September 14, 2009

Stuff of Life

Every archivist has a bit of the archeologist in her. As we delve through the Grateful Dead Archive coming across important artifacts so apparently are California State Archeologists at the Olompali State Historical Park. Located north of San Francisco the park was originally settled by the Miwok Indians, but in the mid to late 60s it was the site of a hippie commune. And it was home to the Grateful Dead in 1966. The stuff that is being excavated and cataloged by archeologists in the historic park includes sneakers and red plastic Monopoly hotel pieces (and what about macramé and roach clips and beads???) The July-August issue (Vol. 62, No.4) of Archaeology Magazine is running the article "Digging in the Age of Aquarius" about the site. It quotes state archaeologist E. Breck Parkman saying that these artifacts will enable the interpretation of "a period of political turbulence, generational conflicts, and cultural experimentation that shaped modern America."