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.


News and Events

Check here or our Facebook page for up-to-date news and events.


San Diego Archaeological Center Living Room Lecture: Polynesian Contact with the Americas

The possibility of prehistoric Polynesian contact with the Americas has been considered by historians, archaeologists, and other scholars for centuries.

Join Dr. Terry Jones on Thursday, March 18, 2021 to learn about recent genetic studies that challenge longstanding ideas. The event will be held on Zoom, and is part of the San Diego Archaeological Center’s Living Room Lecture series. Space is limited! Click here for more information.


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.

Check out the Archaeological Conservancy’s 2020 Virtual Lecture Series: Click here to view the series, including a presentation by Cory D. Wilkins, MBA, who shares some of the history, stories, and artifacts from around California.

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

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

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.

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% 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

SLOCAS accepts collections from SLO County and the Central Coast

Learn More



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