Posted by AADIVER on March 29, 2004 at 17:05:19:
Artifact found by volunteer
Crystal Cove officials hope the pestle found by a diver working on reef restoration will be the first of many.
Alicia Robinson, Daily Pilot
CRYSTAL COVE - A Native American artifact found at Crystal Cove State Park has given parks officials
hope that a new historical treasure trove has been found. But the search for more artifacts will be a
The California Department of Parks and Recreation announced on Wednesday that a volunteer diver working
on kelp restoration for Orange County Coastkeeper found a stone pestle in the underwater park.
The pestle, found near Reef Point in February, is probably an artifact of native peoples known as Juanenos,
Crystal Cove State Park Supt. Ken Kramer said.
While several artifacts have been found in the area on land, the pestle is the first to be found underwater at the
park. State parks officials are not surprised by the find because the park is a historic site, Kramer said.
"We've been waiting for 30 years to see whether we had submerged cultural artifacts in our underwater park,
and lo and behold &emdash; we do," Kramer said. "So, it's an exciting discovery."
He said the pestle could have gotten underwater in one of three ways: it fell from a tipped canoe and sank to
the reef, the water level rose and covered the site where it was found, or &emdash; the most likely explanation
&emdash; it was washed into the sea by erosion.
The find was a surprise to Frank Farmer, the diver who found the pestle in mid-February.
"I wasn't expecting to find anything because our job out there is really to replant the kelp and remove the sea
urchins that are devouring it," said Farmer, a longtime archeological diver.
In the next few weeks a state park dive team will search for more underwater relics, Kramer said. The pestle
may later be displayed in the park's new visitor center, which will be built as part of a $13-million
project to restore the park's cottages and grounds.
Education is a big part of the park's mission and historic artifacts fit right in with that, said Laura Davick,
president of the Crystal Cove Alliance, a nonprofit group that supports restoration of the historic park.
"It just further proves that Crystal Cove is such a historic, cultural and natural resource," Davick said.
Farmer was excited about the find and wants to look for more such historic artifacts.
"What I'd like to do is go back and find the mortar," he said.
Kramer reminded people who visit the park not to disturb any artifacts they might find either on land or
underwater and to tell park officials when they find historic objects.
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