production and Conveyance of Coso Obsidian. In Perspectives on Prehistoric Trade and Exchange in California and the Great Basin, edited by Richard E. Hughes, pp. 189-200. University of Utah Press, Salt Lake City.

Bill’s Outreach Activities

  • Founding President, Far Western Anthropological Research Group, Inc.
  • Editor of the Journal of California and Great Basin Anthropology 2013-2017
  • President, Society for California Archaeology 2018-2019
  • Adjunct Professor, Department of Anthropology, University of California, Santa Cruz
  • Research Associate, Department of Anthropology, University of California, Davis


Now Available Online! “Life on the River” by Hildebrandt and Darcangelo

Life on the River Cover

Instructors often request Life on the River – The Archaeology of an Early Native American Culture for use in their classrooms only to find out that it is now out of print.

With permission from Heyday Books, Life on the River, by Far Western authors William Hildebrandt and Michael Darcangelo, is now available online for instructors, students, and others curious about Sacramento Valley archaeology.

Life on the River

Part of the Crew for the Shasta County
2005 Field Season.

The book describes archaeological techniques and discoveries found at a Shasta County site, located on the Upper Sacramento River. It details Wintu lifeways just before and during the arrival of Europeans.

Click HERE to open the PDF!

You can also find the book under our Public Outreach and Interpretation page, along with other Far Western outreach projects, PDFs, and videos.

Read the first page…


Chapter I: Introduction

During the summer of 2005, thirty-six acres along the Sacramento River were subdivided into six residential lots. The land lies in Shasta County, about six miles south of Redding, California, within the original homeland of the Wintu Indians. One of the prime lots contained an archaeological site officially registered as CA-SHA-1043 and subsequently given the Wintu name “Kum Bay Xerel” (Shady Oak Village; Figure 1). After several failed attempts to develop construction plans that could avoid the site, the landowner decided that the project should move forward, but only after an archaeological excavation. The excavations were carried out by the authors of this publication and other members of the Far Western Anthropological Research Group, with help from several Wintu tribal members and professional volunteers from throughout northern California…read more!

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Bill Hildebrandt Receives Baumhoff Special Achievement Award at SCAs

William Hildebrandt, Far Western Anthropological Group

The Martin A. Baumhoff Special Achievement Award is given for lifetime contributions to California archaeology. The award focuses on an individual’s career accomplishments, personal and professional highlights, scope of influence, and other achievements. At the 2015 Society for California Archaeology (SCA) Conference, this March, Far Western’s founding member William Hildebrandt received the Baumhoff Special Achievement Award, presented by Kelly McGuire at the banquet event. We are honored as a company to benefit from his lifetime of dedication to and professional achievements in the field of archaeology.

The Golden Shovel Award recipient Edward Mike was introduced by Far Western Senior Archaeologist Michael Darcangelo. Ed has worked with Far Western for over twenty years. Patricia Mikkelsen was also awarded the President’s Award for Exceptional Service to the SCA.

Overall there was an outstanding showing and participation at the SCAs again this year by Far Western Staff:

