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Barstow Field Office

Calico Early Man Site


 

calico master pits

Calico Master Pits

 
  

calico old office

Calico Old Office

 
 
 

 

 
 

Calico Early Man Site is located about 15 miles northeast of Barstow, California, off Interstate 15. From the Minneola Road exit, follow the signs north about two miles on graded dirt roads to the site. The history of this site dates back to 1942, when amateur archaeologists discovered what they believed to be primitive stone tools in this area. Fragments were embedded in the sediments of the shoreline of an ancient Pleistocene Era lake, called Lake Manix.

 
 

technician at work

Technician at work

 

technician at work

Technician at work

 

 

technician at work

Technician at work

 
          
 
 

Archaeology Technicians at work in Master Pits

 

This was the only New World archaeology project undertaken by the renowned archaeologist-paleontologist, Dr. Louis S.B. Leakey.  Leakey, and his son, Richard, are well known for their Early Man discoveries at Olduvai Gorge in east Africa. Dr. Leakey first visited the area in 1963. He came to examine artifacts discovered in a commercial excavation by Ruth Dee Simpson, a San Bernardino County archaeologist. Leakey continued to act as Project Director until his death in 1972. Ruth Dee Simpson died in 2000.

 
 lewis leakey
 
 

Lewis Leakey examining skulls from Olduvai Gorge, Africa

 ruth simpson 
 
 

Ruth D. Simpson at Calico Early Man Site in 2000

 

Archaeologists have classified this site as a possible stone tool workshop, quarry, and camp site. Perhaps early nomadic hunters and gatherers stopped in this area to fashion the tools they used to survive. These tools may have included stone knives, scrapers, punches, picks, and chopping tools, as well as some saw-like tools called denticulates. No human bones or remains have be found here.

  
 

guided tour

Guided Tour

 

 

 
  

interpretive program

Interpretive program

 

flint napping demonstration

Flint napping demo

 
   

Guided tours and interpretive activities

The alluvial fan deposits in this area are uniquely deep stratum layers that may represent the oldest evidence of human occupation in the Americas. In 1980, Drs. James Bischoff, Richard Ku, and Roy Shlemon estimated that the soils at this site may date back to over 200,000 years, using a uranium-thorium dating process on the surrounding strata.

 
technician at work 
 

Archaeologist at work

 calico rock samples 
 
 

Examples of Artifacts

 


Schedule of Operation
Wednesday 12:30 PM to 4:30 PM
Thursday thru Sunday 9:00 AM to 4:30 PM

Guided Tours
Wednesday - 1:30 PM and 3:30 PM
Thursday thru Sunday -  9:30 AM, 11:30 AM, 1:30 PM, and 3:30 PM
Closed Monday and Tuesday

User Fees
Adults (1 or 2 persons) $5.00
- each additional person $2.50
Children (12 and under) $1.00 each
Seniors (62 and over) $2.00 each
Bus Groups $2.00 per person


For more information about ongoing site activities, write to:
Friends of Calico Early Man Site
ATTN: Maggie Foss
2024 Orange Tree Lane
Redlands, CA 93474