Back to All Events

The Prehistory of Castle Rock and the Greater Santa Cruz Mountains

  • REI 400 El Paseo de Saratoga San Jose, CA, 95130 United States (map)

What we know about human occupation at Castle Rock State Park and the greater Santa Cruz Mountains, we have largely learned from the archaeological record. Join Santa Cruz District Archaeologist Mark Hylkema as he draws upon nearly 40 years of experience as an archaeologist to paint a vivid portrait of the region as it looked before the Spanish. Were the boulders at Castle Rock used for ceremonial purposes? Were there any permanent occupation sites in the Santa Cruz Mountains? How large was the Native American population in the region at its height? How long had they been here? Find out the answers to these and many other questions with one of the region’s foremost archaeologists.

About The Speaker: Mark Hylkema is the Santa Cruz District Archaeologist for California State Parks, and manages cultural resources within 32 parks in an area ranging from San Francisco to the Pajaro River. He was formerly a Caltrans District Archaeologist and managed archaeological resources within the nine Bay Area counties. Mark also works on many other projects throughout the state and has 37 years' experience in California archaeology with an emphasis on Native American culture. Mark has spent considerable time among various tribal communities, particularly in Central and Northern California. He did his graduate research on the archaeology of the San Mateo and Santa Cruz County coast and has directed excavations throughout the greater San Francisco and Monterey Bay areas. He works full time as the Santa Cruz District Archaeologist for California State Parks, and is an adjunct faculty member at Foothill College in Los Altos Hills.