Professor Paul Langenwalter Presents Research on the “Great Medicine Rock”

Dec. 5, 2016

Biola anthropology professor Paul Langenwalter spoke at the Fresno County branch of the Archaeological Institute of America’s monthly society meeting in October, highlighting the importance of discovering and maintaining cultural artifacts through generations. He presented findings on “The Great Medicine Rock,” a significant pictograph site discovered in 1850 during the Mariposa Indian War.


The original man who discovered this pictograph site, Robert Eccleston, recorded its existence by sketching the pictographs in his journal. After his journal was published more than a century later, it was noted that the site’s location had been lost, and no one had rediscovered the location of it. This led Langenwalter and others to work together on a fieldtrip to rediscover the site in 1987. They were successful in finding the site at the time, but no report was published. In 2015, Biola decided to support the continuation of Langenwalter’s work from 1987 with the purpose of well-documenting the site he helped to locate.


The presentation primarily focused on the project that Biola faculty and students revived to revisit the site and continue work that was started in 1987. The presentation was a networking opportunity for Langenwalter.


“I had a great time giving this lecture,” Langenwalter said. “The occasion provided the opportunity to communicate with scientists and Native Americans who share my interests, many of them friends.”


Langenwalter’s research focuses on the human-animal interaction sphere, bioarchaeology and religious ritual among the peoples of California and Oceania. In Central California, he has studied subsistence adaptations, animal burial practices, ethnicity, and culture change among Native Americans, Chinese, and Europeans. He founded Heritage Resource Consultants in 1974 and acts as its Principal Investigator for archaeological and paleontological research projects.


For more information on the anthropology major, please visit the website.


Written by Erin Wilson, public relations intern. For more information, contact Jenna Loumagne, media relations specialist, at (562) 777-4061 or

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