  • Laura Brink presented Patrilocal Post-Marital Residence and Bride Service in the Early Period: Strontium Isotope Evidence from CA-SJO-112, a paper she co-authored with Jelmer Eerkens and Candice Ralston. Laura also co-authored a second paper, Trophy Heads or Ancestor Veneration? A Stable Isotope Perspective on Disassociated and Modified Crania in Pre-contact Central California with Jelmer Eerkens, Eric J. Bartelink, Richard T. Fitzgerald, Ramona Garibay, Gina A. Jorgenson, and Randy S. Wiberg.
  • Kaely Colligan served as this year’s Program Chair, gave the Welcome speech and organized the Plenary Session Beyond Boundaries, as well as co-authored Small Sites with Big Potential: Survey Results from the Cabrillo College Field School with Dustin McKenzie, Emily Bales, and Violet Navarrete.
  • Jill Eubanks presented The Importance of Field Records, Notes, and Maps for Future Research at the Poster Symposium.
  • Molly Fogarty and Stephen Hennek instructed the workshop Can I Touch It?: Workflows to Create Journal-Quality Images and Interactive Graphics with 3D Scanning and Photography.
  • William Hildebrandt was a symposium discussant and presented Native American Rock Features from South-Central Oregon and Northeastern California, a paper he co-authored with Paul Brandy, Nathan Stevens, and Amy Foutch Porras.
  • Philip Kaijankoski presented his poster Assembling the East Bay: Subsurface Geoarchaeological Explorations for the Silicon Valley-Berryessa BART Extension Project.
  • Jack Meyer and Jeffrey Rosenthal co-authored Paleodietary Analysis of a Central California (CA-CCO-696) Burial Population using Stable Carbon and Nitrogen Isotopes with Candice Ralston and Jelmer Eerkens.
  • Patricia Mikkelsen introduced the Poster Symposium and also presented her poster Prehistoric Structures and Yucca Roasting Ovens in Cuyama Valley. She gave out over 100 copies of The Long Road Traveled.
  • Mark Hylkema and Far Western’s Tammara Norton designed the Program cover, the Archaeology Month Poster, and stunning labels for wine bottles this year.
  • Jeffrey Rosenthal also co-authored Using XRF to Reconstruct Mobility at the Skyrocket Site (CA-CAL-629/630) with Carly S. Whelan, John H. Pryor, and Jeffrey R. Ferguson.
  • Allika Ruby co-authored The Antiquity of Patwin Occupation in the Capay Valley of Central California with Al Schwitalla, and Mike Taggart.
  • Nathan Stevens presented Changes in Technology in the Cuyama Archaeological Record at the Poster Symposium, and he also presented A Reevalutaion of Tuscan Obsidian Hydration, which he co-authored with Michael Darcangelo.
  • Adrian Whitaker was a guest speaker in the forum “Women in Archaeology: Mentoring and Connecting.”
  • Eric Wohlgemuth presented Change and Stability in Late Holocene Plant Use in the Cuyama River Canyon at the Poster Symposium.

A huge thank you to the fantastic Far Western staff including Kathleen Montgomery, Nicole Birney and the Graphic Design and Publishing Department; Art Director Tammara Norton; and Paul Brandy, Jill Bradeen, and the GIS and Cartography Department for their extraordinary work creating maps and graphics for the posters and slide shows for those who presented. Also, thank you to the wonderful Administration Department for their cool and collected organizational skills and helpful work in support of the Far Western contributions to the conference.

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Sharing the Past – Far Western Contributes to the 51st SCA Annual Meeting

2017 SCA Program

Click image to view entire program

March 9th – 12th 2017: Braving an impending storm – fortunately, a forecast that wasn’t – over 800 archaeologists attended the 51st Annual Society of California Archaeology Meetings in Fish Camp, California, just outside Yosemite National Park on the western slope of the Sierra Nevada.

Organized by Far Western’s Dr. Adie Whitaker (Program Chair), the overarching theme of “Sharing the Past” was vibrant throughout the venue and symposia. Friday morning’s Plenary Session included a stellar line up of speakers sharing highlights of recent research in the foothills and mountains of the central and north-central Sierra. The Plenary Session officially opened the 2017 meetings as Dr. Eric Wohlgemuth of Far Western discussed the challenges of archaeological field methods in California’s conifer forests. Eric spoke alongside Diane Gifford-Gonzalez, Carly S. Whelan, Kathleen L. Hull, Reba Fuller, Brian Codding, Ron W. Goode, and Mary L. Maniery.

The meeting then dispersed into a buzz of presentations, posters, forums, and roundtable discussions. Far Western contributors and participants provided strong presence throughout the weekend.

As the meetings closed on Sunday, Far Western past-President Bill Hildebrandt took on a new presidential role, joining the SCA Board as Incoming President. Bill begins his service this year as a member of the seven-person board and will serve as President of the SCA from 2018-2019.

In addition to behind the scenes work organizing the program by Adie Whitaker, Production Supervisor Nicole Birney produced the program using a database designed by Partner Jay King

A special thank you to Nicole Birney and Jay King for assisting with program organization and to Tammara Norton for contributing to our 2017 SCA presentations. 

