Report

Paleoindian Seafaring, Maritime Technologies, and Coastal Foraging on California’s Channel Islands

Science  04 Mar 2011:
Vol. 331, Issue 6021, pp. 1181-1185
DOI: 10.1126/science.1201477

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Abstract

Three archaeological sites on California’s Channel Islands show that Paleoindians relied heavily on marine resources. The Paleocoastal sites, dated between ~12,200 and 11,200 years ago, contain numerous stemmed projectile points and crescents associated with a variety of marine and aquatic faunal remains. At site CA-SRI-512 on Santa Rosa Island, Paleocoastal peoples used such tools to capture geese, cormorants, and other birds, along with marine mammals and finfish. At Cardwell Bluffs on San Miguel Island, Paleocoastal peoples collected local chert cobbles, worked them into bifaces and projectile points, and discarded thousands of marine shells. With bifacial technologies similar to those seen in Western Pluvial Lakes Tradition assemblages of western North America, the sites provide evidence for seafaring and island colonization by Paleoindians with a diversified maritime economy.

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