Digging Olompali: The Archaeology of the Recent

History Museum of Sonoma County 

January 19, 2017

5:00 pm - 7:00 pm

425 Seventh St., Santa Rosa, CA, 95401

Breck Parkman’s first assignment as a State Archaeologist was to inventory the cultural resources of Rancho Olompali, a brand, new 760-acre State Park in Marin County. According to Breck, one of his most important discoveries was a cultural deposit consisting of artifact-rich fire debris inside the ruins of the former Burdell Mansion. It was here that he found a virtual time capsule of hippie material culture, items that once belonged to the Grateful Dead-affiliated, Chosen Family commune, the residents of the mansion when it was destroyed by fire on February 2, 1969. This presentation describes the importance of that discovery.

Breck Parkman is a Senior State Archaeologist with California State Parks, assigned to the Bay Area and Sonoma-Mendocino Coast Districts. In this capacity, he helps manage the cultural resources of the approximately fifty State Parks found in the greater San Francisco Bay and North Coast areas. Breck is a Past President of the Society for California Archaeology and a former Research Associate at the Archaeological Research Facility, University of California, Berkeley. He began his professional career over forty years ago and during that time has worked on five continents, published and lectured widely, appeared on numerous TV and radio programs, and has had his work profiled in countless newspaper stories, both here and abroad. Breck appeared with the late Huell Howser in five episodes of PBS's California's Gold. In 2013, he played himself in the BBC's mini-series, Ice Age Giants, and will play himself again in Martin Scorsese's still-untitled Grateful Dead film, set to be released within the year. Breck also appeared in an episode of PBS's Family Ingredients, televised nationally last summer. Breck is perhaps best known for his work at Olompali State Historic Park, where he has helped develop the field of Contemporary Archaeology through his archaeological study of the Grateful Dead and the Chosen Family commune.

Lecture Sponsor receives 4 tickets, a single gift museum membership, and recognition in the Museum's marketing materials. Lecture sponsorships are fully tax-deductible.

Purchase your tickets here online or call us at (707) 579-1500 during regular business hours or between 11:00am-5:00pm on weekends.  

The RECEPTION begins at 5:00pm, the TALK begins at 5:30pm.


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