Foundations of Anthropology at the University of California   Seal of The University of California
Frederic Ward Putnam: Department of Anthropology, University of California


Executive Committee.

F.W. Putnam, Chairman.
Benj. Ide Wheeler,
Mrs. Phoebe A. Hearst,
J.C. Merriam, Secretary.


Of Instruction in the University:

F.W. Putnam
J.C. Merriam, Assistant Professor of Palaeontology and Historical Geology
George A. Reisner, Hearst Lecturer in Egyptology
Max Uhle, Hearst Lecturer in Peruvian Archaeology
Alfred L. Kroeber, Instructor in Anthropology
Pliny E. Goddard, Instructor in Anthropology

Of the Museum:

F.W. Putnam
J.C. Merriam, Field Director of Geological Explorations
George A. Reisner, Field Director of Explorations in Egypt
Max Uhle, Field Director of Explorations in South America
Alfred L. Kroeber, Field Ethnologist and Secretary of the Department
Pliny E. Goddard, Field Ethnologist
Ernest Volk, Field Archaeologist
F.M. Hussey, Museum Assistant
J.M. Robinson, Janitor
R.E. Scott, Assistant Janitor

Ethnological and Archaeological Survey of California

For several years the University of California, through its Department of Anthropology and by the liberal assistance of Mrs. Phoebe A. Hears, has been engaged in an ethnological and archaeological survey of the state. A large amount of material, illustrative of Indian life and culture in past and present times, has been secured and will form an important part of the anthropological collections which will in the future be exhibited in a Museum of the University at Berkeley. At the present time this collection, with others of the department, is temporarily stored in one of the buildings of the Affiliated Colleges belonging to the University in San Francisco. Here the large and valuable collections are safely cared for until the permanent museum building is secured.

Systematic explorations are being made of the later gravel deposits of several caves, and of the ancient shell heaps, in order to ascertain when man first occupied the region. The languages of the existing Indians are being studied by experts of the department; the customs and mythology of the different tribes are being carefully recorded; and collections illustrating their arts are being formed for the Museum. A study of the physical character of the various groups of Indians combined with that of the skeletons found during the archaeological explorations, is being made in order to determine the physical relations of the tribes of California with the peoples of other regions. By correlating the physical characters, the particular cultures of the past and present Indians, and the various linguistic stocks of families still extant, it is hoped to solve the great problem of the numerous groups of Indians in California, and their relationship with peoples of other parts of the continent and possibly with certain tribes of Asia.

Nowhere in America has there been such a diversity of Indian languages as in California, a condition which has long puzzled anthropologists. During the past five years more investigations of these languages have been made by the University and by eastern institutions than in all previous time. These Indian languages are now fast disappearing. Several are at the present moment known only by five or six, and others by twenty or thirty individuals, and hardly a year passes without some special dialect, or even language, becoming extinct. For this reason it is desired


that students should be instructed in the methods of recording and studying Indian languages, and then devote themselves to special research. This department of the University is therefore giving instruction in this branch of linguistics with the hope of preparing students to carry on the research before the opportunities pass away. Similar reasons apply to special researches in other sections of ethnology and in archaeology; hence the training of students in these subjects is also undertaken by the department.

The officers of the department make a special appeal to persons in all parts of the State and adjacent regions for aid in this survey. Hundreds of Indian objects are found annually, which if carefully labeled as to where and how found and sent to the University, would when brought together for comparative study, aid in the settlement of many important questions. The distribution of a particular kind of stone implement or of an ancient form of basket, and of many other objects of Indian manufacture, (even the peculiar stone of which an implement is made is of great importance), will aid in determining the distribution of a tribe or group of which other records may be lost or so uncertain that just such confirmatory evidence to establish a particular point is required.

Information relating to the location of caves, shell-heaps, old burial places or ancient village sites, and scattered fragments or survivors of nearly extinct tribes, is earnestly solicited, that such may be investigated by the department and may be correctly recorded on the ethnological and archaeological maps of the State.

The University is by this survey carrying on a research of great importance in obtaining a knowledge of the first peopling of the Pacific Coast and of the early migrations, and of the relationships of the recent and present Indians, a research that is required by anthropologists and by all interested in the early history of man. This work has been well begun, but assistance of many kinds is needed for its rapid progress. This assistance it is hoped will be given to aid the University of the State in this important undertaking.


Two volumes of the publications of the Department, relating to the languages, myths, and customs of certain tribes of California are now in press and are to be followed by others was the material is prepared.

Correspondence leading to aid in this survey is solicited by the department of Anthropology of the University of California.

BENJ. IDE WHELLER, President of the University.
F.W. PUTNAM, Chairman of the Department of Anthropology.

Berkeley, California,
September 1, 1903

Address correspondence and packages to Dr. A.L. Kroeber, Secretary of the Department of Anthropology, Affiliated Colleges, San Francisco, California.

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