Thomas Doty – Storyteller

Mortar Cave (1 of 4)


Mortar Cave is more of an overhang or a small shelter than a cave. It sits high on Sheepy Ridge overlooking the Tule Lake Basin in northeast California ... the heart of traditional Modoc homeland. Before this portion of the lake was drained in the 1920s, the lakeshore was directly below Mortar Cave and an ancient trail ran along the shore. The cave floor has more than 50 mortar holes for grinding seeds, nuts, roots, berries.... It is an ancient gathering place. I first visited Mortar Cave in the 1960s. These photos were taken on July 22, 2012.