The Lamont Meadow site is an impressive find, evidence of the village is still easy to find. The most impressive aspect of the village ruins is located high above the ground in a massive house sized boulder outcropping. From the ground below you can see bright pictograph designs on the walls of this massive rock shelter. I tried to climb the boulder outcropping, but it proved to be to difficult without any climbing gear. I will return sometime in the near future with the proper gear so that I may document this site better.
Running through the middle of village site is Canebrake Creek, to the northeast there is a small boulder outcropping. At this outcropping there are numerous grinding holes in the stone. The grinding holes would have been used to grind up pine nuts, and possibly small animals. As well, there is one small pictograph on this outcropping.
Within a 400 yard range of the main village site there are thousands of obsidian chips lying on the surface of the ground.
Like the nearby Canebrake Pictograph site, this site was used by the Tübatulabal (Translated as “Pine-nut Eaters or Gatherers”) Tribe. McGuire and Garfinkel date the era of the Tübatulabal at Lamont Meadow to between 4,000 B.C. to 1200 B.C. in their 1982 paper, “Archaeological Investigations in the Southern Sierra Nevada: The Bear Mountain Segment of the Pacific Crest Trail.” The territory of the Tübatulabal includes the Kern and South Fork Kern Rivers drainages extending to the high mountainous terrain in the north to about 41 miles below the junction of the two rivers in the south.
Pictographs are much more common from the Tübatulabal than petroglyphs. This is likely due to regular access of berries that was used to make paints. Petroglyphs are usually found carved into basalt rock, there is little to no basalt found in the tribes territory. The designs painted by the Tübatulabal Tribe are mostly abstract, and often depicts anthropomorphs, zoomorphs, and other realistic motifs.
Members of the Tübatulabal Tribe still live in the area today. At last count in October of 2012 the tribe had 287 members.
Interested in visiting this site?
GUIDE SERVICE OPTION: Jim’s Guide Service may be the right choice for you. Jim can provide you with a single day to multiday rock art tours throughout the Mojave Desert. Visit the guide website for more details.
BOOK OPTION: The Lamont Meadow Pictograph Site is featured in Secret Places in the Mojave Desert Vol. III. Detailed maps, and GPS coordinates are included. Order your copy now.