SAN DIEGO — With over 6,500 recorded Native American and historic archaeological sites in San Diego, taking a look back at ancient civilizations is as easy as visiting a one of the many state parks in the region.
According to the California Department of Parks and Recreation (CDPR), San Diego was home to various groups and tribes before later becoming the home of two Spanish Missions. From there, the region developed into homesteads and towns, leaving a trial of history behind.
For an up-close look at remnants of the past, here are five archaeological site areas right here in San Diego County that contain traces of the civilizations that came before us.
This park contains over 4,400 recorded archaeological sites, according to CDPR. Some of these sites include villages, camps, hunting sites, food and material processing sites, rock art sites and sacred places. California officials say there are eight cultural preserves set aside to protect the cultural resources within this park.
This park was home to seven villages that were inhabited at the time that Europeans first came to the region that is now known as San Diego, CDPR said. This state parks has mining and homesteading sites, along with what officials described as “early recreational features.” CDPR says there are four cultural preserves within this park.
California officials say this state park has 40 known archaeological sites. According to CDPR, this includes past villages, camps, grinding sites, apple orchards and home sites. A unique feature that can be found here is the Boucher Hill fire lookout station. History shows the first tower was built in 1921, then replaced in 1934 and again in 1948 before being fully refurbished in 2013.
According to CDPR, there are over 1,300 recorded archaeological sites within this state park area. For instance, California officials say there are rock enclosures and fish-traps along the ancient Lake Cahuilla shoreline. Visitors can also take a look back at historic sites from depression-era homesteads, WWII training exercises and early mineral extraction operations, CDPR said. One cultural preserve is located within this San Diego County area.
Well-known as the first town town site of San Diego, Old Town contains many reconstructed and restored historic buildings that CDPR says documents what life may have been like in the early settlement days of what’s now a major metropolitan city. In this area, you can find 23 recorded archaeological sites of both the historic and Native American periods. California officials say this includes portions of the Kumeyaay village complex of Kosa’aay (Cosoy).
For all the history buffs, there are thousands of historic archaeological sites in San Diego County awaiting a visit from the future. Just remember — be respectful of these remnants of the past in order to preserve the evidence of yesteryear and beyond.