Map of the Shellmounds of the San Francisco Bay Region


Using historic data as a tool to provide actionable information in advocacy for today's tribal rights of use. The the first large historic dataset created for the Alameda Native History Project was the N.C. Nelson 1909 Shellmounds Map. This map has since been combined with many other historical components.

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*The locations of the online map have been obscured.

Here are some examples of what it would look today,

if shellmounds had been left alone.

Imagine these images were taken on the shores of Emeryville, Alameda; and the banks of a river, in Walnut Creek.

Read "What is a Shellmound?" on the Alameda Shellmounds Map Page, for more information.

Map of the Shellmounds of the San Francisco Bay Region

Based on the "Map of the San Francisco Bay Region Showing Distribution of Shell Heaps", a US Coast Survey map (circa. 1907), annotated by N.C. Nelson.

  • The original map was reprojected, and converted into modern geographic coordinate systems;
  • Then, each of the locations of mounds marked "present" on Nelson's map were hand-plotted, and geocoded;
  • The 315+ individually plotted mounds were combined to create the "Map of the Shellmounds of the San Francisco Bay Region".
  • This map is interactive, and mobile-friendly. (It responds extremely well to gestures.)
  • You may also turn on a marker showing your location, in relation to the Bay Area Shellmounds, so that way you may take your own Shellmound walk, or "tour". (Not sure how well this works.)
  • Take Note: the true locations of shellmounds have been obscured. Therefore, this public-facing map will not allow you to zoom in past a certain limit; nor does it contain the absolute location of any shellmounds.


Alameda Native History Project does not encourage you to, nor will it take responsibility for you, should you injure yourself--or even (gods forbid) die--because of your blatant disregard for: (a) the safety of yourself, or others; (b) the law; or (c) Native American / Indigenous spirituality, religion, or the curses/karma/comeuppance for the destruction, removal, or disturbance of any "Indian Burial Ground" you may incur. DO NOT destroy, deface, or disrespect Native American artifacts, graves, cultural sites, etc.

By using this map, you agree to be safe, follow the law, and not take from, deface, or disturb Native American Graves.

Map of the Shellmounds of the San Francisco Bay Region

Sometimes this map doesn't load. This problem can usually be fixed by reloading this page, and clearing your browser's cache.

This is the link to the fullscreen version.

To obtain copies of this map, or other Alameda Native History Project Maps, check out the Merch/Giveaway Page, or contact us directly.

Alameda Native History Project
2201 Shore Line Drive #6334
Alameda, California 94501
(510) 747-8423