Construction Monitoring for the Commonwealth Corporate Center Project
Client: The Sobrato Organization
Location: San Mateo County
Timeframe: January–September 2015
Project Manager: Jennifer Farquhar
• Albion’s extensive knowledge about the Bay Area’s precolonial resources allowed us to identify and recover archaeological features that were difficult to discern due to previous disturbance of the project site.
• Our in-house specialists analyzed and interpreted recovered faunal, shell, and flaked stone artifacts from impacted archaeological features, contributing to knowledge about precolonial California subsistence.
• Albion’s team helped the client to meet the permitting requirements and negotiated with the lead agency and Native American representatives, to achieve the best possible outcome for all stakeholders.
The Commonwealth Corporate Center Project involved the construction of a new building within a previously developed, urban area along the southwest edge of San Francisco Bay. A review of regional archaeological literature indicated that the area was highly sensitive for precolonial habitation sites. Albion provided archaeological monitoring of all ground-disturbing activities, including grading, excavation, and trenching according to the project’s Conditional Use Permit. Albion’s senior staff assessed the significance of several archaeological resources discovered during the course of the project, working closely with the client, the permitting agency, and Native American representatives.
One of the most significant discoveries involved a previously unrecorded discrete and intact precolonial midden, dating to approximately between AD 670 and 1325 (CA-SMA-425). We determined that the resource was previously disturbed by commercial development, but that remaining components were significant and could inform important research questions about the past. Our specialists’ evaluation of the animal bone and shell assemblage recovered from the feature illuminated information about the subsistence behavior of the site’s prehistoric inhabitants. For example, although large ungulates, such as deer and elk, were abundant, the occupants of this site primarily subsisted on fish, shellfish, and vegetal resources.
Albion’s work on this project demonstrates our ability to successfully guide clients through the rigorous permitting process, conduct Native American consultation to consider tribal concerns, and manage impacts to archaeological resources resulting in the best possible outcome for all stakeholders.