Organized Paper Symposium

Organizer: Kaely R. Colligan

Organized Poster Symposium

Organizer: Allika Ruby


Brian F. Byrd, Patricia Mikkelsen and Shannon DeArmond
Kaely R. Colligan
Jay King
Jack Meyer
Patricia Mikkelsen
Andrew Ugan, Katie Bonham, and Justin Wisely
Justin Wisely
Eric Wohlgemuth


Angela Arpaia and Eric Wohlgemuth


To learn more, please visit the SCA Proceedings compiled by Proceedings Edtior, Allika Ruby

Far Western at the 35th Great Basin Anthropological Conference

GBAC 2016

October 6th – 9th 2016: Far Western researchers, along with colleagues from across the nation, gathered to present recent research and share ideas at the 35th Great Basin Anthropological Conference in Reno, Nevada. Organized around a conference theme of “Featured Landscapes of the Great Basin”, archaeologists from Far Western presented or contributed to nineteen paper and poster presentations. These included a poster symposium organized by Bill Hildebrandt highlighting the Ruby Pipeline Project, a plenary presentation by D. Craig Young, and new research from the Lincoln County Archaeological Initiative, the Marine Corps Air Ground Combat Center in the Mojave Desert, the Naval Air Station Fallon, and the Soldier Meadows Area of Critical Environmental Concern. A full menu of Far Western presentation abstracts and viewable posters is provided below.

The Great Basin Anthropological Conference is organized biennially by the Great Basin Anthropological Association – Far Western’s President, Kim Carpenter, serves as Treasurer on the association’s Board of Directors. Conferences such as the GBAC are great opportunities for archaeologists, historians, ethnographers, native communities, and regulatory agencies to present and discuss new research and future directions.

A special thank you to our Art Director, Tammara Norton, for assistance with our 2016 GBAC presentations.


Daron Duke and D.Craig Young
Michael Lenzi
Michael Lenzi and Vickie Clay
Kelly McGuire and William Hildebrandt
Adrian Whitaker and Jeffrey Rosenthal
Justin Wisely
D. Craig Young

Posters Click on Title Link to View Poster

Ryan Byerly
Ryan Byerly, Lindsey Daub, Eric Gingerich, and Joanna C. Roberson
Daron Duke, D.Craig Young, Sarah Rice, Jaynie Hirschi, and Anya Kitterman
Tucker Orvald and Kathryn Ataman
D. Craig Young (Contributor)

Poster Symposium Click on Title Link to View Poster

Prehistory of Nevada’s Northern Tier: Highlights from the Ruby Pipeline
Project Organizer: William R. Hildebrandt
Kaely Colligan, William Bloomer, and William Hildebrandt
William R. Hildebrandt
Jerome King
Kelly McGuire and Nathan Stevens
Allika Ruby and Jerome King
Andrew Ugan and Laura Harold
D. Craig Young

San Francisco SAA 80th Meeting Successes

Far Western at SAA Meeting

Laura Brink and Stephanie Bennett at the Far Western table for the 80th Annual SAA Meeting.

The Society for American Archaeology (SAA) met in San Francisco for their 80th Annual Meeting – their largest meeting yet! The SAA is an international organization dedicated to the research, interpretation, and protection of the archaeological heritage for the Americas. This year, Far Western was well-represented with many successful presentations, including the opening session, and poster sessions. Learn more about the Society for American Archaeology HERE.

Use the buttons below to see abstracts from Far Western presentations and collaborations!

