The confusing terminology surrounding the San Dieguito complex is reviewed, and a critical evaluation of the content of this complex is undertaken. The San Dieguito complex is redefined and includes Lake Mohave, Death Valley I, and Playa I and II complexes. An age of greater than 6000 B.C. is shown for at least one component of the complex and a date of 7000 to 8000 B.C. is suggested for the complex as a whole.
The hypothesis is developed that the San Dieguito complex is distinct from the Desert culture and represents a generalized hunting tradition which moved into the area along a north-south belt in the western Great Basin.