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Reassessing Human Settlement on the South Coast of San Miguel Island, California: The Use of 14C Dating as a Reconnaissance Tool

  • Todd J Braje (a1), Jon M Erlandson (a1) (a2) and Torben C Rick (a3)

Abstract

California's San Miguel Island contains over 600 archaeological sites, some occupied as early as 12,000 yr ago and most located along the island's north coast. Archaeologists have long believed the south coast to have been marginal or largely uninhabited. Burial of some landforms by sand dunes deposited after historical overgrazing, the lack of systematic survey, and a dearth of radiocarbon dating have also contributed to an underestimation of the intensity of human land use along the south coast of San Miguel Island. Our recent reconnaissance and dating of shell middens on the island's south coast indicate more intensive occupation than previously thought, with numerous south coast sites spanning at least the past 9000 yr, and demonstrate the utility of combining systematic archaeological reconnaissance and radiometrics in reconstructions of human settlement and historical ecology in coastal environments.

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Copyright

Corresponding author

Corresponding author. Email: tbraje@uoregon.edu.

References

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Reassessing Human Settlement on the South Coast of San Miguel Island, California: The Use of 14C Dating as a Reconnaissance Tool

  • Todd J Braje (a1), Jon M Erlandson (a1) (a2) and Torben C Rick (a3)

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