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.



  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.  

SLOCAS News and Events

Archaeology Day is back! The San Luis Obispo County Archaeological Society’s (SLOCAS) will host Archaeology Day at the San Luis Obispo Mission Plaza on October 22, 2022 from 11am to 4pm! We invite you to join us in celebrating Archaeology Day. At this fun and FREE event you will learn from local archaeologists, view experimental archaeology in action, take you turn sifting a screen at a mock archaeological excavation, play games, learn about SLO County’s unique prehistoric and historic history, and more! Did we mention we are also celebrating SLOCAS 50(+1) anniversary – thank you to to our founders! If you would like to volunteer on the Archaeology Day Planning Committee, or have inquiries please email See you there!

San Luis Obispo County Archaeological Society Field trip to San Simeon Point. Join us for a walk out to San Simeon point guided by two local cultural resource professionals, archaeologist Chad Jackson and architectural historian, Amber Long. We will hear about both the historic and the Native American significance of San Simeon Bay as it’s the only true bay and landing on the entire coast. We will learn about the native life of the region and archaeology as well as European exploration and early documentation, whaling history and Hearst. Then we will hear about the history of the Sebastian Store and the store restoration project.

Date: Saturday, August 27th
Time: 10 am
Where: Meet at the San Simeon Pier Parking Lot
Bring/wear: The walk is 2.5 miles round trip and 100 feet elevation gain. Wear comfortable walking shoes and bring water and a snack or lunch to eat after the walk.
Please RSVP to Jennifer Bauer by August 22nd at (Jennifer will be traveling for a few weeks, so if you have questions there may be a
delay in a response).

We had so much fun at our very first installment of the San Luis Obispo County Archaeological Society’s (SLOCAS) Online Lecture Series on Friday, June 11! Thank you to everyone who showed interested and participated in the lecture. We can’t wait to see you at the next one! A recording of the lecture is now available on our YouTube channel! Click here to be taken to the recording, or copy and paste this link into your internet browser:

To contact our June Online Lecture Series guest speaker, Dr. Garrett Fesler, click here to send him an e-mail. To learn more about the Office of Historic Alexandria and the Alexandria Archaeology Museum, please visit their website.

SLOCAS is on Facebook! Follow us on Facebook to stay in touch, learn about upcoming events and archaeological news, and job alerts. Click here to be directed to our page or search for @SLOarchaeology on Facebook.

Upcoming Local (California) Events:

Save the Date: Archaeology Day, October 22, 2022, Mission Plaza San Luis Obispo

Save the date for the San Luis Obispo County Archaeological Society’s very own Archaeology Day 2022. Admission is free and the event will be fun for all ages. 

Save the Date: SLOCA Fieldtrip, San Simeon Point Walking Tour, San Simeon State Beach 

Save the date for the latest field trip to San Simeon Point on August 27, 2022. Admission is free but you must RSVP. Email

Save the Date: Heritage Day, September 11, 2021, Dana Adobe

Save the date for the Dana Adobe and Cultural Center’s 2021 Heritage Festival on September 11, 2021. Admission cost is $10, and children 12 years of age and younger can attend for free. Ticket purchases and more information will be available soon at

Save the Date: 54th Annual California Native American Day, September 24, 2021

Hosted by the California Tribal Chairpersons’ Association, this event will be held at the California State Capitol in Sacramento. For more information, visit

Virtual Opportunities

Ventura County Archaeological Society: Local Lithic Technology and Small-Scale Change on Limuw (Santa Cruz Island), September 14, 2021 The Ventura County Archaeological Society invites you to join them on Tuesday, September 14 at 7:00pm (PDT) for “Local Lithic Technology and Small-Scale Change on Limuw (Santa Cruz Island).” Dr. Scott Sunell will illustrate how archaeological patterns linked to stone drill and shell bead production on California’s Northern Channel Islands have been linked to changes in Chumash sociopolitical structure in the late Holocene. Email to register for this fascinating Zoom presentation.

Take guided tours of The Archaeological Conservancy’s preserves right from home! The Conservancy offers fascinating tours as part of their Virtual Tour Video Series. Visit the Wells Petroglyph Preserve and the Arroyo Honda Pueblo in New Mexico, and more! Visit their website to access the videos, or copy and paste this link into your internet browser:

Want to attend an archaeological field school in California? The California Society for Archaeology’s (SCA) list of archaeology field schools, is a great resource for students. Click here to be taken to the list. SCA regularly updates it, too!

Listen to a presentation by Chad Jackson, California State Parks San Luis Obispo Coast District associate state archaeologist on the archaeology of San Luis Obispo county. Click here to listen to the fascinating history of our central coast.

The Archaeological Institute of America offers many resources, including webinars and lecture series. Click here to visit their website for more information.

The San Diego Archaeological Center has past lectures available on their website. Click here to view their “Museum at Home” virtual lectures.

Other News

The Society for Historical Archaeology has announced their annual conference will be hosted in Philadelphia, PA! Save the date for January 5-8, 2022. Visit the Society’s website for more information. 

A discovery out of East Africa has yielded the oldest known evidence of modern humans in Africa burying their dead.  Click here to access the article, written by Michael Price of the American Association for the Advancement of Science.

Read this exciting article “Archaeologists discover site that was once home Harriet Tubman’s father.” The site was uncovered by archaeologists working in Maryland.

Learn about the “Lost golden city of Luxor,” recently discovered by archaeologists in Egypt. Click here to read National Geographic’s breakdown of this fascinating discovery. 

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 provide information to our community on archaeology, anthropology, and related subjects as they pertain to San Luis Obispo County, and California.
  • Promote conservation of archaeological sites, records, and collections
  • Maintain a research 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% 80%
  • Public Outreach and Communications 45% 45%
  • Promote Archaeological Principles 95% 95%

Newsletter & Publications

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

View Sample 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

San Luis Obispo Archaeological Society curation

The SLOCAS repository houses collections from SLO County and the Central Coast

Learn More

SLOCAS Research and Collections Facility


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 membership dues, donations, and 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