Routine pollen analysis was performed for 17 sediment samples and 9 pollen washes from the Hunter's Ridge archaeological site (CA-SBR-6815H), in the eastern San Gabriel Mountains (elev. 610 m), Santa Barbara County, California. Pollen preservation is moderate to poor (20 - 40 % deteriorated) and the pollen concentration is very low (<2000 grains cm-3). The pollen spectrum is dominated by high percentages (40-80 %) of sunflower (Other Compositae) pollen. The pollen of dandelion group (Liguliflorae) and mustard (Cruciferae) is sporadically abundant (10 - 20%), but the pollen of trees and shrubs is rare (Pinus, Quercus, and Ceanothus < 5%). Pink family (Caryophyllaceae) pollen (and seeds) occur in several samples. A stratigraphic column from surface to 200 cm depth shows historic vegetation change. Above 50 cm, pollen concentration increases, deteriorated percentages decrease, and charcoal percentages decline. Tree and shrub pollen becomes more abundant above 50 cm as does the pollen of wormwood (Artemisia), mustard, buckwheat (Eriogonum), and spores of the dung fungus Sporormiella. Pollen of Liguliflorae decreases above 80 cm and Other Compositae decreases above 50 cm.
The pollen wash samples are very similar to the sediment samples, except their generally higher percentages of Artemisia, Caryophyllaceae, and grass (Gramineae). Counting of these samples was made difficult due to high concentration of plastic fragments introduced by the pollen wash procedure.
The macrobotanical remains provide information that complements and contrasts with that from the pollen samples. Grasses fruits (caryopses) are the most abundant macrobotanical specimens. Filaree (Erodium cicutarium / moschatum), an introduced weed, occurs in all 5 samples, but Erodium is uncommon in the pollen samples. Similarly, seeds of dove weed (Eremocarpus setigerus) occur in 3 samples, but the Euphorbia pollen type was not recovered. Both filaree and dove weed are disturbance indicators. Two potential indicators of intentional human use are elderberry (Sambucus) and rose (Rosa). Both charred and uncharred seeds were recovered from the flotation samples, as was a single seed of salmonberry (Rubus).BACK