Santa Clarita Valley History In Pictures

Grinding Stone

Tataviam Culture | Rye Canyon

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Name: Grinding Stone (Mano)

Culture: Tataviam

Material: Stone (Granite/Marble?)

Dimensions: 4 x 3x2 x 3 in.

Technique: Ground

Weight: 35.17 oz.

Provenance: Santa Clara River, Rye Canyon

Catalog No: LW.SCV3807

Grinding stone, reportedly found in the 1950s along the Santa Clara River in Rye Canyon[1], which was the location of the major Tataviam Indian village of Chaguayanga (aka Chaguayabit, Tsawayung)[2] during prehistoric and early historic times (1769 being the local delineator) — essentially, from time immemorial[3] until 1802 when its inhabitants were removed to the Mission San Fernando.[4]

Development of Rye Canyon, the nucleus of the Valencia Industrial Center, began in the late 1950s with a Lockheed research facility. In 1968, during construction of Hydraulic Research, human remains and various cultural materials were unearthed and transfered to the Southwest Indian Museum in Los Angeles.

1. According to the eBay seller — Dennis J. Makovsky of Racine, Wisconsin — the only surviving information is that this item was "found in the Santa Clarita Valley near the Santa Clara River. It was found in Rye Canyon in the 1950s by the father of Dennis Brown" [NFI]. It was part of a collection that Makovsky purchased from Brown in 2007. The reader will note that the name "Rye Canyon" first appears in print in 1958 with the sale of land to Lockheed.

2. Johnson, John R., and David D. Earle. Tataviam Geography and Ethnohistory, Journal of California and Great Basin Anthropology, 1990 (pg. 192).

3. Salazar, Alan. "A Tataviam Creation Story." Ventura, Calif.: Sunsprite Publications 2021 (pg. 51).

4. See Records of Baptism for Chaguayanga.

LW3807: 9600 dpi jpeg from original lithic item purchased 2022 by Leon Worden.
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