fort ross california
Fort Ross, California

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....................................................1823 image of fort ross

As recently as the early nineteenth century many of the Native Americans of northern California walked a tightrope between prehistory and history, between a hunter-gatherer existence and "civilization." Finding equilibrium between these two expanses would require change, choice, and a challenge to retain the time-tested securities of their past.


Location of Fort Ross

Fort Ross is located on the Sonoma County Coast of Northern California. The archaeological investigations of a Kashaya Pomo Village site on the ridge near the fort are being integrated with the rich ethnohistoric, ethnographic, pictorial, and linguistic data available on the Kashaya Pomo to form the basis for a dissertation addressing culture change in a Native American community in the early nineteenth century.

aerial view of fort ross
In this aerial view, Fort Ross is located at the top of the ridge in the upper left hand corner
Overview of the Area

Since the time a rancher made daily hikes to water his tomatoes and enjoy the view, the location of the Kashaya Pomo village has been called "Tomato Patch". In the clearing northeast of the year round spring a large depression, which is approximately 10 meters in diameter, becomes particularly well defined in the spring when the grass is green and clipped close to the ground by the resident cattle.
Directly east of the large depression are several smaller depressions that line up comfortably along the contour of the slope. To the south of the large depression the slope makes a noticeable descent to the dark rich soils of the midden. Scattered between are areas dominated by obsidian and chert flakes and shatter.
..overview of fort ross
Tomato Patch is the area highlighted in this layout of Fort Ross.

History of Fort Ross
The excavation at Fort Ross