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

Upcoming Events

BIG NEWS! We have started our own Online Lecture Series!

Join SLOCAS on Friday, June 11 at 5:30pm PST for our very first installment of the San Luis Obispo County Archaeological Society’s (SLOCAS) Online Lecture Series. Tune in via Zoom as we take a trip to the east coast to chat with Dr. Garrett Fesler, city archaeologist with the Office of Historic Alexandria and the Alexandria Archaeology Museum, both based in Alexandria, VA. 

In honor of our inaugural Online Lecture Series, we are taking a trip across the country to the historic town of Alexandria, VA. There, city archaeologists like Dr. Fesler, along with volunteers and students, work with residents and developers to study and manage archaeological resources important to their community’s past. From uncovering the remains of the hull of a fifty-foot vessel at the waterfront, a years-long excavation of a plantation occupied during the Civil War, to identifying over thirty archaeological sites containing Native American artifacts, some dating to over 15,000 years ago, the city of Alexandria keeps its archaeologists and its museum busy. Dr. Fesler will provide an overview of notable past excavations, as well as current projects he and his colleagues are working on. The end of the lecture will provide attendees with the opportunity to ask questions. 

This online lecture will be hosted by SLOCAS, and is free to SLOCAS members and our community. Space is limited to 100 attendees on Zoom, so please register in advance by clicking this link:

To learn more about the Office of Historic Alexandria and the Alexandria Archaeology Museum, please visit their website.

74th Annual Northwest Anthropological Conference: Listen, Learn, Change: Celebrating Diverse Perspectives in Anthropology

The Northwest Anthropological Association is hosting their annual conference this year VIRTUALLY and for FREE! Save the date for April 7-10, 2021 and register by visiting their website here.

Ventura County Archaeological Society: An Evening with Bob Lopez, April 13, 2021

Join Ventura County Archaeological Society (VCAS) archivist, Bob Lopez, to learn of the history and progress of the VCAS and its archives, which contain hundreds of pubilications, site data, notes, and more. The event is free and hosted on Zoom, but registration is required. Email to register.

ArchaeoCon 2021: Join the Virtual Adventure on Saturday, April 24, 2021

The Archaeological Institute of America is hosting a day of live presentations, hands-on workshops, and interviews with archaeologists Kara Cooney, Josh Gates, Patrick Hunt, Alexandra Jones, and more. For tickets and more information, visit AIA’s website and learn for yourself why the field of archaeology is so exciting! The event will be hosted online.

Ongoing Events

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.

The 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 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