"The Tataviam have been an under-represented and under-studied group of southern California Native Americans. Due to the existence of convoluted and
oftentimes contradictory historic documentation and obscurity surrounding the Tataviam, they have been marginalized as simple bands of hunter-gatherers that
occupied the mountains of the upper reaches of the Santa Clara River drainages until they were driven out of their native territory by disease and missionaries
and eventually integrated into the mission system. Past research, providing preliminary and contextual information, has only begun to shed light on the Tataviam.
Overshadowed by their archaeologically and ethnographically visible coastal neighbors, the Tataviam have been, for the most part, pushed to the back burner of
southern California archaeology. This research, following similar studies of coastal and inland prehistoric cemeteries, sheds new light on Tataviam social complexity
and completes analysis on a curated collection that was excavated four decades ago. I propose that the Tataviam were more socially complex than previously thought,
much more integrated into the sphere of southern California coastal groups, and should be considered complex hunter-gatherers. Through a bioarchaeological study
of a Vasquez Rocks cemetery (CA-LAN-361), I attempt to demonstrate that the causes, consequences, correlates, and conditions for the institutionalization of new
labor relationships and ascribed hierarchies, two organizational features essential to complexity (Arnold 1996), were present among the Tataviam during the Middle Period."