Categorized | Environment

Free the Bolsa Chica Mesa Now? Not likely, but there’s always ‘purposeful grading’

Free the Bolsa Chica Mesa Now? Not likely, but there’s always ‘purposeful grading’

By John Earl
Surf City Voice

The upper Bolsa Chica mesa’s mile-long ridge demonstrates the mixed grandeur of the Surf City region with a wide view of the Santa Ana river basin below, where the largest wetlands restoration project in California is locked between urban sprawl and the Pacific Ocean.

The mesa has changed a lot since its first human settlers arrived over 9,000 years ago to create the Acjahemen Nation. Soon, it will change again by the hands of a more powerful, corporate, nation.

Parts of the mesa have revealed some of the most important archaeological discoveries made in America. More discoveries are sure to come, archeologists say, but their exact locations and how to best preserve them are in dispute. Buried somewhere on its northeast corner, in the area of two undeveloped side by side lots, are the only remaining accessible human records of its mysterious past.

To many Native Americans, the entire area is a holy site that should be left alone out of respect for their ancestors. “That whole area was a major village [with] a high concentration of everyday life activity,” Tongva tribal leader Anthony Morales told the Voice in 2008.

The Tongva are the descendants of the second wave of human inhabitants of the Bolsa Chica mesa. They started arriving between 2,000 and 3,500 years ago. The Ajachemen and Tongva consider the site to be very spiritual and sacred.

Native Americans protest Brightwater on the upper Bolsa Chica mesa. Photo: Surf City Voice

For California Coastal Communities, the bankrupt but legal owner of one of the lots and the representative for the owner of the other (both lots are located on the SE corner of Bosla Chica Rd. and Los Patos Ave.), development of the corner may provide some of the financial salvation, if not the spiritual or scientific enlightenment, that it needs.

2 Responses to “Free the Bolsa Chica Mesa Now? Not likely, but there’s always ‘purposeful grading’”

  1. jack hunter says:

    Great article by John Earl on Bolsa Chica archaeological history.
    I paypaled you my $2. Keep up the good reporting.

  2. Kris says:

    Wonderfully written, very informative BRAVO!!!! Coming from an anthropologist, thank you for bringing the situation to light and reporting form an objective point of view. Hopefully HB can fight to save this site from being destroyed, it appears that there is some signifigant information to be found here due to the rare nature of the cogg stones, and lack thereof in other areas. Thank you.


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