SLO County Archaeological Society

Preserving our Past for the Future

What to do if you encounter archaeological materials

When out hiking or exploring our beautiful natural landscape, Central Coast residents and visitors occasionally find items of potential interest. Find out what to do if you encounter artifacts in your own backyard or elsewhere in our open space.
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SLOCAS members come from all over the Central Coast to participate in field trips, lectures, and special events. Members receive our newsletter, The Artifact, and contribute their time and enthusiasm to preserving our local history and artifacts.

In western North America wildfires are generally viewed as a natural hazard that threaten property and life. However, humans have a long history of using fire as a tool to modify the environment for their benefit.

So how did fire go from something useful to something feared? This talk approaches the question by examining contemporary burning practices among a group of Aboriginal Australians in the Western Desert, where fire is used to hunt small game.

The practice also reduces fuel loads, limits climate-driven wildfires and increases local biodiversity. The result is a a resilient ecosystem adapted to human fires. But outside the sphere of human influence, wildfires remain large, unpredictable, and potentially harmful to plants, animals, and people.

Using the Australian case as an example can help inform how we manage fire in California, potentially providing an avenue to develop healthier ecosystems that no longer carry the threat of devastating wildfires.


Tuesday, May 30    6pm to 7pm      
Building 8, Room 123    805-756-2752

Our Value to the Community

SLOCAS provides and operates a Research and Collections facility for the archival storage of archaeological collections. We support research conducted by the archaeological community through access to collections archived at the Facility, a publication series, and outreach to the general public.

Our Mission is to:

  • Educate and inform about archaeology, anthropology and related subjects, as they pertain to California in general and to San Luis Obispo County in particular
  • Promote conservation of archaeological sites, records and collections
  • Maintain a library
  • Encourage the adoption of archaeological resource preservation guidelines and legal requirements
SLOCAS’ core responsibility is to provide a secure facility for state, county and local agencies, as well as CRM consultants, to curate archaeological collections in compliance with federal and state laws.

Our vision also includes:

  • Achieve financial security
  • Aid, foster, and promote the understanding and appreciation of archaeology, archaeological history, and anthropology of California’s Central Coast through the publication of a bimonthly newsletter, a user-friendly web site, and annual membership meetings
  • Make collections available for research to foster a deep understanding of human history through the science of archaeology, history, and the cultural artifacts
SLOCAS short term and long term goals and objectives, as determined by the Board (summer 2014) —

  • Financial stability of SLOCAS and its Facility
  • Ensure the long-term viability of the Facility at its current location
  • Continue SLOCAS’ publication series
  • Facilitate access to collections and research library
  • Establish consistent and timely communication with our stakeholders, customers, and educational institutions
  • Maintain Facility and Curation 80%
  • Public Outreach and Communications 45%
  • Promote Archaeological Principles 95%

Newsletter & Publications

The Artifact newsletter

Click the image to view a sample issue

Members receive our newsletter, The Artifact, which keeps them up to date with SLOCAS news and events, and reprints national articles of interest.

View July/Aug 2015 Newsletter

A selection of prehistoric morro bay publications is available for purchase, including publications based on the California State Water Project, Coastal Branch Series.

View Publications

SLOCAS accepts collections from SLO County and the Central Coast

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The SLOCAS Research and Collections Facility is open to SLOCAS Registered Researchers by appointment only. Find out how to become a SLOCAS Registered Researcher here.


Collections must be hand-delivered to the Facility. The submitter must contact SLOCAS at least two weeks prior to the submittal date to make an appointment.


Fees are charged based on cubic feet and include paperwork and oversized objects.

Frequently Asked Questions

How else can I get involved in archaeology?

USFS Passport in Time (PIT) is a volunteer archaeology and historic preservation program of the US Forest Service

CASSP is the California Archaeological Site Stewardship Program, where trained volunteers work with professional archaeologists to protect archaeological and historical resources by regularly visiting sites and recording changes.

Does SLOCAS have archaeological lesson plans and materials for teachers?

Yes! We have lesson plans developed for grades 4-6, which can be adapted for other audiences. Please contact SLOCAS for more information.

How do I become a member?
SLOCAS has two membership categories: General Membership and Registered Researcher Join
How is SLOCAS funded?
We are funded through the curation fees charged for archiving.
Can I attend a meeting or special event?
Join SLOCAS to attend field trips, lectures, and other special events. View membership details here.
Can anyone view the collections and visit the SLOCAS facility?
We are not a museum, but we are open to Members and Registered ResearchersJoin
Is it ok to collect artifacts?
If you encounter artifacts in your own backyard or elsewhere in our open space, please leave the artifacts where you found them.  Feel free to take a photograph or two to remember the artifact(s).

So much evidence of past human activities (artifacts) has been removed over time and now resides in closets and garages, forever disconnected from its original context and meaning. So let’s leave things where and as we find them. View more

Don't Be Shy

Drop us a line anytime and we will respond to you as soon as possible