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“The Obsidian Trail,” is a highly acclaimed half-hour documentary illuminating the prehistory of the Owens Valley in eastern California, as seen through the eyes of archaeologists, scholars, and Native Americans. The three part film (as published on YouTube) consists of interviews, cutaways, animations, dramatizations, and off-camera narratives. It tells its story by analyzing artifacts that early inhabitants left behind.

The California Department of Transportation (CalTrans) District 9 produced the video in association with Far Western Anthropological Research Group, and Cinnabar Video. “The Obsidian Trail” is part of the department’s efforts to publicize its work in cultural resources, archaeological research and Native American coordination programs in the Inyo-Mono region of California.

The title  of the video refers to the mineral that Native Americans used for creating tools, including projectile points such as spears and arrowheads. Obsidian, which can be “flaked” into edges that are sharper than surgical steel instruments, was highly regarded in the area and traded from as far away as the Pacific Ocean, Texas and Nebraska.

Archaeologists have been working in Owens Valley and the surrounding region for more than 50 years, trying to piece together the lives and relationships of the earliest inhabitants. Archaeologists have recorded petroglyphs, pottery, and bone, wood, and stone tools, piecing together the lifeways of the region’s original inhabitants. With advances in analysis of obsidian (black volcanic glass), they are re-examining what ancient arrowheads, points and flakes can reveal and are learning some surprising things.

“The Obsidian Trail” has been distributed to schools in the Inyo-Mono region, and even as far away as New Mexico and Germany. It is shown at the Mono Lake Visitor’s Center in Lee Vining and the Maturango Museum in Ridgecrest.

The video has also been distributed to local Native American groups and many others outside of District 9: it is often requested by scholars at University of California campuses, as well as those in the California State University and California Community College systems.

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1 day ago

Sunsets around here never get old. 😍
#nofilter #visitbishop #bishopBIGbackyard
Photo by Betsy Johnson
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Sunsets around here never get old. 😍
#nofilter #visitbishop #bishopBIGbackyard
Photo by Betsy Johnson

Comment on Facebook

I've got a lot of nice trout up in Bishop I love it there

Beautiful picture

Love the sky's @ sunsets and sunrise. I have some beautiful pictures of the area. This looks to be below pleasant valley campground on the lower Owens. I fly fished all over the west, This is still my favorite water!!!

What a lovely picture of the beautiful, colorful ,peaceful sky it's so breathtaking. 💘

Classic Western Sky with cattle to add to the picture. Hearing some Western music in the back ground. Just need a windmill. <3

Those Happy Cows love the Bishop sunsets.

STUNNING🌹🌹

And I love Bishop!😊

I love it in the late afternoon when the Sierra's cast their shadow on the White Mountains

HOME ! !

These views never get old. MIss them.

Beautiful Sun 🌞set

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1 day ago

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Snow in the mountains, but dry in the valley, that's why we love Bishop!

Pretty

God I miss it!

Beautiful!!

Home sweet home beautiful

Ready to roll there!!!!

Beautiful

Every time I go south on 395 I'm amazed at the beauty of the eastern Sierra Nevada could spend a lifetime in the Mountains There

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1 day ago

Definitely feels and looks like winter around here these days.... this is a shot from yesterday.
📷 by Julie Faber
#visitbishop #bishopBIGbackyard
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Definitely feels and looks like winter around here these days.... this is a shot from yesterday. 
📷 by Julie Faber
#visitbishop #bishopBIGbackyard

Comment on Facebook

Wish you'd post what mountains we're looking at. Lovely photograph!

This is absolutely beautiful! 😊😀

wow, such a beautiful post, need long johns to stay longer then an hour in that snow ?

Awesome picture

Fabulous!

... name of the "pyramid peak" please.....

Hello Tom!

Mt. Tom

Beautiful

Beautiful

Beautiful

Frank

I need to go fishing on the Owens or PVR, been a while.

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3 days ago

Who loves a little winter fishing???? We've got it year-round here!!Out side enjoying the lower Owens River. Snow storms are rare in the Owens Valley. Snow only lasts a few days at the most. Photo by @leviaguilera_photography ... See MoreSee Less

Who loves a little winter fishing???? Weve got it year-round here!!

Comment on Facebook

Glad to see L A didn’t get all the Owens valley water!

Beautiful background !

Looks cold, but what a great place.

plenty of brown trout,large trout at bridgport res

always did ice fishing onway to bridgport

He should wear one of those wrist bands or forehead bands which shows his temperature so he can regulate. Risky sports have science to make them safer.

Love to go fishing in this stream ! Look at the great snow.😁

Refreshing, stunning, incredibly beautiful and the bestest fishing ever ! I love Bishop !😲👍🇺🇸🦅🇺🇸🎅☃️🎄💥

Oh yea!! He’s gettin them native Browns right there!!

I have fished the Lower Owens for many years, winter is the best because of reduced flows. Great Blue wing olive hatches, and plenty of wild browns. I fished this same run pictured . Love this River and the town of Bishop.

SUPERB SCENARY💝

Benton crossing?

That looks so amazing

Jo Nathan we need to go asap!

Do you know where your legs are?

Is that you Josh Beck?

Fred Powers

Nope

♥️

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