Members of the Friends of Calico Early Man Site, to include archaeologists and anthropologists are inviting local Marines to join them on an archaeological dig at the site, June 4.
The site is located approximately 10 miles away from the Calico Ghost Town, and 20 miles northeast of Marine Corps Logistics Base Barstow, off of Highway 15 and Minneola Road, explained Dan Eliseuson, a group member, and military veteran.
Calico Early Man Site is an archaeological dig site that was formally established in the 1960s when the world-famous Dr. Louis S. B. Leakey confirmed that some of the findings in the area were likely Paleolithic artifacts, said Michelle Nagy, assistant archaeologist and vice president on the board for Friends of Calico.
"(The site) is considered one of the longest running, continuous archaeological excavations in the U.S.," said Nagy.
So far various artifacts have been located, and some sent for proper dating.
"A great deal of beautiful stone tools, bifaces, hammer stones, cores and flakes (have been found)," said Nagy. "So far, the safe current consensus is that the area was inhabited by prehistoric Native Americans from 10,000 to 20,000 (Before Current Era). The Pechanga and Morongo Native American tribes are interested since these inhabitants could possibly be their ancestors."
"Two heat treated artifacts were sent out for dating, which will hopefully give us a more concrete idea of what the date range would be for the site," explained Nagy.
Since the era in which these artifacts may have been derived much has changed in the area.
"Lake Manix used to be in this area, plus an active volcano and an earthquake fault," said Nagy. "None of which are around/active anymore."
Because of Occupational Safety and Health Administration regulations, the digs will only go approximately six feet deep, said Nagy, though the dig-sites from the 1960s are considerably deeper.
"Given the physical nature of the excavating, the Friends of Calico Early Man Site organization welcome volunteers, especially military personnel," said Eliseuson.
"(Bring) a positive attitude, willingness to get really dirty, an open mind and lots of water," Nagy said, "and a lunch."
The gatherings to continue excavations are conducted monthly throughout the cooler months but wane during the summer due to heat. The next dig will be on June 4, and may include night digging. To signup as a volunteer, go to http:// www.meetup.com/Friends-of-Calico-Early-Man-Site/. Sign up to the site, and respond using the link provided. Membership, which is free, allows members to dig for free; otherwise, there is a $5 fee to help cover expenses.