Lost Treasures:
Baja California Artifacts


Cesár Castaldí was a Jesuit priest based in Mulege who served the Baja California community from 1905 to 1941. He collected artifacts in view of a book he was planning to write, and these artifacts included about 1,250 projectile points mounted on 25 boards, as well as stone pipes and other objects. For a long after his death they were in Mulege where they were photographed by William Massey and Earle Stanley Gardner, as well as Carlos Margain of the National Museum of Anthropology in Mexico City. (See Expedition to the Guaycura Nation, Chapter 10).

But then the collection disappeared. One story is told that they were part of the exhibits at the museum at the 28th parallel monument at the border of Baja California Norte and Baja California Sur. This collection might have included two wooden boards with holes in them that might have been shamans' ceremonial objects. Somehow the whole collection disappeared.

Among the missing, here and elsewhere, we find:

the Castaldí Collection
the original photos of William Massey of it, as well as his Baja California field notes
the original photos of Earle Stanley Gardner
the photos of Carlos Margain
an atlatl, or dart-thrower, said to have gone to the Carnegie Museum in Washington, D.C.
the Goldbaum Collection of Ensenada

and who knows how many other Baja California treasures?

And Pablo Martínez leaves us two intriguing stories: "In Cape Pulmo on a large rock 7 to 8 meters in length, facing the sea, there can be seen something which is an inscription with heavy characters, among which many believe there are Gothic, Hebraic and Chaldean symbols." "The author of this work has seen, on a solitary monolith on a great plain at the foot of the Sierra de la Giganta, engravings, not paintings of some figures of animals. The polished stone is in a convex form and on a previously prepared surface there is sculptured, with a degree of perfection, a deer, a tortoise, and a lizard."

The location of these sites is unknown.

So if you know the whereabouts of any Baja California artifacts, or archaeological sites, please let us know, and the world of Baja California archaeology will thank you. Please contact us at arraj@innerexplorations.com