Angela Arpaia
Plant Remains Assemblage in Santa Clara Valley
Laura Brink
Reconstructing Mobility in the San Francisco Bay Area: Strontium and Oxygen Isotope Analysis at Two California Late Period Sites, CA-CCO-297 and CA-SCL-919
Ryan Byerly
Geochemical and Physical Characterization of Lithic Raw Materials in the Olduvai Basin, Tanzania
Brian Byrd
The Neolithic Houses of California – An Ethnohistoric Comparative Perspective on Household and Community Organization among Complex Hunter-Gatherers
Brian Byrd
Wadi Madamagh, Western Highlands of Jordan: Lithic Evidence from the Late Upper Paleolithic and Early Epipaleolithic Occupations
Daron Duke
Haskett Spear Points and the Plausibility of Megafaunal Hunting in the Great Basin
Tod Hildebrandt
Divergent Histories: Prehistoric Use of Alpine Habitats in the Toquima and Toiyabe Ranges, Central Great Basin
William Hildebrandt and Kelly McGuire
Middle Archaic Expansion into High Elevation Habitats: A View from the Southwestern Great Basin
Philip Kiajankoski, Jack Meyer, and Paul Brandy
A Land Transformed: Holocene Sea-Level Rise, Landscape Evolution, and Human Occupation in the San Francisco Bay Area
Lucas Martindale Johnson
Preliminary Interpretations of the Reduction Technology and Distribution of Obsidian Cores at Caracol, Belize: Learning to Reconsider Maya “Eccentrics” and Social Relations of Ritual Objects
Jack Meyer
Holocene Transformation of San Francisco Bay and Transbay Man Site Stratigraphy
Michelle Rich
From A Forest of Kings to the Forests of Peten: The Mirador Group at El Perú-Waka'
Nathan Stevens and Jeffrey Rosenthal
Geology, Historical Contingency, and Ecological Inheritance in California's Southern Sierra Nevada
Adrian Whitaker and Brian Byrd
An Ideal Free Settlement Perspective on Residential Positioning in the San Francisco Bay Area
Eric Wohlgemuth
Environmental Constraints and Plant Food Intensification in the Sacramento Valley
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Gold Butte Inventory


One of the largest federally funded cultural resources undertakings in the State of Nevada, the Gold Butte Inventory Project exemplifies Far Western’s ability to conduct GIS-integrated land-use studies, large-scale sample surveys, and archaeological test investigations. We produced a complete human land-use study for the 364,116-acre Gold Butte Study Area located in eastern Clark County, Nevada. The effort included the development of a Research and Class II sample survey design (essentially a Class I Report), Class II Inventory of approximately 35,000 acres of random and non-randomly selected sample units, GIS modeling of the archaeological sensitivity of the area based on survey findings, and field excavations of nine key prehistoric sites to assist in chronological and assemblage control. Products resulting from this large-scale multi-year Section 110 study include: (1) a Research Design and Overview; (2) a nine-volume findings report; and (3) a Cultural Resources Management Plan.


Featured Publication

McGuire, Kelly R., William R. Hildebrandt, Amy J. Gilreath, Jerome H. King, and John E. Berg


The Prehistory of Gold Butte: A Virgin River Hinterland, Clark County, Nevada. University of Utah Anthropological Papers No. 127. Salt Lake City, Utah.


Evaluation and Testing
Effects Mitigation
Sensivity and Constraints
Environmental Planning Support
GIS and Cartography
Public Outreach and Interpretation
Sector: Resource Management
Agencies: Bureau of Land Management
State: NV
Counties: Clark


The Society for California Archaeology presented Amy Gilreath with the Mark Raymond Harrington Award for Conservation in Archaeology. Read more about her award at

The SCA President’s Award for Exceptional Service to the Society for California Archaeology was awarded to Patricia Mikkelsen.

Telly Award2015
The Silver Telly was awarded to Phil Gross, Kelly McGuire, William Hildebrandt, and D. Craig Young for their film “Breaking New Ground.”

Archaeology Channel Award2015
The Archaeology Channel Film Festival presented the film makers of “Breaking New Ground” with the Most Inspirational Award.

SCA Award2015
The Society for California Archaeology presented William Hildebrandt with the Martin A. Baumhoff Special Achievement Award.

SCA Award2010
Far Western received the Society for California Archaeology Thomas F. King Award for Excellence in Cultural Resources Management.

SDAC Award2009
Brian Byrd, Jeffrey Rosenthal, and William Hildebrandt received an Honorable Mention for Excellence in Archaeology from the San Diego Archaeological Center for their work at Camp Pendleton.

Caltrans Award2008
Far Western was recognized by Caltrans for an Outstanding Commitment to Disadvantaged Business Enterprise participation.

SCA Award2007
Far Western received the Governor’s Historic Preservation Award for our work on the Black Creek site in Calaveras County. This included a technical archaeological report, plus a public brochure, Stealing the Sun, which presents an archaeological overview and traditional Native Me-wuk stories about the area.

