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The Cross Creek Site (CA-SLO-1797) and Its Implications for New World Colonization

  • Terry L. Jones (a1), Richard T. Fitzgerald (a2), Douglas J. Kennett (a3), Charles H. Miksicek (a4), John L. Fagan (a5), John Sharp (a6) and Jon M. Erlandson (a3)...

Abstract

Recent excavations at the Cross Creek site (CA-SLO-1797) on the central coast of California revealed a stratigraphically discrete midden component dating between ca. 8350 and 7700 cal B.C., making it the oldest mainland shell midden on the west coast of North America. A large recovery volume revealed an assemblage dominated by grinding implements (handstones and milling slabs) and crude core and flake tools typical of California's Milling Stone horizon, but the Cross Creek findings extend the antiquity of Milling Stone back to the terminal Pleistocene. The tools and associated faunal remains suggest a gathering economy profoundly different from the terminal Pleistocene big-game hunting of interior North America. This variation is difficult to reconcile as a simple adaptive outgrowth from late Pleistocene hunting and may reflect a separate coastal migration route into the New World.

Résumé

Recientes excavaciones arqueológicas en el sitio de Cross Creek (CA-SLO-1797) en la costa central de California revelan un discreto depósito de túmulos datado entre los años calendario 8350-7570 A.C, lo que lo convierte en el depósito continental más antiguo de conchas en la costa occidental de Norteamérica. El gran volumen de material recobrado revela un conjunto formado principalmente por implementos de molienda (piedras y muelas) y núcleos toscos y de lasca típicas del Período Arcaico de California, pero los descubrimientos hechos en Cross Creek extienden la antigüedad del Período Arcaico hasta fines del Pleistocene. Las herramientas y los restos de fauna asociados con ellas, sugieren una economía de recolección profundamente diferente de la de caza mayor defines del Pleistoceno, del interior de Norte América. Esta variación es dificil de interpretarse como un simple crecimiento de adaptación dentro de la caza del Pleistoceno tardío, y puede reflejar una ruta diferente de migración por la costahacia el Nuevo Mundo.

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