In the late 1960s and early 1970s, the California Division of Highways carried out three highway realignment projects in Cuyama Valley, San Luis Obispo and Santa Barbara counties. Salvage archaeological work was conducted at seven sites, but the resulting extensive collections were never formally catalogued or documented.
Some 40 years later, the California Department of Transportation awarded Far Western a Transportation Enhancement grant to analyze and document the Cuyama Valley archaeological collections. The result is entitled Cuyama Valley – A Corridor to the Past.
The Cuyama Valley story is also presented in a booklet for the public called The Long Road Traveled by Patricia Mikkelsen, Paula Juelke Carr, Shelly Tiley, Julia Costello, Nathan Stevens, and John R. Johnson. Read it HERE!
We created a 3D gallery as part of the digital booklet. Spin and view the 3D Visualization Gallery HERE!
This publication honors Dr. Valerie Levulett, who initiated the Cuyama Valley project.
She was instrumental in ensuring that the gathered information be made available to researchers and the public alike.
Far Western also designed and fabricated two sets of portable exhibits and a set of four bookmarks to be used by members of the Chumash Indian community.
This project was a collaborative partnership among the Native American community, the District 5 Central Coast Specialist Branch of the California Department of Transportation, Far Western, the Santa Barbara Museum of Natural History, Foothill Resources, and Tiley Research, among others. We thank the many individuals who contributed their talents to this project, and particularly want to recognize the Native Americans with ties to Cuyama Valley who generously shared their time and stories with us.
We also wish to acknowledge the generous support of the California Transportation Commission, who made it possible to complete the proper processing and curation of the Cuyama archaeological collection. This study has opened up new and important vistas on the prehistory and early history of the Cuyama Valley corridor.