SCA Award2006
Jeffrey Rosenthal and Jack Meyer were awarded the Martin A. Baumhoff Special Achievement Award from the Society for California Archaeology.

SCA Award2005
The California Preservation Foundation presented their Design Award to Jeffrey S. Rosenthal and Jack Meyer for their groundbreaking Geoarchaeological Study and Sensitivity Model for the Southern Santa Clara, Hollister, and San Juan Valleys.

John E. Berg, MA

Jonh Berg featured image
John Berg

John has been with Far Western since 1988 (with a brief hiatus from 1995 – 1999) and serves as a Senior Archaeologist and Field Director. John’s personal area of interest is desert archaeology in the American West, and the archaeology of Israel and the Levant. In addition to directing field efforts at Far Western, he has spent significant time excavating abroad. His overseas work has focused on Tel Dor, Israel, where he served on the senior staff as Project Architect, Site Stratigrapher, and Senior Field Archaeologist from 1981 to 2006. In addition, he has made significant contributions to the work at World Heritage sites at Harappa, Pakistan, and Kebara Cave, Israel, and to the important Homo erectus site, Gesher Benot Ya’aqov, Israel.


Evaluation and Testing
Effects Mitigation
Sensivity and Constraints
Environmental Planning Support
GIS and Cartography
Public Outreach and Interpretation

John’s Project Highlights

John’s Featured Publications

McGuire, Kelly R., William R. Hildebrandt, Amy J. Gilreath, Jerome H. King, and John E. Berg


The Prehistory of Gold Butte: A Virgin River Hinterland, Clark County, Nevada. University of Utah Anthropological Papers No. 127. Salt Lake City, Utah.

Eliyahu-Behar, Adi, Lior Regev, Sana Shilstein, Steve Weiner, Yiftah Shalev, Ilan Sharon, and John E. Berg


Identifying a Roman Casting Pit at Tel Dor, Israel: Integrating Field and Laboratory Research. Journal of Field Archaeology 34(2):135-151.

Berna, Francesco, Adi Behar, Ruth Shahack-Gross, John E. Berg, Elisabetta Boaretto, Ayelet Gilboa, Ilan Sharon, Yiftah Shalev, Sariel Shilstein, Naama Yahalom-Mack, Jeffrey R. Zorn, and Steve Weiner


Sediments Exposed to High Temperatures: Reconstructing Pyrotechnological Processes in Late Bronze and Iron Age Strata at Tel Dor (Israel). Journal of Archaeological Science 34(3):358-373.

John’s Awards

J. Paul Getty Trust


Three-year research fellowship.

Allika Ruby, MA

Allika Ruby featured image
Allika Ruby  Email Allika

Allika has been a professional archaeologist since 1992 and a Far Western staff member since 1998. As senior Far Western archaeologist, she has worked on a wide range of cultural resources projects for a variety of clients. She has extensive field experience in California and Nevada, particularly in the western Great Basin, Mojave Desert, and coastal California; she has also undertaken archaeological work in Peru and Bulgaria. Her laboratory expertise includes historic-era artifact and faunal bone analyses. She has authored or co-authored more than 30 technical reports to satisfy California Environmental Quality Act and National Historic Preservation Act (Section 106) requirements.


Evaluation and Testing
Effects Mitigation
Sensivity and Constraints
Environmental Planning Support
GIS and Cartography
Public Outreach and Interpretation

Allika’s Featured Projects

  • Ruby Pipeline
  • CA-MNT-188 Test Excavations
  • Pinyon Surveys, Coso Range

Allika’s Featured Publications

Hildebrandt, William R., and Allika Ruby


Prehistoric Pinyon Exploitation in the Southwestern Great Basin: A View from the Coso Range. Journal of California and Great Basin Anthropology 27:11-32.

Ruby, Allika


Itinerant Industry: Nineteenth-Century Charcoal Production in the Coso Mountains. In Proceedings of the Society for California Archaeology, Volume 18, edited by Sharon A. Waechter, D. Laylander, and Greg G. White, pp. 176-180. Society for California Archaeology. Chico, California.

Hildebrandt, William R., and Allika Ruby


Archaeological Discovery of Two Wooden Bows from the Coso Range, Inyo County, California. Journal of Great Basin and California Anthropology 24:183-192.